2017 was one of the best years that I have had so far. In January, I went with the girls at my high school to our senior retreat and spent two days with the friends I have grown so close to throughout the previous four years. In February, I spent a day at the beach for Mardi Gras with my best friends (and everyone in the area) and the weather was perfect.

In March, I got to visit my future college with my future roomie and fell in love with my new home. In April, I went to Harbour Island in the Bahamas and came back home to spend my last high school spring break with some of my favorite people – the best week! May was full of celebration and fun – my birthday, graduation, graduation parties, and Hangout Fest. In June, I was able to hangout with my friends that I would soon be leaving and blessed to work with some awesome people. I watched the Blue Angels fly in July, which is always one of my favorite days of the year.

Then came August… From August to December, my family moved me into my cozy dorm. I went through sorority recruitment and talked to some of the most amazing and inspiring people that I have ever come across. I became a part of a sorority and met the coolest girls ever. I did well in my classes and finally learned how to study when finals week rolled around. I started going to an amazing and welcoming church. I realized how grateful I am to be in Tallahassee, but also how blessed I am to be from Pensacola. I understood how important family was on the weekends that I went home. I went to New York for the first time and fell in love with the city.

Needless to say, my year was full of blessings. College was scary to me – but God put me right where I belong. Not only did 2017 treat me well, but it was also a year of internal growth. My relationship with God was tested throughout this year. I feel like when life is going really well, I tend to forget that I have nothing unless I have Jesus. While I had a lot of fun and got to do a lot of things, I grew further from the only thing that can provide me with eternal joy and allow me to do all things. It was not until I attended Passion that I fully understood the extent of how much I need a savior – not just when I feel like I do. I came into year feeling heavy. I was chained to a new lifestyle. I felt like I lost my opportunity to live the life that God wrote for me.

This attitude is exactly what the enemy wants us to have. He wants us to feel like we are too bad, too unworthy, we drink too much, we are too judgmental – there is no way God would want us back. When we let these thoughts take over our minds, we are giving into the enemy. We are allowing him to take control without realizing that Jesus has the victory. When I left for college, my mom started pressing into me that God has a plan for my life but so does Satan.

When I made the realization that the enemy was targeting me, I made the decision to not let him win. When I understood that he was using the things that trigger me the most, I wanted to do everything I could to spot him. I refuse to live another year letting Satan think that he has me in the palm of his hand. I will not let him steal, kill, or destroy any of my relationships, opportunities, or thoughts anymore.

While 2017 will be hard to beat, I believe that God is going to do big things in 2018. Jeremiah 32:27 says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” By giving God control, there will be nothing that I can’t accomplish.