Anya Sifuentes is a high school athlete from Arkansas who has proved that strength comes in more than one form. She has proven her strength physically as well as emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
“It was late September that things just started getting strange,” Sifuentes said. “On October 1, I went home right after I went after school and realized that I couldn’t get in my home anymore.” Not only was Sifuentes prevented from going inside her house again, but her mother made the situation more difficult. “My mom started really acting weird and you could tell that she was late on all of her bills and she wasn’t acting the same anymore,” Sifuentes said. “My mom said that ‘I’m not gonna stay with y’all.’ I thought, ‘Why?'” This left Anya taking care of her two siblings and her nephew on her own. The teen was suddenly caretaker for an entire family as well as homeless.
But Anya Sifuentes didn’t succumb to the stress or the trials she was facing – “I set a goal in my mind. I have a goal to be happy, even though all this is going on and my family doesn’t seem like a family anymore,” Sifuentes said. “I’m depressed and I’m stressed and money is overwhelming right now. I thought to myself, ‘God is the only thing that’s going to get me through all this pain.'”
Now she is thanking God and also running for getting her through such a hard situation. She was able to both tackle her problems and run from them at the same time; see Sifuentes picked up jobs, she found an apartment, and she started paying bills. But when things got hard or she started to feel the pain she ran. And she ran fast, fast enough to be noticed, which is how she ended up being offered a scholarship to run at the University of the Ozarks, which she signed last month.
There are trials that we all will face in life, though they might not be as intense as those that Anya faced, if you can see yourself through them and trust in God you might come out feeling just as she does when she reflects on how much her life has changed. “I just look back and think, ‘This is who you are. You’re someone strong,'” Sifuentes said. “You don’t give up easily. Even though times get rough, you have to keep going. Even though you fall down, you have to keep going.”
Great advice Anya.
Read more about her story and what her Coach had to say about her in your Good News Story of the Day here.
Story and Image from CBS News.