God Has Made My Life Into A Beautiful Mess, And I’m OK With That

God Has Made My Life Into A Beautiful Mess, And I’m OK With That

Life can get chaotic when you are a full time student, big sister, peer tutor, and social butterfly.

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My name is Olivia Agnes Basant. I am a senior at UWG double majoring in Psychology and Biology with a minor in Chemistry. I have aspirations of becoming a clinical hematologist/oncologist. I'm a friend, daughter, granddaughter, and big sister to 5 little ones who love to create mischief and laughter with me. I am proud of my Indian heritage and I seek to embrace my culture and identity in new ways every day.

Above all else, I'm just a girl who loves her family, school, and all that life has to offer-- even the heartbreaking moments because I fervently believe that there is meaningfulness in all that we experience.

When people first meet me, they usually assume that I am Hindu because of my heritage. However, I am not, yet I am quite humbled to say that I was raised in a household that taught me to cherish, worship, and be proud of my heritage. I was born to parents who immigrated to the USA when they were kids.

They are the best parents any kid could ever ask for. I know I wouldn't be the woman I am today without their guidance, patience, everlasting love, and reassurance that God has a plan for us all. It brings great comfort to me to believe that there is some higher authority mapping out our lives, but then again, that's just my belief. Moreover, who is that girl that's behind the screen, writing what may seem like meaningless platitude?

Life can be chaotic, fast, and overwhelming for all. From the advent of adulthood, we have college classes, residence life, bills, car payment, tuition, relationship, employment, and we often seem to lose sight of ourselves amidst the chaos. How can you find a harmonious melody of all the demands that ever-so-slightly loom in the distance? I cannot speak for all, but I certainly can speak for myself.

Although I may not reconcile with the commitments and diligence that others may possess, I can certainly tell you that managing face-to-face classes and online classes simultaneously, working as a tutor, delving into extracurricular clubs, and all while striving to manage a bond with my loved ones and family is arduous. However, doesn't love to make us do wild things? I love my life and I am so proud to say that I absolutely love the craziness that I get to call my life.

It has taught me how to grow up. To be independent. To become more outgoing. To become the person that I want to be (for myself and for others, too). I can recall from the earliest of my adolescent years rebelling against my parents, so desperately fighting for a chance to be "grown-up" and never accepting that I simply wasn't there yet. I had a bad habit of comparing myself to others, but you can't compare apples to oranges.

They're both fruits, but they are not alike. Similarly, other people are humans, but they aren't you. I have my struggle. I struggled for so long learning to drive and it used upset me seeing all of my friends get their license so quickly, while I was stuck behind the wheel learning. Remember that you are not the product of the circumstances you are subjected to but are rather a product of the decisions you make.

Ask yourself whether or not the choices you are making today are conducive to paving the path for your success. Nothing worth having comes easy in life; what you put in is what you get out. This truism has rung through in all aspects of my life: friendships, education, and acquiring new skills.

By the time you have reached this point in my article, I hope my candid perspective has inspired you to some degree. I hope you always remember to LOVE yourself and to RESPECT yourself. Despite the disparity that some situations may bring, I hope you never lose the ability to find beauty and goodness in all that meets you. Life never stops moving forward, and neither should anyone.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Leading By Christ's Example

What should leadership look like? It should look like Jesus.

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I have been so blessed to serve as President of my sorority for the past year. However, I often think hard about how I am leading and what people think of my leadership. I sometimes wonder if I'm doing it all correctly. Even when you don't think people notice something you are doing, THEY DO.

I think in the world we live in, we have many leaders. Some good ones and some not so great ones. I think where many leaders fall into the wrong is when they try to do it their way and only their way.

For me, I've come to the realization that leaders have the potential to lead greatly. However, it's where we get out inspiration and ideas from. If leaders get their motivation from fame, success, or money, they may find some of those things, but will never be fully satisfied with their leadership.

What's so wonderful about leadership is that we have the perfect example of how to lead. Jesus Christ. He was perfect and He is the example we need to follow, whether that's in leadership or just in general life. Over this past year, I have learned more and more about what leadership should look like when following Christ. It should look like Jesus.

I find this knowledge from not only friends and family, but from the Bible. Specifically, the New Testament. I think it has been so helpful to read how Jesus spoke, acted, and loved others. Even though He was this perfect person, He was still approachable and friendly with those around Him. People felt comfortable around Him. He encouraged those around Him and He loved everyone, greatly.

I think Satan loves to play with our minds. He wants us to doubt ourselves and turn away from Jesus. He wants to throw distractions in our face and turn our motivation to fame, money, success, etc. But it's so important to have your eyes fixed on Jesus. He is where we need to find our inspiration and motivation. He encourages us, loves us, cares for us, and much more. Even when it comes to us doubting ourselves or worrying about what is ahead of us, He has a plan. His plan is so much greater than our own, and He knows our future and our hearts even when we don't.

If you are in a leadership role or learning how to lead, I encourage you to look at Jesus' story. Look how He spoke, acted, and loved those around Him. I encourage you to lead by His example.

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