By Anna Bernal
Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
This passage from Joshua is always in my head as I go about my days being a teenager. I first remember thinking about this passage when I was in second grade. My favorite person in the world, my grandma, had just passed away from cancer and I was devastated. To make matters worse, a mean girl at school must have sensed my weakness and started bullying me. At first she would say unkind things to me. Then, she started shoving me and kicking me when no one was looking. She would follow me into the bathroom and try to scare me. I had no idea why she was doing this, but I felt too sad and weak to fight back. I was scared to tell my teachers because the bully might find out and make things worse for me. I didn't want to tell my parents because my mom was already so sad, and I didn't want to add to her grief. So instead, I prayed. I prayed to God every night to give me strength to go to school every day. And God answered me. Not only did He give me the strength to go to school, but more importantly He gave me the courage to speak up. He told me to put aside my fears and trust that He will take care of me. So, I did. I reported what was happening to both to my teacher and my parents and the result was amazing. The bullying stopped immediately and my life got so much better. From that day on, I realized that God will always be with me and that I need not fear whatever life brings my way.
With God's strength, I can handle anything.