Survived and Thriving
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Politics and Activism

Survived and Thriving

It's been a rough semester, but an important one.

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Survived and Thriving

And so ends another semester of college. A semester that was likely the longest, most difficult one of all. Breakups, stress, anxiety, hard classes, life lessons, broken friendships, crushed dreams, struggles with faith, disagreements, mental breakdowns - you name it, my friends and I experienced it all. But the semester is over, and let me be the first to say that we didn't just survive - we're alive, and we're thriving. We've all learned a lot this semester, and not just book knowledge. We've learned valuable life lessons that we wouldn't have learned had we not experienced our various struggles.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F12%2F17%2F636175394279855707-606539983_6361753942750119081973682567_end5.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=133&h=328cf86a490e43bb34bc65b74c246a73518f83984d10eb793c9ad443b00aaa7f&size=980x&c=1455508263 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F12%252F17%252F636175394279855707-606539983_6361753942750119081973682567_end5.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D133%26h%3D328cf86a490e43bb34bc65b74c246a73518f83984d10eb793c9ad443b00aaa7f%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1455508263%22%7D" expand=1]

It's true what they say - there is meaning in suffering. I won't lie, there were times this semester when it felt like the world was closing in around me, and I couldn't feel God's presence. Which is a scary thing. But I learned that faith and love aren't about feelings. Feelings come and go, but God and true love do not. Feelings are good to have, but you can't hinge your entire faith upon them. You also have to trust in God, that He's there despite how you're feeling. Don't be afraid to call out to Him, He'll hear you.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F12%2F17%2F636175382941760061190635422_636175382936135379676438132_end1.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=935&h=8470d01d26c2c60ca7f6126198869b1520a2c21f485f23620f983e26a0993a15&size=980x&c=1390765695 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F12%252F17%252F636175382941760061190635422_636175382936135379676438132_end1.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D935%26h%3D8470d01d26c2c60ca7f6126198869b1520a2c21f485f23620f983e26a0993a15%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1390765695%22%7D" expand=1]

I'm a few months into my dating fast, and I can't emphasize enough how crucial these months have been for me. In stepping back from pursuing relationships, I'm freer to fully embrace friendships with others, and focus on loving others as my brothers and sisters in Christ. It's easier getting to know people without the "he likes me, he likes me not" drama. It's been an opportunity to trust God, and know that His timing is perfect. If He has someone in store for me, He'll lead us together in His time.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F12%2F17%2F636175392378476939238478040_636175392375039671990247871_end3.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=887&h=a753bffc0d2202a61ea67ac54f4e4fcc79567eea2b502d619885a86d045357c9&size=980x&c=3563144115 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F12%252F17%252F636175392378476939238478040_636175392375039671990247871_end3.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D887%26h%3Da753bffc0d2202a61ea67ac54f4e4fcc79567eea2b502d619885a86d045357c9%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3563144115%22%7D" expand=1]

This semester held quite a few overwhelming moments. Moments when my anxious mind wouldn't stop freaking out, when life was full of ups and downs. I realize those times will continue to happen - that's life - but I know I can get through whatever life throws my way. Life's storms taught me how to cling to God, and to take continual leaps of faith.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F12%2F17%2F636175392792652644-30146008_63617539278528572433486926_end2.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=499&h=060df425119b0543a7bbd7d32eecf078f1b0dd8747e237fa8d053b22eb492016&size=980x&c=472018515 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F12%252F17%252F636175392792652644-30146008_63617539278528572433486926_end2.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D499%26h%3D060df425119b0543a7bbd7d32eecf078f1b0dd8747e237fa8d053b22eb492016%26size%3D980x%26c%3D472018515%22%7D" expand=1]

I've strengthened friendships I thought were already strong, I've met people who support me, who love me for who I am, and who have endless patience with me when I need to talk. I've learned how to step outside of myself and be there for people when they need me. I truly don't know where I'd be without these people. Without the struggles we've been through, we wouldn't have learned how to depend on each other.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F12%2F17%2F6361753891389361051539500174_636175389130342591322644471_end4.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=116&h=2d6c93937edc1922ae00834caed3429dec0c2f21991179c7d4056170262feb8f&size=980x&c=1452494075 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F12%252F17%252F6361753891389361051539500174_636175389130342591322644471_end4.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D116%26h%3D2d6c93937edc1922ae00834caed3429dec0c2f21991179c7d4056170262feb8f%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1452494075%22%7D" expand=1]

So thank You, God. Thank you for the hard moments. Thank You for the people who have held me up when life gets rough. Thank You for showing me how to trust You, and how to be there for others. Sure, I complain my way through the struggles sometimes, and I'm far from perfect. It's hard, when you're stressed or anxious, to keep a positive mindset. But I'm trying. I'm a work in progress, I'm a beautiful mess, and that's perfectly okay with me.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F12%2F17%2F636175417746121080-544362028_6361754177401490291846552697_end6.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=467&h=1b2938754bcd1fd962357c56426d614db8dbe001ee9cf57de4e62826f274561b&size=980x&c=3571884887 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F12%252F17%252F636175417746121080-544362028_6361754177401490291846552697_end6.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D467%26h%3D1b2938754bcd1fd962357c56426d614db8dbe001ee9cf57de4e62826f274561b%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3571884887%22%7D" expand=1]

May we keep finding meaning in suffering, letting God shape us how He sees best. To all those who have been there for me this semester - thank you. To God be the glory!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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