Grace Williams – Texas Nomination & Photography by Shawn Hodges Photography Issue 64 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Hello, my name is Grace Williams, and I am a member of Inspiring Teens, issue 64. I was once asked the question, "If I were to present a topic to a group of my peers, what would it be on and why?" I have always enjoyed deep conversations and getting to know people on a more personal level, so I thought long and hard about this question. I decided to choose the topic of a lesson I learned in the last months of 2022, and that is how precious life and time are. This is because recently I lost one of the most important people in my life from cancer, my brother-in-law, Lee. I don’t remember a time in my life when Lee wasn't a part of our family. He was more than my brother-in-law, he was my brother. That is why the topic of how precious life and time is is so important to me. I regret not spending more time with Lee, but I am grateful for the time I did spend with him, especially during those last few weeks. One of my main regrets was during the first year when he was first diagnosed with DSRCT (desmoplastic small round cell tumor). For some, life can seem to revolve around sports, school, friends, the arts, and much more. This can cause people to forget to take care of themselves or to be with those who love them. For me, it was dance. I don’t regret dancing, but at the same time I lacked balance and put my priorities in the wrong order, putting dance first, then friends, and lastly my family. In turn, I forgot how precious my time with my family is because I thought I would have more time, but it didn’t work out that way. Maybe you have told yourself: "I have more time," but that is sadly not true. After my family moved in 2019, I realized who I considered myself to be and who I invested my time in was not meant to be forever. Their lives continued on for them without me, yet I felt stuck and lonely for a few years. What I once believed was my life was no longer, and it made me lose sight of those who cared for me and I forget my own worth. Everyone's life is worth something. Sometimes people need to be reminded. By becoming too focused on the negative thoughts and short- and long-term things in life, we can cloud the irreplaceable moments and opportunities we have at any given time. This leads to the second lesson I learned: there is a time for everything in life. Written in Ecclesiastes 3:4, "a time to weep and a time to laugh..." Even though our time on earth will not always be happy, we should value the time we have and the life we live to serve Jesus. That is something Lee taught me, especially during the last year of his life, and how he drew closer to the Lord and witnessed to others. As I mentioned in the blog, even during the time Lee was going through cancer, he lived every day to the fullest. It was not because he was always happy-go-lucky, but even when in pain, he loved Jesus and his family. That, to me, is what it means to live life to the fullest. By appreciating the lives of those around you and the time you get to spend with those who love you, it is important to recognize that not every memory is happy, even though every moment shapes us. So, when looking back, I value the good and the bad (trying not to let anguish ruin my life). By sharing my struggles and lessons I have learned, I hope this inspires adults and teens alike to take an opportunity to be with those that love them, and to cherish the moments one has with the people they love. No one knows when anyone else will die or when we will pass. Death can be sudden, and at other times it is slow and gut-wrenching. So treasure everyone around you because no two lives are alike and each is precious.