10 Things I Learned in 2016

1. Love is not based on behavior

Mr. Wright, my former Bible teacher, shared this quote in class. It stayed in my mind and challenged my heart. Despite a person’s mood, we are called to love them in a way that reflects our Father’s love for us. Also, it is a great comfort knowing that God’s love for us isn’t based off of our good works or time spent with Him. His love is given freely by His grace and the sacrifice on the cross.

 2. How to live abundantly

Seasons of trial are sometimes necessary for seasons of growth. I will explain more about this in another blog post.

3. What it means to be free indeed

When Jesus sets us free from past sins and struggles, those things are washed away. They no longer define who we are. We are new creations. John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” 

4. Grow in my gifts

Last Christmas I received my own camera. Since then, I’ve found so much joy capturing moments that only happen once. I’ve also been able to use my love for photography in ministry, and that makes me even happier.

Each Sunday morning, I spend time with the sweetest preschoolers. They teach me so much much about life through their perspective of things. To watch them love Jesus, even at such a young age, reminds me of this life’s purpose.

5. The plans of God are revealed in the Presence of God

Praying about plans and the future, Jesus has shown me that He directs us through His peace and Presence.

6. Nothing can stop or stand in the way of the plans God has for your life

7. My passion for ministry

By leading Impact Bible Study and helping with the MORE group at school, I had so many opportunities to reach others. I was able to encourage, equip, and be an example through praying passionately, joining hands with other believers, planning a chapel service, and going out of my comfort zone in order to engage in public speaking. Our group put so many hours into planning the chapel service, but finding out that someone received salvation made all the hard work worth it and more!

8. The importance of Godly community and deep friendships

We were never created to do life alone. We feel most alive whenever we are in God’s will surrounded by those He has given to us to do life with. He has allowed me to get connected in our youth group, and make deep connections with friends who also have a purpose and passion for the things of God. As I said in a previous blog post, when we are surrounding ourselves with Godly community, and building deep friendships, there will be joy bursting out of our souls.

9. The meaning behind victory days

The purpose of victory days isn’t to be confident in our own strength. Victory days remind us in our weakest moments that God’s strength and peace is always more than enough. They challenge us to persevere, walk boldly, and live abundantly whenever we’re tempted to stop, hide, and fear.

10. To treasure family, friends, moments, and memories

This year has been good. It started out full of trials, but has ended as a season of growth. Jesus has become the one true desire of my heart, and has taught me so many lessons through our walks and talks. He has filled my days with family, friends, moments, and memories I will hold close to my heart forever.

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