Elizabeth Chimalpopoca (Class of ’19) shares how she has demonstrated courage at Pacifica.
Courage: Matthew 14:22-33
Courage. The word takes me back to Mrs. Kelsey’s English class during my freshman year. My fourteen-year-old self learned that fortitude is courage, which can be described as being brave in the face of danger. Courage could be demonstrated by overcoming fears, such as: chopping the head off a rattlesnake before it strikes, or using your weight to help pull a stranger out of quicksand. Courage is not exclusively using one’s abilities to surpass others’ physical feats; it is rather an act of selflessness that should impact people in a positive way.
I had to choose to be courageous in moments that felt like thorns and thistles. Peering in from the outside, most people at school may see me as the kind, introverted, diligent senior who is striving hard not to succumb to “Senioritis.” But, honestly, there is more to me that most people do not know about. Although it may look like I have it all together, I depended on God to give me courage to enter through the front gates of school this year.
I had to show courage during difficult moments I faced with my family. Towards the end of the summer this past year, my mom survived a heart attack, as well as an intense pain that came quickly afterwards. A year before that, my family and I went through a similar medical scare, and it was through and by the grace of God that allowed my mom to recover quickly. But, the most recent health scare resurfaced emotions that were left dormant from a year before. It was during this moment when I had to seriously consider whether returning to Pacifica was the best choice for myself and my family. I thought it would be better to transfer to a school in my local district, so that I could be closer to my mom - in case we had another emergency. This potential change would have given me time to take care of my sisters and take over my mom’s usual responsibilities at home.
After grappling with this for a while, I had to learn to eventually surrender this to God and my second mother Mary. I had to trust that they would take care of my family in all seasons of life - good, bad, and ugly. There were moments where I wanted to take full control, but ultimately, everything is in His hands. Similar to Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, I also had to take a small step of faith into the ocean (cue “Oceans” in the background) - the unknown. I had to learn how to trust in God in moments that were out of my control. It took me courage to decide to stay at Pacifica, but I believe and trust that God will take care of my mom and bring full healing.