My second year attending college I moved 300 miles away from my home of six years and entered a private Christian college. I was thrilled that I was going to attend my first pick school. My favorite class was English I with Professor Wilcox. He encouraged creativity and open thought which was right up my alley.

Throughout high school I has been pretty much told what to write and what to think. I enjoyed the challenge of his vague writing assignments; it made me have to really think about what I put down on paper.

As the school year progressed I became very ill and missed several of my classes. I apologized over and over to my professors for missing their classes, and I did the assignments out of hospital rooms or between trips to specialists and weekly doctors visits. At the end of the term my medical condition had improved some and I was able to start doing some of the extra credit to make up for my daily grades. I worked double time to bring my grades up.

The day of my English final, Professor Wilcox approached me and handed me a single sheet of rose pink paper. He told me to read on my way home to Texas. I decided that I couldn't wait and the second I stepped into my dorm room I opened the paper and read aloud. He had wanted to thank me for encouraging him throughout the school year.

In his letter he described the plight of a young woman, the youngest in her class, struggling with sickness and a full class schedule that somehow managed to pull herself up by her bootstraps and muttle through the year.

The last line of his letter read as follows: "I have watched you thoroughly enjoy yourself in my class, and I have read of your struggle against all odds to stay in school. You truly personify my favorite verse in the book of Psalms. Thank you for showing the world how to be brave and how to rely completely on God." He then went on to quote the following verse: "I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand; I will NOT be shaken." -Psalm 16:8

I hadn't realized it at the time but everything we do and say affects other people. My being sick had helped a professor I barely knew to get through a very trying time in his life. I just want everyone to know that even though things may seem rough, there will always be better days ahead.

Copyright © 2000 Crystal Trzcinski