1,460 days

 

 

1,460 days.

4 years.

I can still tell you exactly what I was doing when I got the phone call on June 28, 2013. I can still tell you exactly what I was wearing. I can still tell you exactly what I was eating. I can still tell you exactly who called me and what each text said. I can still tell you exactly what time I fell asleep that night. I can still tell you exactly what I dreamed about. Some days, I can still even feel the exact pain that I felt when I got that phone call.

In these past 4 years, I am afraid some days that Nicole’s memory is slipping away from me. I think about her everyday, however some days I am scared that all I can remember is June 28, 2013. In all honesty, some days I am afraid that I will forget about her. For me, the pain does not crash over me as often, but when it does, it tears me apart. I get so angry that I cannot call her on the phone and talk to her. I get so upset that when I go home to McKinney, I have to go visit her grave instead of going to her house. I get so upset when I think about my wedding and having kids and having the reality set in that she will not be there to share in those moments with me.

But then, just when I think that I am about to lose her, she shows up to let me know that she truly has never gone away. She leaves me signs so I know she is still with me.

Tax on breakfast….33 cents.

Order number at Jason’s Deli….33.

Talk on the phone with my mom for…..33 minutes.

Get a text from my dad at……3:33.

Gate at the airport…..D33.

Watching a basketball game and how many points did Steph Curry have……33.

Friend leaves her door cracked and what number is written on the side in pencil….33.

Got in my car this morning and how many miles did I have until E…..33.

Woke up this morning at….6:33.

When I think her memory is fading, I subtly get reminded that she is not really gone. I cling onto any sign I can get, with the hope that Nicole is watching over me, just waiting for me to get it. Matthew 5:4 states “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  I have to rest assured that Nicole has been with God these past 4 years in Heaven, and that is something to rejoice over. I have to cling to the hope that God wrapped Nicole up in his arms on June 28, 2013 and carried her peacefully back to her eternal home. That is what I get the most comfort from, knowing that Nicole is with God and away from this broken world. Oh, how I wish she were here with me everyday, but how selfish am I to want to take her away from where she is now.

For now, all I have is her memory. I can still hear her voice. I can still hear her laugh. I remember her smile. I remember how funny she was. I remember how she was always there for me. I miss getting her advice. I miss driving around in the car with her. I miss everything about her. But, I will carry her in my heart until the day we are reunited again.

I miss you so much Nicole.

[I will leave you with this. It is long, but definitely worth the read.]

“As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive. In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, bu they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything, and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life. Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out on the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out. Take it from me. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive those too.”

Roots Before Branches

“What are you doing after graduation?”

This has been the question I receive about 20 times a day. It is the question that burns in the back of my mind, day in and day out. Yes. Graduation is approaching (51 days….help). Yes. I love my major. Yes. I have somewhat of an idea of what I want to do. No. I don’t have a specific job lined up. No. I don’t have any interviews. No. I don’t have everything figured out….

…..but that’s okay. Isn’t it?

Unless I missed a big memo, it is not a graduation requirement to have your whole life figured out the day you leave college at the age of 22 (or 21). Sometimes I get so caught up in believing that I need to have everything planned out, when in reality I have SO much more of my life left to figure that out, Lord willing. As worrisome as I can grow, I know my feet are planted on such a solid and firm foundation.

[Ugh, okay. Confession time.] I was listening to some of my old music the other day and came across a song from the TV show Glee. The song is titled “Roots before branches” and was sung after the main character graduated high school. The chorus states

“I gotta have
Roots before branches
To know who I am
Before I know
Who I wanna be
And faith
To take chances
To live like I see
A place in this world
For me”

You gotta admit…that is all pretty true stuff. You have to know who you are before you know who you want to be. You have to be planted in a strong foundation first, before you can go out and try and make something of yourself. I stand tall and firm in the foundation of Jesus Christ. I know who holds my future. You know, it is hard to not worry about the future. We are human. Everyone does it. But sometimes, don’t you feel silly when you step back and realize that only God knows what your future holds? In the Bible, Matthew 6:34 states “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” God has a far greater plan for each and every one of us and we have to believe in it! We have to trust in it! When you worry about things, know that God is already at work preparing for you exactly what you need. Not want. Need.

With a lot of people around me getting engaged, getting married, getting jobs, and seeming to have it much more together than me, it is tough to not get a little nervous that I don’t know exactly what I am going to do come May 14. However, I have stayed content knowing that there is much more out there in the world for me. New opportunities are going to arise that I didn’t even think would come my way. New people are going to cross my path. When the right thing comes my way, I will know it deep down inside of me. No doubts. No hesitations. I am content with how great my life is at the moment. I am content knowing the creator of this world has a plan just for ME. I am content knowing I have roots planted in a strong foundation.

…..And you never know how far your branches may stretch once you give the roots a little water.

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To A Second Semester High School Senior, From A Second Semester College Senior

To any second semester high school senior,

Hey! You have almost made it to graduation! I am sure you think you just finished the best 4 years of your life and I am sure you are ready to get to college, right?????? Well, as a second semester college senior, I am here to tell you DON’T WISH YOUR TIME AWAY. 

Going to college has been one of the most remarkable experiences. You think high school was the best four years of your life? Just wait…..college is 100 times better.

Pretty soon, you will be packing up your room, leaving only memories behind. You will be hugging your parents goodbye. Don’t take for granted everything they ever did for you. You wouldn’t be on your way to the beginning of your new life without their help.

“See you later” will gain a whole new meaning. Instead of seeing your parents at the end of everyday, it might be 3 months before you see them again.

All your high school friends may or may not be there when you return home next, so hug them tight before you go. Your true friends will continue to text and call you every day. The rest will just slip into your memory as someone that you used to know.

Don’t be afraid of this new journey ahead. 

The freedom is nice…..but there is going to come a time where you are going to miss having your parents cook dinner for you. You are going to miss having your laundry cleaned and folded for you. You are going to miss “being a kid.” (Thank your parents when these moments come for giving you more than you deserved).

^^^ Good news though….there are A TON of other people in your same exact situation so YOU ARE NOT ALONE. College is your time to shine and find yourself. I will be the first to say, it isn’t always going to be easy. You are going to have some really tough days. Missing home. Feeling lonely. Heart broken. Sad. Hurt. Trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, but there are SO MANY good things that are going to come your way, that all those bad days won’t cut as deep as they used to.

You are going to make some incredible friends that may one day turn into your bridesmaids/groomsmen and maybe even your husband or wife. These friendships will become your support system away from home. Trust in them. Pour into them. Love on them. These people will be the people that you will still call in 30 years just to catch up or get together to hang out with your families. You will need these friends. I promise you will.

GET INVOVLED. Put yourself out of your comfort zone and get invovled in something you thought you never would. This is a great way to meet people and feel apart of something. Why sit at home (oops, I mean in your dorm) alone when you could be out doing something FUN! College is about finding yourself and exploring new things and ideas. You will not grow if you stay in the 2ft. by 2ft. comfort zone that you have created for yourself. You will never know until you try!! This is the time to try new things. This is the time to fail. This is the time to be challenged. Just do it.

Take a lot of pictures. When you’re about to graduate, there will be a lot of moments of nostalgia and it is so fun to look back and reminisce on your freshman days of college. You may even catch yourself saying, “Man, I wish I could go back and do it all over again.” It is amazing to look back and see how much you have grown. Whether you knew it in the moment or not, you were transforming into the person you dreamed of being. Every decision you make shapes who you become, so make every decision count.

Make a difference everyday. Go out and change the world. Celebrate the little things. Laugh until you cry. Be a better version of yourself every day. Remember waking up in the same house as your best friend. Remember all the Friday nights that turned into Saturday mornings. Hold on tight to all your best friends. Let go of the people who don’t matter anymore. One day, you will wake up and you will have 4 years ahead of you. One day, you will wake up and suddenly 3 years has turned into 1. One day, you will wake up and realize that in 3 months, everything is about to change.

And then one day, you will be ordering your cap and gown, about to jump straight into the real world.  Classes will turn into a job. Homework will turn into paperwork. Classmates will turn into co-workers. Professors will turn into bosses.

You will once again be saying goodbye to friends and friends that turned into family. You may never know when you will see them again, but you know if your friendship is true, you will still call/text/see them all the time.

You will once again be packing up your room, leaving only memories behind.

These years go fast, but you are just beginning.

Sincerely,

A second semester college senior

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I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

As a coach, you are supposed to be teaching people things to make them better. However, I have learned that as a coach, you learn just as much, or more, from the people you teach.

PRIME EXAMPLE: I have been interning at D1 for a month now. One of my first days on the job, I was shadowing the rookie class, which is for kids aged 7-11. They were doing a relay race where they had to push a box 10 yards, run 15 yards, run back, and then push the box back to the finish line. One of the groups had the youngest kid in their group. Being the youngest, he is not quite up to speed with the rest of the group, so he struggled to push the box, as it was a bit too heavy for him. His group put him last, hoping they could gain a good enough lead for him. As this kids turn approached, I was getting nervous for him because I didn’t want his team to be mad at him if he lost the race for them. Before I knew it, his turn was up. He started to push and the box was barely moving. He was trying so hard, but the box was not budging.

And then, the most incredible thing happened.

Instead of his teammates yelling at him, one by one, they got right beside him and helped him push the box. They got it 10 yards and waited for him to return for the push back, all the while cheering him on to run as fast as he could. When he returned, they all got behind the box as one unit and pushed it to the finish line for a victory.

Like I said, as a coach, you learn just as much from the people you teach. A great lesson was shown that day.

NO MATTER THE OBSTACLE THAT STANDS IN YOUR WAY, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FACE IT ON YOUR OWN.

These kids did not let their teammate struggle. They met him right where he was and helped him push through the obstacle that was in front of him.

Think about a time where you had to push a box that was too heavy to push on your own. A struggle in your life that was too big to face alone. Whether you knew it or not, you were never alone. God was by your side the whole time. Joshua 1:9 states, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” When life gets hard, God is never going to leave you. Even in your darkest times, God is right by your side. No matter how big or small your obstacle may be, God is always going to get behind that box with you and push through. Ever look back on a difficult time and think to yourself, “How in the world did I get through that?” THAT WAS GOD WORKING PEOPLE!!!!! Only God can get you through the toughest of times if you lean and depend on him. PRAYER IS POWERFUL. Pray without ceasing and know that in God’s timing, everything is going to work out for the best.

Along with God always being there for you, everyone has friends and family that love and support you. Just as God will get beside you to help you push your box, so will they. A true friend will never let someone struggle alone. The Bible shows us many examples of how to be a friend and how a friend should act. Just look:

Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.”

Luke 6:31 “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

A brother is born for a time of adversity. When you are struggling, your true friends will help you get through it. Just like my little kiddos at D1, they will help you push your box and finish your fight. True friends are good to have because there are just some things that you cannot get through alone. They are good for your soul. You should never hesitate to ask anyone for help either. If you truly need their help and they don’t offer it to you, then look for better friends. Seriously. Friends and family are always going to be there to help you fight your battles. Don’t ever worry about facing something alone, but whether you know it or not, there a lot of people in your corner ready to help you. You are always covered in love by more people than you think.

……And if you ever, really feel alone, like there is absolutely nobody that can help you in your darkest time, just remember. God is there waiting on you. He is always there for you. How stinking cool is that?

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It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

“I like to say that although we are called the Moving On Circle, none of us move on without a backward look. We move on always carrying with us those we have lost. What we aim to do in our little group is ensure that carrying them is not a burden, something that feels impossible to bear, a weight keeping us stuck in the same place. We want their presence to feel like a gift. And what we learn through sharing our memories and our sadness and our little victories with one another is that it’s okay to feel sad. Or lost. Or angry. It’s okay to feel a whole host of things that other people might not understand, and often for a long time. Everyone has his or her own journey. We don’t judge. And that as impossible as it may feel at first, we will each get to a point where we can rejoice in the fact that every person we have discussed or mourned or grieved over was here, walking among us, and whether they were taken after six months or sixty years, we were lucky to have them. We were lucky to have them.” – After You

The above excerpt is from the book After You, the sequel to the book Me Before You. ***IF YOU HAVE NOT READ EITHER OF THESE BOOKS OR SEEN THE MOVIE ME BEFORE YOU AND DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS, I WOULD STOP READING NOW BECAUSE MAJOR SPOILERS ARE COMING***. Just know….I warned you. Okay, so in Me Before You, the main character, Louisa Clark, becomes a caretaker for a quadriplegic man, Will Traynor. Throughout her time taking care of him, she finds out that Will wants to end his life on his own because he has grown tired of struggling and cannot find the fight to live anymore. Despite her best efforts, in the end she cannot change Will’s mind and Louisa not only loses a patient, but ultimately the man she loves. At the end of the book, she reads a letter that Will wrote to her (which left me bawling like a baby) and he ended it by saying “Don’t think of me too often. I don’t want you getting sad. Just live well. Just live. I’ll be walking beside you every step of the way.” Ugh, Will Traynor. Still breaks my heart.

The sequel, After You, begins following Lou’s life after Will’s death. She has moved away from her parents and has begun living in a place that Will left her. She has a new job, but does not feel satisfied. She has stopped wearing all her expressive clothes (bumblebee tights included) and has began to live just an ordinary life according to her standards. In the end, she finally meets someone who cracks her and she realizes that she can be the center of someone else’s world and that Will will be okay with her moving on because it’s what he would have wanted. However, throughout this whole book, Lou struggles to move on with her life without Will. She struggles to date. Struggles to find a good job. She is blinded by guilt. She joins a group called the Moving On Circle where all the participants have lost a loved on and have reached out for a support group. After going through a tragic loss myself, I know the pain and dark place that grief can send you. I know the day to day struggles, even 3 years later, of moving on with your life, trying not to wonder about that person. I know the internal battle of not wanting to share your grief because you think people are going to judge you.

You see, I believe that somewhere along the line, society has decided that the amount of time someone is allowed to grieve the loss of a loved one is limited. However, how can grief be limited, when for the rest of your life, your heart will forever have a gaping hole?

Sam, Lou’s new boyfriend in the book, stated it best when he told Lou (after she realized that he had lost his sister to cancer the previous year), “You learn to live with it, with them. Because they do stay with you, even if they’re not living, breathing people any more. It’s not the same crushing grief you felt at first, the kind that swamps you, and makes you want to cry in the wrong places, and get irrationally angry with all the idiots who are still alive when the person you love is dead. It’s just something you learn to accommodate. Like adapting around a hole. I don’t know. It’s like you become … a doughnut instead of a bun.” 

Everyone has their own journey with grief and I truly believe that no one is ever the same after someone dies. Like Sam said, everyone becomes a doughnut. BUT, I do NOT think that grief is a bad thing or a thing that should have an allotted amount of time. One of the members from Lou’s group stated, “I think people get bored of grief,” said Natasha. “It’s like you’re allowed some unspoken allotted time—six months maybe—and then they get faintly irritated that you’re not ‘better,’ like you’re being self-indulgent hanging on to your unhappiness,” and I have never agreed with anything more. I think people think that everyone can only be sad for a certain amount of time and then that person should be able to pick right back up where they left off with no pieces of them still broken. Now yes, there is an unhealthy way and amount of time to grieve, but that will be taken care of if deemed necessary. For everyone else, however, grief is a different roller coaster ride that happens everyday. Some people can recover quickly, but some people tread water, trying to stay afloat for a long time, until one day, they look down and realize they can stand up and not have to swim upstream any longer.

Take it from me. IT IS OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY. IT IS OKAY TO BE SAD. IT IS OKAY TO BE LOST. IT IS OKAY TO GRIEVE. There will come a day, yes I promise there will, when that person’s name will put a smile on your lips before it brings tears to your eyes. There will come a day when you can remember that person with peace and comfort in your heart and know that they are in a better place, singing with the angels and worshipping God, face to face. See, the Bible tells us in Revelation 21:4, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” The Bible tells us in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Heaven is a better place. We have to believe it! During trials and tribulations, God is never going to leave your side. He will never forsake you. If you trust in Him, He will always wrap you in love and peace and comfort, even during your hardest times. One Bible verse that is good to continuously turn back to and remind yourself daily is Romans 8:18,

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Our present sufferings are NOTHING compared to everything that will be revealed to us. Like Revelation states, when we get to Heaven, God is going to wipe every tear away! There will be no more sorrow! No more death! No more crying! Heaven is truly going to be remarkable and I can’t even begin to imagine the magnitude of how glorious it truly is going to be.

I pray that if you are going through grief right now, you can find peace in these words. Do not be afraid to grieve. It is healthy to. It is natural. Be sad. Feel loss and know that one day, you will learn how to float on top of your ocean instead of drown. One day, the sun will start to shine a little brighter. The birds will chirp a little louder. You will feel a release of pain and sadness, as the weight is being lessened off your shoulders. Carrying this person with you is NOT a burden, but rather a gift. In your heart, that person will live forever and no one, I repeat NO ONE, can take that away from you! Just like me and Louisa Clark, you will be able to see better days. You have to be willing to crawl through the valleys in order to really enjoy the view from the mountain top.

You can do this.

You will be okay.

Just breathe.

And one day at a time, just live.

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When The Lights Went Out

October 28, 2016

8:00 am – Leave for Incarnate Word. (11 hours until kickoff)

  • Waking up was surreal. This was it. This was the day that I had seen looming on a calendar since I started playing soccer at ACU in 2013. 18 years of blood, sweat, tears, injuries, love, friendships, coaches, teammates, bus rides; everything had led to this day. I had just boarded the bus for my last game ever. My best friend sat behind me and we could barely speak to each other without getting emotional because we knew what was coming at the end of the day. All I could keep thinking about was the journey that got me to this point. From when I was four playing for the Honey Bees, until now at the age of twenty-two playing for Abilene Christian University. I invested a lot into soccer and I knew this ending was going to hard, but I knew it was going to come at some point.

12:00 pm – Stop for lunch at Subway (7 hours until kickoff)

  • The infamous stop at Subway for lunch. Out of everything I knew I was going to miss from soccer….game day Subway sandwiches were not one of them. Lol

2:00 pm – Check into the hotel (5 hours until kickoff)

  • Things were starting to set in a little more. This was the last hotel I was going to stay at with my entire team. This was my last night to room with my 2 best friends that soccer ever blessed me with. I was trying to take everything in, but it was all too much. I knew when I woke up the next morning, my soccer career would be over.

5:30 pm – Leave for the field (1 and a half hours until kickoff)

  • Last bus ride. Last pre-game jam. Last time stepping off the bus to head into a locker room to prepare for a game. This was it. Time was closing in. This game was happening whether I wanted it to or not. The coaches gave us our last pre-game talk. We could not go on to playoffs and we had already lost our chance to get first in conference, so this game was the best opportunity to just go out and play for fun. Everyone wants their last game to go perfectly and I knew if I stressed out about it or tried to play perfect, that I was not going to get the ending I wanted. I tried to play it cool and act like it was any other game, but inside my heart was pounding. 3…..2…..1. Warm-ups were over. This was it.

7:00 pm – Game time

  • I remember stepping on to the field for the last time. I remember lining up and then turning back to look at everyone else surrounding me on the field. I looked to the sidelines and saw the rest of my team. I was soaking it all in for the last time. I wanted to remember what everything looked like. This was my last time to play with these girls. Last time to play for my coaches. Last time to put on my jersey and represent ACU. This was it. I closed my eyes for a second and just took in all the sounds. The pre-game cheers. The parents cheering in the stands. Then the whistle blow. 90 minutes was all I had.

8:50 pm – The end.

  • The final whistle blew. The game was over. In my mind, it was just the end of another game, until I saw Allie in tears. Wait…..this was the end of everything. In an instant, tears welled in my eyes. Walking back to the sideline, I had my 2 best friends next to my side and we were all crying with our arms around each other. That was the last time we would ever play the sport that brought us together. Then came what seemed impossible. Our fans lined the bottom of the fence, cheering us on for the last time. We turned to walk towards them to thank them and I couldn’t get my feet to move. I didn’t want to go over there because that was signifying the end. Somehow I got over there and more tears followed. I waved up to the fans for one last goodbye. Time seemed to stop. Everything fell silent. I couldn’t hear the fans anymore. I couldn’t hear what my teammates were saying. It was just me. Alone. Silent. This moment will forever be ingrained in my memory. We stayed awhile on the field greeting our parents and taking everything in for the last time. I remember turning around as I left the field and the stadium lights went out. Everything was dark. It was over. This was the end.

The only word to describe the end was bittersweet. I URGE EVERY PERSON STILL PLAYING TO READ THIS. Take in every moment because before you know it, this day is going to come for you. In the future, whether it be in 4 years or 1, your soccer career is going to be over. Don’t take one moment for granted. God blessed you with an amazing talent, so don’t waste it. Use it to its full potential. Soak everything in. The bus rides. The locker room hang outs. The practices. The games. Your coaches. Your teammates. When the lights go out, don’t be left with any regrets because you will never have this opportunity again. Make a name for yourself. Be the best player and person you can be on and off the field. When your last game does come, I hope you can remember how you got to that day. Thank your parents for everything they have done, for they did more for you on this journey that you can imagine. Soccer will always be apart of you, as it is to me, but just in a different way. Be proud of how far you have come. And at the end of the day, don’t forget to thank God for giving you more blessings through soccer than you deserve.

For me, I don’t know what to expect in this next chapter in my life, but I know all good things must come to an end. I have put my trust in Jesus that this is only the beginning for me! “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

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The Day I Realized I Deserve Better.

January 1, 2017.

The day I realized I deserve better.

I woke up FIRED UP about 2017. This year already holds many great things that are going to happen, but I am MOST excited for the great things that I don’t know are going to happen. I love to know how things are going to turn out. I love knowing when things are going to happen, BUT how many things actually go as planned?? You think you are going to go on a road trip, then BAM! Car breaks down. You think you are going to date that one boy forever, then BAM! You break up. You think you are going to have to take a job just because it’s the only one available, then BAM! You land your dream job. It is always the times in my life when I actually have a plan to do something that something else comes up to change my original plans. Seriously, it happens all the time.

2016, for me, was quite the year. There were a lot of times of sadness, heartbreak, and anger, but also LOTS of times of joy, happiness, bravery, thankfulness, and love. I reflected back on how I personally have grown and while I am very proud of who I am today, I am also sad that I let myself settle and think that who I have become is all I deserve. Sayyyyy whattttt???? I know, kind of confusing, but bear with me for a second. During different seasons of 2016, I let myself think that the way I was being treated, was all that I deserved. During different seasons, I let myself think that things were or were not happening to me because for some reason I deserved it. During the different seasons, I began to care more for others than I did for myself. As I rang in the new year and woke up on January 1, 2017, I realized I DESERVE BETTER.

I know I don’t truly deserve anything, for God holds my entire world in His hands. All I am is because of Him. However, how I choose to live my life is my choice. It was my choice to follow Christ. It is my choice to hear Gods calling and my choice to follow where He is leading me. Things were or were not happening in my life because I somehow deserved it, but rather because I had CHOSE to believe that I deserved it, instead of somehow knowing God was at work the whole time. When something bad happened, at the time I dwelled in sadness and pity, but now that I can look back and reflect, I know God was saving me. What I thought I wanted was not what I truly needed and I now can see that God removed me from those situations because He has something better in store. It is like I can hear God telling me, “Don’t sell yourself short. You deserve better. Trust me. Follow me. I will show you.”

Isaiah 43:1-3 “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

So here I am. New year. New mindset. This year is my year. I know I deserve more in all aspects of my life than I have let myself and others tell me. I have no reason to worry for God is my rock. He is my refuge and strength. I had a conversation the other night with my close friend and she said, “The way I see it is, God has this whole thing figured out so why sit here and try and work it out in our heads. His plan is far greater, as is He.” God has my life figured out; I just have to listen. I can’t ignore what He is trying to tell me. I can’t think that things are all that I deserve for God is telling me there is much more to me and my life. BIG things are to come in 2017 and I just can’t wait to see what happens. BRING IT ON.

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