8 Things I've Learned From A Girl Who Has Done It All

8 Things I've Learned From A Girl Who Has Done It All

Thank you for giving me something to work for.
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Dear Pal,

I am amazed by you. I am amazed by your dedication to everything you do. As I sit across from you right now, hearing about your journey and challenges and daily struggles, I feel blessed to know that you have made time for me. In list form, (for the sake of an article) here are a few things you have taught me that I will never forget.

1. Be strong

I am as strong as I want to be and can do anything that I want to. You have been given an innumerable amount of roadblocks, ones that I cannot imagine overcoming, but here you are. You have proven to be a living example of what it means to have faith in God, and to trust His timing, taking hold on the fact that He won’t give you more than you can handle. I have learned from you what it means to be a warrior and to tackle heavy obstacles through my faith in Him.

2. Don’t compare your story

You have been through hell and back, but when I talk about what happened on my seemingly insignificant weekend, you make me feel as though I conquered the world. You have shown me how important it is to live through your life, and not to wish you were in someone else’s. I have learned through you what it means to be proud of how far I have come, and to keep striving to be my best me.

3. Build others up

Never have I seen you frown and you are always on your A game. You are the sweetest, most genuine person and one who isn’t going to let your bad day tear others down. You have a way of making everyone feel special and loved and necessary, you make me feel important. I have learned through you how important it is to allow others to feel that warmth sparked by positive attention.

4. Give it to me straight

You always say that you’re not good at confrontation, but you have proven to be very wrong in that. You know what it means to be straight with someone, and how to help them be better. I have been known to beat around the bush, but with you, I know that you are going to give someone what they need to know about themselves, in order to help them grow. I have learned from you how to give advice, how to receive criticism, and how to handle tough situations.

5. Live every moment

You recently told me that you wake up at 5 every morning to go to the gym, and are at it until about 1 a.m. some nights; all I can say is that I am shook. Not only am I never going to complain about being tired again, but you have given me the motivation to be better. You take every moment for what it is worth and I’m sure some of that comes from you finding out the hard way how precious life is. You amaze me by how full your schedule is, that if you want to do something, you will find time to do it. I have learned from you what it means to not waste time and how to live fully.

6. Laugh about it

You have taught me that there is a time and a place for taking things seriously, but also a time to cut loose and have fun. You spread your smile across campus, and leave a warm fuzzy on everyone’s heart. Thank you for showing me when it's better just to laugh about it, not stress about it, for showing me that things are always going to get better and that in the moment, we should smile. I have learned from you that I am going to be okay, that I am going to conquer this college thing, and that I should most definitely smile while doing so.

7. Coffee Helps

I love our coffee dates. Seeing you so motivated to be a good teacher makes me want to be a good writer, that’s probably why I am writing this right now. Sipping on a Caramel Macchiato and twirling your pencil while studying away, a small break in your hectic day. I have learned from you that coffee helps. (Okay, maybe I already knew this but I’m telling myself it’s not just me who compulsively drinks coffee to make myself feel better)

8. It is well

Hopefully, you don’t mind me stealing this little phrase from you, I love it so much. Through your stories, through your time, through your help, I have learned from you that it is well.

For those of you reading this, who don’t know Courtney, she is a BGSU enthusiast, the daughter of a fighter, the sister of some warriors, the niece of angels, and a child of God. She is my PAL, and I have been so blessed to get to know her. And with that, I will say thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Erika Glover

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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.
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High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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Even When You Don't Have It In You

For the struggling college student at the start of a new semester.

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The above picture represents a stage in my life that I thought I would never get through. I had just finished final exams and was terrified of the outcome of my last semester as a Junior. I had experienced so many mental breakdowns and anxiety attacks from a series of events and low places that I found myself in throughout the semester, so much that my mom had to stay with me during final exams. I needed encouragement, and I needed it bad.

Kind of like right now, and I'm sure that some of you might find yourself in the same place.

While the start of a new semester looks shiny and promising, there is always that point when reality begins to settle in, and you realize that responsibilities are resurfacing just as fast as they left at the onset of Christmas break.

You show up to the first day of classes, all of your professors throw a syllabus at you, as well as your final exam date, and you begin to feel your forehead break out in sweat. We've all been there, and that is precisely the place that I found myself at while sitting in my first ever 8 AM of my college career.

Not only do we attend classes, but nightly meetings as well, all while attempting to retain a social life and keep up with our mental health.

It's A LOT. I know it. I've been there.

There have been days when I wanted to simply throw in the towel, and quit school altogether.

I have been at the point when I couldn't find even a sliver of motivation to get me through the meetings, the extra credit seminars, work, or even to church.

The feeling of defeat is nothing new to me, but what I have learned is something that will forever be a constant even though my motivation level is not always.

The Lord doesn't love you because you do everything right, or you attend every meeting and aren't a second late... The Lord loves you because of you are His, and that will never change.

See, regardless of our level of perfection in a certain class or at a meeting, he is always constant, always.

Regardless of our inability to give ourselves creditor to take time to breathe, his loves you fully, with no prerequisites.

That is what had gotten me through the majority of my sleepless night when a responsibility or test kept me awake at night with anxious thoughts.

Regardless of our performance, or how good we look to the people of this Earth, our worth is found in God, and we must not let performance or standards of society fog up our sight of that.

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