Sunday, January 26, 2014
Although there are still 19 beautiful days until Valentine's Day, my roommates and I have already started stressing out about it.If you're like us and worrying about the holiday, I've found a video that really helps put things into perspective. It's by Jamie Grace, the multi-taleneted Christian teen artist. As a single lady she's used to being asked about her relationship status and paints a beautiful picture of the value of relationships. I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday and the upcoming week! Click on the video to begin watching:
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Every high school teenager knows to strive to do well during their junior year of high school. It's the year colleges carefully consider during applications and the year right before all the big tests: SAT, ACT etc.
So what was I to do when I found myself in a difficult situation during such an important year of my life?
My junior year of high school began like any other year of high school. I was determined to do well knowing very well that it was an important year. I had read my summer books and prepped material; I was ready, ready for junior year. However, a few weeks into the year I began to doubt myself. My grades were not pretty and I felt like I was not grasping any material. I was confused and struggling to pay attention in class.
Slowly, I began to panic and worry about my future. As I became more fearful, my situation continued to get worse. This fear began to affect my faith. Although I still trusted in God that everything will work out, I began to ask him why I was struggling at such a crucial point in my life. I wondered if he could not hear me each time I prayed and asked for help.
However, during my moments of doubt, I found strength. Somehow, during all the chaos of my internal conflict, I was always encouraged to face the next day of school or the next big test or the next exam. And as slowly as the panic entered my life, it began to leave. During second semester, my grades began to get better in the very classes I was struggling in before. I found and gathered help from teachers and friends who provided support and encouragement.
Although progress was being made, I still encountered a few setbacks. During the summer after my junior year, I received my AP test score for a class I had been enrolled in. Upon seeing my score, I was bummed. “How could it be so low when I had studied and worked to improve my grade in the class?” I asked myself. Yet, the same hope I found and relied on during my second semester remained present. I distinctly remember praying to God about how although I was not pleased with my score, I would continue to trust him because he promised that all things will work out for my good (Romans 8:28).
And they did…
I can honestly say that my senior year was the best year of my four years of my high school experience. I was enrolled in classes I enjoyed and did well academically. Outside of classes, I began to explore my interests and found issues I was very passionate about. I took on leadership roles I could never have imagined myself taking and had the opportunity to serve my school and community in ways that move me to tears as I write. As the year concluded, I received notice of my acceptance to college. I couldn't help but cry as I realized that God had indeed worked out all things for my good.
I once heard a preacher say, “What is the point of saying you have faith if it can’t be tested?”. If we say that we have faith in a God who is mighty, powerful and fighting for us and expect life to be always perfect, then we are lying to ourselves.
The truth is we all want happiness, joy and peace. No human being wants to experience pain, suffering and loss because they are unpleasant. However, the reality of this world is that we have to… The good news for this world is that we don’t have to endure it alone! We can have hope.
Often times, with a new year we make resolutions. Maybe your resolution was to exercise more, eat healthy, grow in your faith, be a better sister, become more confident, love more, discover a hobby etc. In pursuing these resolutions, we may encounter challenges. We might find ourselves reverting to old habits or questioning if we can accomplish what we set out to do on January 1st. I will like to encourage you to maintain your hope during these moments of difficulty.
Have faith that :
Have faith that :
God will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:6)
Everything will work out for your good (Rom. 8:28)
Change is possible (2 Cor. 5:17)
Hard work does pay off (Proverbs 13:4)
Your mistakes do not define who you are as a person (Isaiah 1:18 )
Happy New Year and I wish you much joy and success in the coming months.
With much love,