Actually, Everything Does Happen For A Reason

Actually, Everything Does Happen For A Reason

No matter what happens, He is good, and He has a plan.
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I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day when I came across a shared article called, "Everything Doesn't Happen For a Reason." Wondering what the heck this author had to say about the subject of hardships and loss, I opened it to see what exactly he had to say. His overall theme was that instead of saying "Everything happens for a reason," which is "bullshit" in his opinion, the only words of solace that should be given are, "Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried."

These words are definitely true. You can't "fix" the grief that comes with the loss of a brother or sister. You can't "fix" someone after they've gone through a major trial in their life. He hit the nail right on the head by stating that. He also made some good points about how those who have helped you in your darkest days, and not said much at all, are great friends that should be treasured. I definitely agree with that too.

However, one of the first things he stated in this article pushed me over the edge:

Let me be crystal clear: if you've faced a tragedy and someone tells you in any way, shape or form that your tragedy was meant to be, that it happened for a reason, that it will make you a better person, or that taking responsibility for it will fix it, you have every right to remove them from your life.

I've faced tragedy. I've lost a teammate, a grandmother, and one of my "bigs" in my sorority. I've seen my best friends lose parents and siblings too soon. I've watched the girls in three sororities on UGA's campus overcome with more sorrow and grief than I've ever seen before. And you know what? I don't think I would've made it out of those situations of sorrow without relying on my Heavenly Father who has a plan for my life.

"Everything happens for a reason." I agree with him when he states that it's one of the most cliche, overused statements used in times of mourning. I can't say it's necessarily my "go-to" statement for reassurance or love. However, I can tell you one thing: there is a reason.

This is most easily taken as "God made my mom die," or "God wanted me to lose my best friend." God never wants you broken. He never wants you angry with Him, and He never plans to "ruin your life." However, He does allow death to happen. Is that something I'm necessarily pumped about? No. But he does promise us this:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11

This isn't an excuse. This doesn't mean that tragedies like a parent's suicide or the Orlando shooting have "good intentions" or aren't meant to leave us devastated. It's OK to grieve, it's OK to be frustrated with God, and it's OK to be heartbroken. But the Lord doesn't want us to run away from Him and be bitter in these times of sadness. He wants us to run to Him and know that He is the source of comfort and peace.

In my opinion, there is a reason we lose people when we don't want to. I think the Lord's hope is that we cling to Him and grow with Him in times of tragedy. Unlike the arguments that the author of this article poses, human comfort and condolences will never fully heal your heart. A friend's support can mask the pain or temporarily fix it, but I can promise you that the Lord will bring you much more relief than you could ask for.

After losing four girls at the University of Georgia this spring, the students in Athens clung to the Lord. They put their trust and hope in Him, and it ultimately brought more peace and comfort than I think any of us could've asked for. It made clear to people who were unsure about the power of the Lord that He is good. It mended broken hearts and brought out a lot of joy. There was a revival in Athens, and it was all because of what the Lord did through the loss of our four good friends. Was it still a sad time? Absolutely. However, the comfort that followed these losses was so, so sweet.

So, Mr. Cynic, there is a reason that bad things happen. No, this doesn't mean that someone should push aside the grief they're feeling. No, this doesn't mean that your tragedy was "meant to be," or you have to take responsibility for it. This doesn't mean that it's not OK to be sad. It doesn't mean you can't be angry with God. However, this means that the whole purpose of the bad things that happen in your life is that they're going to show you the power of the Lord. He is the ultimate healer and the ultimate comforter. And whether you like it or not, He is your only source of hope and joy in your time of need.

Cover Image Credit: Christy Quinton

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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If God Didn’t Intend For Women To Be Equals, Why Did She Make Us So Incredible?

Yeah, I said She.

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An article that absolutely infuriates me has gone viral. As a feminist, as a writer, and simply as a woman, it drives me up a wall to see another woman proclaiming that God's plan for women was to "submit to their husbands."

I don't know where to start with all the issues I found in reading the piece, so I'll start with what a feminist is. It's a subjective term and its connotation varies from person to person.

But to me, feminism is being empowered and expressive individuals with open minds and open hearts. They are activists for change and equality. They have concerns about the environment and global warming. They acknowledge issues within sexism and racism and then try to figure out how to solve them. They see that the world isn't perfect.

Feminists are the reason we can vote. They're the reason birth control is an option for us. They're why we're allowed to wear pants. They're why we have careers. The female pioneers paved the way for anything we're allowed to do, and they are why we celebrate the power of women every March.

But instead, the woman who wrote "I'm A Christian And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals," used our month of pride for clout. And took justification from The Bible to do it.

The Bible is not an instruction manual. It was written over many, many years by hordes of sexist men whose existence we have minimal proof of. And over the last thousand years, it's been translated and reinterpreted more times than anyone could ever keep track of. That's not to say it doesn't have some good lessons, but lessons are all they are.

Thinking your worth and capabilities were planned for you thousands of years in advance is ignorant. Religion and The Bible and God are as subjective as feminism. Everything is open-ended. One person's view of who or what God is not going to be the same as the last.

Commonly, God is seen as a man at the center of the universe who holds all existence in his hands. He is the reason why anyone does anything. He is the rule maker. And He is judging us and waiting for our every mistake.

But as a proud feminist, I've chosen to have my own idea of this holy being. I wasn't brought up in church, but I decided to believe in something much greater than myself or anything I've ever seen just because I wanted to. I want to believe that faith has to come from somewhere, and I didn't want a book making the rules for me.

Just by watching life move through time, I happen to believe God is the good in all of us. Not one being, but he beginning and the end of everything. The push and the pull. The conscious and subconscious. And considering that God is the creator, I've concluded God must be a woman because women are the creators.

And in my experience, women have proved themselves to be much stronger and more capable than any man.

As for what She creates, I think She makes no mistakes. I think She tests our patience and beliefs by giving us what we don't expect. There's intent and love in everything She gives us. I think every woman was made to be relentless, imperfect, fearless, and even a little rebellious.

And if we're saying Adam and Eve were the start of it all, then God proved that right off the bat. God saved the best for last, and then made her a badass. Yes, the first woman came into this world as a rule breaker. She questioned authority. And since the beginning of time, authority has been a snake. The world is our forbidden fruit to bite.

The sole purpose of a woman isn't to submit to anyone. A woman can do whatever she damn well pleases, just as any man. A woman's worth isn't tied to what kind of wife or mother she is and how closely she follows the rules. I was raised by the most incredible mom and wife. She did happen to stay at home with me and be the traditional woman. But while she was home, she taught me how great it is to be a woman. She made sure I knew I could be whoever I wanted and would pay no consequences for that.

My parents didn't raise me in a church. And I never saw that as a flaw or lack of judgment. My southern home was like a church; full of faith and love. But on Sundays, we would sleep in and have a big breakfast at noon because we had too much fun staying up late Saturday night dancing around our living room to music. Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, and Madonna led the choir — singing about independence and the power of being empowered as women.

As a feminist, I will not judge those who haven't accepted all the honors of being female. I can just tell everyone how wonderful it is to stand for something. I can set an example so that more women will go forward.

And despite what anyone thinks of feminism, there's nothing exclusive about it. Feminists don't think they're any better than men, they just want the chance to prove their capabilities. It's so much bigger than thinking men suck. The truth is, we should have men at our side, not in front of or behind us. And not for romantic partnerships, but as allies. The best men are feminists too. We can make this walk alone, but there's power in numbers and in diversity.

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