His Steadfast Love

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

My all time favorite verse from the Bible and why exactly you all should read it and adopt this way of loving others because we are so undeserving of this love, but it will forever be freely given to us.

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Psalms 136 is all about God's love for us and how it is steadfast. Now, when i first read that I didn't quite understand the word steadfast. I mean I knew what going steady was like back in the day dating, but I didn't understand what steadfast meant. So, I luckily pulled out my phone and typed in my google search "steadfast."

The meaning of steadfast is this: resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.

Now let's put that into our verses and see what God is telling us through this new definition.

God says in every. single. verse. of the entire passage this phrase "for His steadfast love endures forever."

GUYS. are you seeing what I'm seeing? God tells us that His love, His freaking love will never falter, it'll never waver, it'll forever be there for you and me. God will forever love us no matter what we do or say because His love for us is firm and unwavering. This is so amazing.

How could we ever deserve this? How could us sinners face God and ask for His love even when we make mistakes and fall short of His expectations. I'll tell you how we are able to receive this type of love. It's all because of our great earthly messenger: Jesus. When Jesus took the burden of all our sins on the cross and died an awful death He was only thinking about us. Before He died He literally said that God should not punish those hurting Him because they did not know of what they were doing.

Guys. we don't deserve His grace and we surely don't deserve His forgiveness or love. However, God is wanting to give us more than just this. God wants to give us all the beautiful things that this world has to offer. He wants to save us from ourselves because the love He has for us is never going to falter. That is so unbelievable. I truly think that I'll never be able to wrap my brain around that concept.

People, this is why this passage has spoken so many volumes to me. My greatest fear in life is never finding someone that can truly love me as I am but jokes on me cause I've had this person my entire life. I was just not in touch with my faith and I didn't have deep roots or an open relationship with Jesus. My heart did not know of His true glory and joy that He brings into every life He touches, but once I did, I couldn't get enough.

I want you all to love people just as God loves us. He wants you all to love your neighbor as you love yourself and as He loves you. Take His lessons on steadfast love and apply them to your own lives. Become the person in your life with a strong and unwavering love for everyone. I know that I strive each day to do this and even though I fall short I have faith and know that God is using me and nurturing this love for others as a way to spread His word.

God is so good. So, please adopt this way of love and come and enjoy His goodness with me!

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To The Person Feeling Like They're Losing Their Hometown Friends

Don't fret to much, if they are truly your best friends, you aren't gonna lose them.

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When you grow up and leave home to go to college or whatever your plans are after high school, you and your hometown best friends promise to make time for each other. You promise to always get together over breaks and to visit each other if you aren't going to the same schools or living in the same town.

But you realize over time that maybe those promises aren't gonna be kept.

Life gets complicated. School starts to become harder and harder, there are extracurriculars and work, and trying to figure out the rest of your lives; things start to get in the way. Visiting starts to happen less and less, getting together over breaks gets more complicated, you try to stay in contact but the hours in the day seem to get shorter and shorter. There are too many things that you have to accomplish in one day that it's difficult to know if you can even get together.

You start to ask yourself "Am I losing my closest friends?"

And the answer to that question is no, your lives are changing and things are starting to become real but they will always be there. Just because you don't talk all the time or you go a few months without seeing each other, they are still your friends. They will always care and always be there. Don't stress about it too much, they are always gonna be there, it's just that your lives are pulling all of you in different directions and it can get hard to keep up with everyone because you are all so busy.

You are growing up but you're not necessarily growing apart!

If they are truly your best friends they will always be there, and you there for them. As time goes on, your lives will continue to change but you are always gonna be friends. Just know that they are there when you need them, and when you do get to see each other, it's like nothing has changed and you pick up right where you left off. Your friendship is important to all of you. Don't let a little bit of silence or a busy life cause problems. You haven't lost them, trust me, you all are just figuring out life. Don't take it personally when you don't talk for a while.

"Amigas, Cheetahs, Friends for life" — Cheetah Girls

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Life May Hand Us Lemons, But We Have The Power To Make Lemonade

A story of strength, perseverance and courage.

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The first time I met Hannah was at my high school senior year prom. Although I only knew about her reputation of being an incredible gymnast, I could tell through the few conversations we had that she radiated strength and courage. I was fortunate enough to get to know Hannah on a more personal level through developing a close friendship and as well as becoming sorority sisters. What many don't know about Hannah is that she is a survivor. She has persevered through multiple experiences that have molded her into the strong woman she is today. I am writing to share parts of her story that need to be understood. Thank you, Hannah, for not only sharing your story of bravery but also inspiring so many individuals to never give up on the fight for justice.

At the young age of one, Hannah began her gymnastics career and eventually started competing when she was seven. On average, she trained six days a week for five hours each day, while also fitting in her schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and personal life. As her competition seasons went from January to May, she would travel to compete in around 10 meets a year. She spent tireless hours in the gym practicing and conditioning to prepare for these highly intense competitions. Hannah describes gymnastics as both a mental and physical sport. She expressed to me, "I never knew what types of injuries could result from the skills I tried - whether those skills were in routines on bars or beam - I was scared of what would happen to my body if I fell." Despite the physical and mental challenges that came with being a gymnast, she never gave up on her goals. She competed at one of the highest levels in the sport and in 2015, Hannah won the Level Ten Junior Olympic National Beam Champion Title.

Hannah was always a role model to the younger girls at her old gym. They looked to her for support and she never hesitated to stand up for them, even in an incredibly competitive environment. She explained, "Although I loved gymnastics, practice was under very brutal circumstances. There were many injuries, tough workouts, and rigid coaching techniques," which is safe to say her journey as a competitive gymnast came with many highs and lows. Hannah experienced multiple severe injuries, which led her to become a patient of The USA gymnastics national team doctor, Larry Nassar, at Michigan State University. With his high credentials and time spent with the USA gymnastics team, the gymnastics community (specifically the coaches) restricted athletes from the care of any other doctor in order to take time off of training. Larry, now an American convicted serial child molester, has been sentenced to life in prison for the appalling, manipulative actions he took towards the athletic community.

In January of 2017, Hannah spoke out to defend her and the many other victims who were manipulated, abused and assaulted by Larry. She courageously stood up in court to express her testimony, describing the pain and trauma his disgusting actions put his patients through. She used the power of her words, to directly express to the face of her abuser, "Life handed me lemons and you best believe that I am well prepared to make some lemonade. You cannot break me. I am a survivor." Hannah is a survivor. An inspiration. A hero. A fighter. And she has never stopped fighting for not only her justice but also the justice for all victims of assault.

Hannah's perseverance is astonishing. Since testifying, Hannah's fight has not ended. She continues to empower others through her positive mindset and courageous heart. Survivors continuously reach out to Hannah from other schools, states and even countries expressing how her story has impacted their lives. Many have explained that hearing her story has empowered them to come forward and receive the justice they deserve. Hannah spoke twice at the United States Senate and provided statements during press conferences in attempt to make a safer environment for athletes in recreational, competitive and professional sports. She has used her voice to hold the individuals accountable that covered up Larry's abuse for so long because unfortunately since 1997 there have been multiple reported cases of abuse, but no action was taken when these victims' reported their stories. They were shut down for questioning his credibility. Hannah explained, "People attempted to report assault, but MSU, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and USA Gymnastics were all apart of the cover-up process, which ultimately enabled him as an abuser."

In her own community, Hannah began spreading awareness through an organization called Speak Your Silence. The mission of this organization is, "To help those affected by sexual abuse and assault move forward to live great lives," and to support this cause Hannah began raising money through designing and selling her own t-shirts, hosting events at local companies in the area and increasing awareness at her school. Hannah was a keynote speaker and advocate for sexual abuse prevention at the Chicago Children's Advocacy Center Luminary Award Dinner. She helped raise over $400,000 dollars to support this organizations mission to, "unite public, private and community partners to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of abused children." Hannah also hosted a self-defense class at a local martial arts center to empower the strong women in her community.

Hannah's impact has continued to grow through her time at college so far. At Iowa State University I can truly say she has made a remarkable impact on the campus through her servant leadership. She has used her experiences to stand up against sexual assault and violence in not only her own community but also on a large university campus. Hannah was a featured speaker at the Iowa State women's WE Lead conference in November of 2018. This conference focused on empowering women through leadership, networking and influencing others. This year, Hannah developed an entire philanthropic event through Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Delta Pi at Iowa State called Live Your Oath. This organization recognizes the need to bring awareness and conversation about sexual assault prevention on college campuses. This year Hannah and her committee were the first to create a meaning behind the oath taken at the event, which states, "No matter where I am, no matter who I'm with, consent is always mandatory. I pledge to stand by survivors and not engage in any acts of sexual assault."

Hannah confidently states, "Whatever situation you find yourself in, you can use what you've gone through to help others and make a positive impact." She inspires me every single day by her courage, grace, but also her authenticity and individuality. She has made me want to become a stronger woman. She wants to stress the importance to her survivors, "if you or someone close to you has been affected, never feel like you can't seek help." Put yourself in the shoes of a survivor. Be their support system. Listen to their stories of perseverance. And help them fight for their justice by making a difference in your own community. Hannah, you defeated this monster, but that monster will never defeat you. You are strong forever.


Resources for support-

Please visit these websites for more information.

Speak Your Silence- https://speakyoursilence.org/#

RAINN- https://www.rainn.org/

Chicago Children's Advocacy Center- https://www.chicagocac.org/who-we-are/

Central Iowa ACCESS- https://www.assaultcarecenter.org/

Live Your Oath- http://www.liveyouroath.org/

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