This year has been rough...let's be honest. I have been trying to balance the stress of school, friendships, cheer, and church all on my own. Honestly, I have only gone to God for temporary verse encouragement. Yes, His word fills, but not when you are using them for personal gain. I have been going through the motions for the past few months, feeling like a zombie. Ever since my concussion, my mindset is to survive...wake up early...go to cheer...get through homework...go to bed...START OVER. This routine of "surviving" got old very quickly. I recently have  reflected on THRIVING in the Lord each day, instead of trying to survive.

Because of God's continual love & grace, I should not try to survive but thrive each and every day. How can I "thrive" in school? That's my big question. Many mentors have poured into me during my life, and thanks to them, I have an answer: First, see yourself the way God see you! You are beautiful, loved, and a light! There is no reason for comparison, especially the comparing of outward appearances because ultimately beauty radiates from within! Joy comes from the Lord. Dive in with Him, and you will find joy, love, & peace! Second, see others the way God sees them! He sees everyone as His beautiful children. Look around you...these are your siblings in Christ! Love like Christ. Be gracious, selfless, and grateful. Talk to someone you don't normally talk to! There is so much unused time in the day...use it to elevate God's kingdom!

I would like to end with this last point...Everything in this world is temporary & unfulfilling. Nothing truly satisfies and fills our emptiness except for Jesus. Putting hope in the things of this world will leave you broken – empty & craving more. This world is temporary, but heaven is eternal! Why put hope in something that does not last? I choose Christ & an eternity with Him!