To The One Fighting Through The Storm

To The One Fighting Through The Storm

Your greatest test is when you are able to bless someone else while you are going through your own storm.
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Hurricane Matthew is hitting the coast of my state this week. Although this is a physical storm, are there not emotional storms we face in our lifetime? Though they may not cause physical damage like that of a category 5 hurricane, they certainly can tear down walls in our lives and hearts. Wherever you are in your life right now, chances are you have gone through some sort of storm. Whether it be those mid-semester blues, homesickness, the realization that you are failing all your classes, a breakup, the loss of a close friend, anything. Whatever it is, I promise you that you will get through this.

Growing up I always heard the story of how Jesus walked on the water to the boat to meet his cool fishermen friends. I never read through the whole story, so I wanted to hear more about what really went down that night. In Matthew 14:22-36, Mark 6:45-56, and John 6:16-24, the Bible tells us basically that Jesus was chilling with his disciples after healing some people and performing some miracles. Jesus told his disciples to head on out on the boat, he would catch up with them later. He was going to go spend some time praying on some mountain. A little later that night, a storm showed up. Jesus realized his friends were probably having a hard time holding up on their little fishing boat against the heavy winds, so he decided to go help them. But of course he's Jesus, so he didn't just swim out to them or meet them in another boat. Nope, he walked right out to them. Literally walked on the water. Needless to say, his disciples were kind of freaked out. He told them to calm down and then Peter was like wait a second, if you're really Jesus tell me to walk out to you! Peter, you idiot. So Jesus of course said come on out! Then Peter stepped out and started walking on the water just like Jesus, when all of a sudden the storm came on stronger and he couldn't take it anymore. He was afraid he wouldn't make it. He began to sink and asked for help. Jesus reached out to help him up and was like "Dude. Why did you doubt?"

How easy is it to relate to Peter in this situation? Whether or not you read the Bible or believe in God, how often do you find yourself jumping in to something and going all out for it in full confidence just to snap when things start to get tough? The good news is, storms won't last forever. Until the storm passes, however, do not just stay hidden away pretending it isn't happening. Don't bottle up the feelings and feel sorry for yourself because you had a bad day because everyone else had a good day. In the end, it's not what happens to you that defines you, but rather how you respond to these things. A great teacher of mine in high school posted an interesting thought on Facebook a few days ago. The quote read something like "Wake up and say I am not a victim, I am a victor!"

In the middle of this storm, open your eyes to the beauty of the gray skies. Understand that this hard time you are going through will shape you and test you and ultimately better equip you to handle future storms.

Put on your rain boots and jump right into the puddle. Push through the harsh winds and past the clouds. Don't hide underneath an umbrella of fear, but do look for Jesus. He's standing right there beside you in this torrential downpour. Grab a hold of some faith and run through this storm. You'll come out better than before.

Who knows, maybe one day you'll be able to help someone else run through their storm, too.

"And the God of all grace,...after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast." 2 Peter 5:10

Cover Image Credit: We Know Your Dreams

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8 Struggles Of Being 21 And Looking 12

The struggle is real, my friends.
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“You'll appreciate it when you're older." Do you know how many times my mom has told me this? Too many to count. Every time I complain about looking young that is the response I get. I know she's right, I will love looking young when I'm in my 40s. However, looking young is a real struggle in your 20s. Here's what we have to deal with:

1. Everyone thinks your younger sister or brother is the older one.

True story: someone actually thought my younger sister was my mom once. I've really gotten used to this but it still sucks.

2. You ALWAYS get carded.

Every. Single. Time. Since I know I look young, I never even bothered with a fake ID my first couple of years of college because I knew it would never work. If I'm being completely honest, I was nervous when I turned 21 that the bartender would think my real driver's license was a fake.

3. People look at your driver's license for an awkward amount of time.

So no one has actually thought my real driver's license is fake but that doesn't stop them from doing a double take and giving me *that look.* The look that says, “Wow, you don't look that old." And sometimes people will just flat out say that. The best part is this doesn't just happen when you're purchasing alcohol. This has happened to me at the movie theater.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things People Who Look 12 Hate Hearing

4. People will give you *that look* when they see you drinking alcohol.

You just want to turn around and scream “I'M 21, IT'S LEGAL. STOP JUDGING ME."

5. People are shocked to find out you're in college.

If I had a dollar for every time someone had a shocked expression on their face after I told them I'm a junior in college I could pay off all of my student loan debt. It's funny because when random people ask me how school is going, I pretty much assume they think I'm in high school and the shocked look on their face when I start to talk about my college classes confirms I'm right.

6. For some reason wearing your hair in a ponytail makes you look younger.

I don't understand this one but it's true. Especially if I don't have any makeup on I could honestly pass for a child.

7. Meeting an actual 12-year-old who looks older than you.

We all know one. That random 12-year-old who looks extremely mature for her age and you get angry because life isn't fair.

8. Being handed a kids' menu.

This is my personal favorite. It happens more often than it should. The best part of this is it's your turn to give someone a look. The look that says, "You've got to be kidding me".

Looking young is a real struggle and I don't think everyone realizes it. However, with all the struggles that come with looking young, we still take advantage of it. Have you ever gone to a museum or event where if you're under a certain age you get in for a discounted price? Yeah? Well, that's when I bet you wish you were us. And kids' meals are way cheaper than regular meals so there have definitely been a couple times when I've kept that kids' menu.

So, all in all, it's not the worst thing in the world but it's definitely a struggle.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Collins

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10 Things You Can Give Up For Lent 2019 If You're A College Student

Lent is nearing, but what should you give up?

Bryanna
Bryanna
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Lent is just around the corner, March 6th! If you are anything like me, you spend a lot of time searching for what you should give up. I often spend days searching for lists and through social media. But this year, I decided to get a head start on some ideas that are not the traditional people give up such as chocolate or caffeine. There is a ton of options of things college students can give up.

1. Netflix 

Or binge watching in general if you use another platform.

2. Starbucks

What happens if you saved the money and donated to something like World Vision?

3. Social Media

Personally, I gave up social media my first Lent. It was one of the best experiences that fostered a huge amount of spiritual growth! I devoted the time I spent on social media to time with God. It was a perfect time to grow closer to God.

4. Eating Out 

This one can be difficult if your social life often involves food but it is doable.

5. Video Games

If you are gamer this can be a huge thing to give up. But even if you are not a pro gamer, if you devout a lot of time to playing with apps on your phone it could still work.

6. Not purshasing _____

This could be new clothes, makeup or anything that you often purchase.

7. Sarcasm 

Sarcasm is often the language of college students, but what would happen if you changed your language for the weeks of Lent?

8. Junk Food

College students typically live off of Ramen, vending machines and cheap junk food.

9. Sleeping In Late

Similar to social media, you could devote that time being in fellowship with God.

10. Your favorite beauty product or routine

This is one that is very outwardly apparent to others. It not only would free up time to spend with God in the morning, but possibly open up discussions about why you are giving something up.

No matter what you give up, if you spend the time focusing on God and working on your spiritual growth it will be a good season for your Christian life. Good luck!

Bryanna
Bryanna

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