Liz Watt

Enduring Challenges

enduring challenges Sep 30, 2021
This picture brings back a flood of memories. This exact spot changed the direction of my life. It brought discouragement, heartache, and a life long of pain. But it also changed me to be the person I was meant to be. This spot taught me what love means, what Christlike service looks like, and what really matters in life.
This last week we had our 30 year high school reunion at the best school ever, Alta High! Go Hawks! And yes, I still know the school song! I won't bore you with it here, but if anyone wants to get together, then we can hash it out! They are redoing the school, so we were in a war zone, but I had to stop and take a picture of the place that changed my life forever, the gym…
I was 15 years old, starting a new school with new friends, excited because I made the cheer team. What! Yep, I was super excited! I thought my whole high school years were planned out and with games, friends, parties, dances, and, I guess, a little bit of school. But at this very spot, my dream of what high school was came to a screeching halt!
2 weeks into my high school year, I tore my ACL and everything else in there. It was bad, really bad! I had surgery, and it didn't go as planned. I stayed in the hospital for a week. Unfortunately, I was back in the hospital five weeks later for another surgery. Staff infection had taken over, and I had to be pumped with antibiotics for another week. My whole first quarter of school consisted of hospital rooms, IV's, bedpans, sponge baths, crutches, and homeschool!!!! My dream of high school was not turning out as planned, and I was heartbroken.
Coming back to school for my second quarter was hard. I was on crutches with a huge brace, and it was so hard to walk around. You never know how big a school is until you have to walk the halls with crutches. Making new friends, well, that was impossible! Cheering at the football games, I ended up being sidelined.
Would I take this back? The first response is, "HECK YES!!!" But… During the hardest times in our lives, we learn to connect with who we are, the person we want to be, and the person we want to become. I learned so much about myself during this time. I learned what is most important in life, the love we share with others. I learned what compassion was and what Christlike service looks like. I learned what a true friend is and how we just need to sit with others in their pain. I learned that even though we feel like everything we hoped for or dreamed of is taken away, we are never alone. Blessings are always being given.
This experience was the hardest part of my life, but I don't think I could love others the way I do today if I didn't go through this. I don't think I would understand the pains and the heartaches we experience can continue to affect us even as we get older. I don't know if I could understand that our strength has to come from within even when others tell you it's impossible. My 3 oldest boys all have had ACL surgeries in high school that brought their sports carrier to a halt; I can feel their pain and carry their burdens, I can be their cheerleader telling them not to give up because I know they can do whatever they dream.
It was not a perfect high school year, but it was perfect for the person I was meant to become, and for that, thank you! Thank you for helping me learn this at such a young age. Thank you for thinking I was strong enough to handle what was thrown at me. Thank you for the blessings of falling and for helping me pull myself back up again. Thank you for always giving me the courage to continue and look for a better path. Thank you for not allowing me to give up but see the good in this world. Because of this experience, I understood what this life has to offer… Love, joy, friendship, disappointment, heartache, sorrow, compassion, strength, defeat, and resilience. Thank You!
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