Homes are being foreclosed on. Jobs that used to always be around are now vanishing. Loans are harder to get now more than ever. The economy has hit all of us in one way or another. Times have changed and we have all had to makes changes in our lives, make adjustments in some ways. Some adjustments were hard, like having to sell our dream homes or watch our cars get repossessed. Other areas we had to cut back in was eating out, going to weekly movies and deciphering what our needs are compared to what our wants are. For a lot of us we got bombarded with difficult times all at once. Not only did we lose our job, which led to the loss of our house, and eventually our vehicle, but then it affected our health because we were so stressed out. To make matters worse, we are now struggling to pay our child's college tuition this year. Does this sound like how your year has gone so far?

At the time when we are going through these struggles we always seem to look up and just sarcastically ask "What's next? What did I do to deserve this? Am I getting punished for something?" What we don't realize is that while we are going through these struggles the courses of our lives are changing for the better. After all, the only direction we can go in after we have hit rock bottom is up, right?

We all believe in something, whether it's God, other religious figures or even the healing power of an Oreo cookie. The point is whatever higher power you believe in, understand that they are transforming your life right now. Know that you aren't struggling because you deserve it, are getting punished for something you did, or that your higher power does not like you all of a sudden because that is not true. Even you know that sounds foolish. Things happen for a reason and difficult times help define our character and make us into who we are as people. Although we may not realize it while we are going through difficult and trying times, know that one day when you look back at everything that happened in your life that you will then understand.

When you think that things just couldn't get any worse for you, just know that when you least expect it, your life will start improving before you know it. Sometimes going through struggles is good for us because it allows us to get rid of what is in our life that is bad for us or that may leave a negative impact. It's extremely hard while you are going through difficult times to see the positive side, but just know that everything will always work out for you in the end.

You may not understand why it happened the way it did but one day, looking back, you'll realize that your higher power did what was best for you, you just couldn't see it at the time.

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle "Mikey" Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice; however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at or


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