So, I know I didn't do a New Year's or "year in review" post or anything...so here goes!
For me, 2018 summed up in one word would be courage. 2018 was the year I stepped out of my fears and anxiety and into faith and trust and courage. I joined my youth's worship team - which was, not gonna lie, really scary at first. But I have been crazy blessed by that and by joining amazing brothers and sisters in Christ as student leaders and worship leaders. This year, our new church became my home, and I have grown so much through it. I started speaking up more and prayed for someone for the first time this year - a super nerve wracking experience, but totally worth it! I shared my testimony with some families and teenagers, led a Bible study, and met a ton of new friends and teens. The Lord has sent so many amazing brothers and sisters to me and mentors and mentees (yes, that's a word now, haha) and I am so grateful for every beautiful soul I saw and/or talked with! I got a spot on our varsity B volleyball team as a setter and I have been SO blessed by the ladies on my team, and I learned so much through that season. Ooh, and we got the opportunity to travel to Cuba in the summer and see some pretttty cool cars, too...
But I won't say that 2018 was perfect. It's the roughest year yet - and there's more to come, I'm sure! Each year will have its own unique challenges and trials - but also joys. I've felt more alone, insecure and hopeless last year than before and there were times when I wanted to quit - but it was in those moments where I felt God the MOST! When I lost two best friends, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace that I've never felt before so strongly, despite the tears and the pain and heartache. I grew stronger through the pain, and from the pain. I'm stronger today because of what I've been through!
Hey there! Today I wanted to share a story with you about a teen girl I knew. It's a true story, too, but I do ask that if you know who she is, please keep her anonymous. Enjoy, and I hope the Lord speaks to you through this!
For a long time my friend liked a certain guy who she saw somewhat often. He was strong, he knew everybody, he loved Jesus and it wasn't a secret that he did. He was courageous, kind, and stood up for people, and wasn't afraid to share his faith. He was very talented and just an amazing guy, she told me. Fast forward, she stopped liking him because she thought he would never like her, a nobody who was often afraid and wasn't super cute or pretty or anything attractive and somewhat awkward.
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
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"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."