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May 14, 2024

Y'all, when I say it is getting real, I MEAN IT. I am officially one week away from graduation. This past week has been full of all the senior activities and it truly feels unreal. From walking the halls of my past elementary school to having senior breakfast this morning. It is absolutely crazy to see me and all my friends preparing to go off to college, join the workforce, enlist, or begin on  whatever God has planed for us. I feel like it was just yesterday I was looking up to those seniors walking down the hall in fifth grade thinking that would never be me. It felt so far away, yet here it is. I am honestly more than excited to go off to college, I was able to have my graduation party two weeks ago and that really just got me in the zone, hearing stories of friends and family that are either in or graduated college, makes me want to move in tomorrow. I will be honest though, it has not always been this way.

Me and my parents were talking a few days ago about how if wasn't for all God has led me through, I would certainly not be where I am today. I am living proof that everything (the highs, lows, and in-betweens) all happen for a bigger purpose. I opened a letter yesterday that I had written to my future self in fifth grade. On that letter it said, "I Will become a pediatric neurosurgeon" little did I know God had so much planned in the seven short years ahead. Now my goal is to become a pediatric physicians assistant. Partly because I discovered school to become a neurosurgeon is a bit too long for my liking lol; but mostly because as I sat in the hospital during my anorexia stay, the PA's and nurses who treated me were undoubtedly some of my biggest supporters I my recovery. I look at each of them now and want nothing more to be in there shoes inspiring and being an example for other children in similar situations.  So, I went from wanting to become a surgeon to having aspirations of becoming a peds PA as a result of a battle God walked me though. Now hold up a second, this decision did not come that easily either because for a second there I thought about not even going to college. In the midst of my battle with depression in January of 2019, I truly thought and had my parents thinking I was not going to go to college, or honestly thinking I may not ever leave there side. Now I know your probably thinking, "really never leave your parents side" but I am being so serious. My anxiety had become so strong, I felt there was no turning it around. Yet here I am today, planning my apartment decorations, submitting job applications, and preparing for my first year at University of Alabama. Looking back I am grateful for all God has brought me through and the way He has changed my dreams to align with trials aI have faced. 

I say all of this to serve as a reminder that God is not done. You may feel like this is the end all be all, but believe me when I say God has greater plans. I don't know what my future looks like, but I don't need to because The Lord does. So I challenge you, as you graduate, finish out the school year, get a new job, go off to the military, start a family, or any take part in any other endeavors that lay ahead, I want you to engrave Philippinas 1:6 into your minds. "I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." 

 

April 8th 2024,

Happy week after Easter. I haven't been able to update lately because life has been a little all over the place. However, I hope each of you had a relaxing and sweet Easter. I had a great time, my brother was able to come home from school and we were able to spend time with him which was awesome. Then I got to spend last week which was my senior Spring Break at the beach with my best friend. It was quite chaotic down in Panama City taken the entire senior class from every school in the country is there (or at least this is how it felt) but we truly had a great time soaking in the sun and prepping for SUMMER!

 

All that being said, I had a huge realization on our way home Thursday. As we were driving home, literally less than half an hour from the house, I got a call from the apartment complex in Tuscaloosa am supposed to live in come August. The call was to inform me that I no longer had an apartment. Now let me just preface this by saying we have been in this apartment search nightmare for the past several months. Partly because I am difficult and particular when it comes to things like where I am going to live, and partly because apparently EVERYONE going to University of Alabama wants the same floor layout I want. I am not exaggerating when I tell you I have gotten my hopes up and been told I had an apartment under my name three times, just to receive a call back canceling it. So, you can guess when I received this call on Thursday, I sort of started to panic. Was I going to find another place? Was this a sign that I shouldn't live at this complex? Why was God making this so difficult and stressful? I found myself racking my brain asking all these questions, complaining because I didn't have an answer, and being doubtful and negative as a result of my impatience. It was in this moment God reminded me of something. 

For the past week I had been sinking my feet in sand, feeling the warm bright sun, enjoying delicious food, and looking out to see His wonderful ocean, for goodness sake after all these blessings and here I sit complaining. It opened my eyes to see how quickly we can lose sight of the gifts from God just to dwell in the "uncomfortable situations". For a few minutes I had completely forgotten about the amazing trip I had just graciously been given simply because something wasn't going according to my plan. Realizing this reminded me that God is using this college craziness to teach me and show me that I AM NOT IN CONTROL and that is OKAY. Being someone who struggles with terrible anxiety and major obsessive compulsive disorder, times when I feel out of control can lead to lots of worry. God is using times like these to remind me that HE IS IN CONTROL not me. He knows the better plan, the perfect plan and nothing I do or say can change that truth. I love the verse Proverbs 19:21, "Many are the plans in a persons heart, but it's the Lord purpose that prevails." If you are like me and find yourself wanting to be in control, I encourage you to memorize this verse and use it to combat those intrusive thoughts. I pray you have a great week and look forward to our next update! 

 

March 5th 2024

Good afternoon everyone! I am so glad you took the extra step to check in today and read the latest update! I pray that you have all had a positive and productive week so far. I know Monday's can be especially hard but it is important that even if our day didn't go as planned, we wake up tomorrow ready to start fresh. I have been a little bit overwhelmed just because we have a lot going on these next couple of weeks. This Thursday we have a STAND club meeting, Friday is PROM (side note, I am so excited for this! SENIOR YEARRR), Saturday I am running in a SPARTAN race and then next weekend is the STAND Club Easter Egg Hunt! If you don't remember from last year, the egg hunt is an event we tried to host but it ended up getting rained out. So after stuffing well over 3,000 eggs with candy I had to unstuffed them so that the candy wouldn't go bad and we could reuse the plastic eggs this year. Long story short, WE HAVE A RAIN PLAN THIS YEAR! I am hoping that though this event we can bring awareness to the goals and ideas of STAND of Stronger Together And Never Defenseless Club and promote positive mental health as well as sharing resources all while having a good time. I'm talking food trucks, face painting, egg hunt, games, prizes, a petting zoo, and even a human sized bunny! So, if you don't have plans and are in the West Georgia area, I invite you to come to this awesome event. It is next Saturday the 23rd from 9-11 am at Central High School! 

If you have been reading my posts, you know I have been consumed with college stuff. Trying to decide where to go has been a bit stressful. Many opportunities have opened up but aI have had a hard time finding the best fit. So, this weekend me and my parents went up to Tuscaloosa to apartment search for college at University of Alabama. While at first UA was not my top pick, God has answered my prayers. I have been praying fervently for the past few months that God would lead me right where I was meant to be and I guess his plan was UA. We went to tour and I was still a little uneasy about it, it was not my top choice but after this past weekend, I could not be more excited. We were having very little success with finding a place for me to live and then it was like God placed the RIGHT person at the PERFECT time Right in front of us. I knew it was all God's plan and witnessing what happened truly changed my view on going to The University of Alabama. To say I cannot wait is an understatement, I am beyond excited. It is officially official, we have the merch and everything so ROLL TIDE! But in all seriousness, I share this because it is proof that God hears our prayers even when He doesn't change the situation immediately. 

Aside from all the crazy, I wanted to share how amazing the Radient Teen Conference was. I am so glad God opened that opportunity for me to speak and I really feel like my testimony made an impact in many of those girls lives. I ultimately pray that girls don't see me in my testimony but rather our Great God. I pray that they saw the amazing things God uses are struggles for and how He can turn something so difficult into something so beautiful and I hope that all of you see this truth as well. It serves as validation to me when I hear people come up to me afterwards and share their personal struggles or even when they ask me simply to pray with them. It opens my eyes to see how God uses us anywhere and everywhere. It reminds me that even when the devil tries to make me doubt, God has so much more power. This is something I really have to work on, I tend to let satan creep in on me after I speak, making me think I didn't connect to those listening, making me feel like I told "too much" or "not enough", and overall just be down on myself. However, it never fails whenever I feel this way those around me serve as a reminder that these thoughts are lies satan is trying to use to get to me. I have to slam the door on satan and rejoice in all God's ways. 

 

 I know this week was a little bit all over the place, but I really just wanted to share what was on my mind this afternoon! I hope each of you have a great week and I look foward to talking soon! 

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