"Forsaken, alone, and dusty..."

Forsaken, alone, and dusty. It was beaten up and forgotten. It was in the back of the closet. Specifically, it was on the top shelf in the corner of the closet tilted sideways. The closet was under a set of stairs, a rarely visited place in the family household. It was so dark under those closed doors, one could not count their fingers in front of their face. In the dark, It would wait, waiting to be found and remembered. Sometimes though, It would gain a momentous excitement. When the doors cracked open, a little sliver of light would enter. It would prepare Itself and shine its gold reflective title. The Father or Mother would sometimes open the closet doors. On the seldom occasion, It then would be filled with anxiousness and excitement. The Man’s habit was to grab his coat quickly and then slam close the door. The Woman would reach in and grab a pair of shoes or grab a scarf and then close the doors. Every time this happened It would be saddened and often disappointed, but It never lost hope in Its owners. It would wait there until they were ready.

One time though, there was a rare occurrence. The Children came rushing down the stairs to the closet and swiftly opened the doors. Perhaps this was an opportunity. Again, It shines its golden-letters as bright as It could. The Children were looking for some lost toy or treasure. One was on her knees and other was climbing, peeking onto the upper shelves. The Child reaching up looked right at It. The Child noticed the golden lettering. Could this be the moment? Was It finally going to be brought out of the dark and carried to the light? Was It finally going to find Its place next to a bed or on a coffee table, rather than Its present dreary scenery? The Child store for moment and began to reach for It—but was interrupted by the other Child on her knees finding the old video game they had be on the hunt for so long. Just as quick as they came—they left. It was devastated. It thought truly that was the moment It would finally be embraced again. At this moment, It began to remember memories. It remembers being cherished, being studied, and even treasured. What had changed since then? Did It lose some quality it possessed in the past? Perhaps something changed in the life of its owners.


Several years had passed since that encounter with the Children. It was still on that top shelf, laying there without a purpose. Dust had covered It like snow settling on a dead tree.

The house grew cold. There was no more sound of Children running down the stairs. The only noises heard were the soft whimper of the Father and the loud sobbing of the Mother. Sometimes, There was the echoes of shouting or yelling inaudible words. It knew something was troubling the household.


One day the doors of the closet opened. The Father was standing there for a moment. His face was pale and his eyes were hovering over deep bags. His presence was resembling that of a dying flower, drooping and hunched over. His shadow casted a darkness over the floor and coats. He stood there for moment with no movement. He then collapsed to the carpet floor, desperately searching for something. He was making a combination of disconcerting sounds and grumbling loudly. He worked his way up from the floor to the shelves. When he reached the top shelf, he glided his hand across the wood plank until—he found It. He grabbed and held in front of his face, bending over and staring at It. After a long moment, his face changed from emotionless to one full of anger. He squeezed it tightly. The Father then looked slightly up and yelled “How could You let this happen! You let this happen. They are both gone and it is your fault! You could of sa—you could have saved them from that accident." His lost his breath and then said softly "Couldn’t you have?” His crying became only more bitter and he then continued “They were just Children! Why? Why? Why…” He then dropped It. On the impact of the floor, It opened, falling open to pages 1646-1647. On page 1647 were the highlighted words of John 14:1, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”

The Man noticed the yellow marker streak and read the words. He read them repeatedly. Soon his bitter face changed. His lips started to quiver and his hands started to shake. He gathered himself and rose up. He walked down the hallway and approached his wife in the living room. She was staring into nothing and felt nothing. She was completely still and her face was blank. The husband brought the book to her sight and she read the words aloud in a quiet broken voice “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” She smiled.


It was filled with joy. It was remembered and It was being cherished. Even during Its owner’s pain, there was still meaning in Its Words. There is always meaning in His Words.

Let us never forget to open the Word of God, especially in times of distress. When darkness surrounds us and doubt, depression, and anxiety creep in, we need words of hope. We do not, on the other hand, need the silence around us only to be filled by the crowding thoughts of anger and bitterness. No, we need the words of joy and healing. Christians often forget that.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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I Could Brag, But Why Should I?

Being humble instead of a handful.


When it comes to the opportunities that have been presented to me, I have always been someone who prefers to remain levelheaded and grateful. I have never been the type of person to take things for granted, because I always knew that nothing is guaranteed to me, or to anyone, and nothing is permanent. This can, in part, be attributed to growing up part of a family that had been affected by cancer.

I have been able to remain humble, and I am, quite frankly, really proud of myself for that.

I have crossed paths with many people throughout my life who grew up in a manner that one might refer to as privileged or spoiled. Some of these people really showed it. I cannot speak for all of them, and it would be wrong to do so, because this generalization is one that feeds into negativity. However, I can fairly say that I have spent time with people who grew up in a world where all they knew was getting what they wanted, and honestly, I don't envy this.

When I was young, I dreamed of having a life where everything goes right. I think all of us have dreams like this at some point.

But as time went on, I began to realize, just like anyone, that life just simply doesn't work this way. Or at least, not for most of us. And you know what? That's okay. Actually, that's great. I think it's better that way.

The struggles and strife are what keep us appreciative of the other end of the spectrum. Without the bad, how do we learn to appreciate the good?

I could sit here and tell you I've been through a lot.

I could sit here and write all of the sob stories, the heartbreaks, the grief, the losses, the undeserved backstabs. I could ask for your pity, or your sympathy. But I won't, because that's not the point.

All of us have been through some sh*t, when it comes down to it. But what is telling is how we come out on the other side. Whether we allow those experiences to harden us and turn us into stone, or whether we take those experiences, let them shape our outlook, and use them as tools to grow into softer, wiser, more humble human beings, especially when we find ourselves in a time where things begin to go right for us.

I like to think I am the latter.

Right now, I find myself living the best life that I have thus far, and to be painfully honest here, I could brag. If I wanted to, I could brag about my wonderful friends and the incredible people I have in my life, whether they have been around for a while or only just joined the crew. I could brag about being able to follow my heart in New York City, which is home to my college campus and my dream summer internship. I could go on about the people I get to meet, the things I do, the places I go.

But what's the point? Why should I brag? To establish some bizarre feeling of superiority? To put myself on a pedestal? To use what the universe has brought me as a means of making others feel worse or inferior?

Why the hell would I want to do that? Why would anyone?

In times where we find our hearts happy and our lives fulfilled, sure, it can be easy to fall into a mindset that leads you to believe you are "better than". The real test is fighting this.

I can't say I have never given in and allowed myself to adopt that feeling. I don't really think any of us can sit here and pretend we have never ever acted superior, or felt it. We are human, after all.

But I don't think it is right to allow that feeling to take over, and I don't ever want to let that happen.

When that feeling takes over, we lose our graciousness. Our gratefulness. Our humbleness and humanity. We lose the things that make us, down to our cores, human.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound so good to me.

So, I will continue my daily commute thanking the universe for allowing me to have that. Even when the train is delayed, or the PATH train is crowded, or the tour groups take over the city sidewalks. I will continue to sit at my desk on days when work is slow and I will thank the universe for even giving me that desk, or that work.

I will continue to thank the universe for everything it brings me, because why shouldn't I?

Why shouldn't we all?

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