Do you ever see people on Good Morning America or read about them in the newspaper and you’re just naturally drawn to them? Like you think to yourself: “Man, she looks like someone I would be friends with!” or “I bet he has the best laugh.”?
I remember being a 10-year-old girl and watching the TV in wide-eyed disbelief over the Elizabeth Smart case. Her disappearance. Her amazing return. And the life that unfolded afterwards.
For most people, that would be it: the astounding miracle that occurred before our eyes. Life goes on.
But for me, she’s just always kinda stayed in the back of my mind. I was fascinated by her. I felt connected to her in some way. And tonight, I found out the reason why.
Elizabeth Smart came to talk at my college as part of our convocation series this semester. She shared her story with us—with a smile on her face, wit and charm in her words, and an incredibly infectious and lovable personality. It was incredible to hear her reflect on that time in her life and have her share the knowledge and wisdom she gained from the experience with us.
She had already wowed me with her (and her mom’s) message of choosing happiness in every thing we do. But when it came to the Q&A, when a brave soul asked the Bible verse that got her through her kidnapping, my mouth fell open when she shared with my peers, my own favorite Bible verse.
“No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with testing He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”(1 Corinthians 10:13)
For anyone who knows me, this Bible verse has been my favorite for some time, as it’s gotten me through quite a few testings. It’s also one that I’ve been patiently waiting to have inked on my wrist; endure, that is. (And, I’d just like to note, it’s not your average “favorite” piece of scripture!)
And I suddenly realized why I had always kept Elizabeth Smart tucked back in the corner of my mind. As she said tonight, had her ordeal not happened to her, she wouldn’t have been standing before me tonight. But she was. And the path that I’ve taken in life, and the things that have happened and the choices I have made, led me to my seat (after waiting 2 hours) to hear her speak tonight.
To hear her tell me to choose happiness. To share my favorite verse.
I was supposed to hear her. To meet her.
We endured. And we will endure.
Every thing truly does happen for a reason.