Be Brave in 2014

Hey Y’all! Greetings from Georgia! I arrived to Athens January 6th and head to D.C. the 18th where I’m volunteering with the Southeast White House! Working with the SEWH is something I’ve wanted to do for a year now so I’m very excited and grateful! More to come on that later!

Since arriving in Georgia I’ve been staying with the Woodcock/Hydrick families and have spent my time exploring and having fun! I went to Chick-fil-A for the first time in my life and discovered that I love waffle fries! Calli and I also impulse pierced our ears and that involved lots of laughter and left us with a great memory! I’ve decided that while gap years are for learning and growing and discovering, they are also for having fun and living life! While in Georgia, Calli and I helped volunteer a few times at a youth ministry at UGA so that was a great experience!

The main reason for this blog post though, is to tell you about being accepted to College of Charleston! I wanted to give you a little bit of the back-story behind my acceptance because it taught me quite a bit about where I find my worth!

About a year ago, a good friend challenged me to write down 3 things that I thought were impossible. Here is what I wrote:

  1. Finding a person to take a gap year with
  2. Going to Nepal-working with the sisters of Charity
  3. Being accepted to a good college where I will have friends (College of Charleston)

On the bottom of the card was written, “For nothing is impossible with God” Luke 1:37

A year later and two of these “impossible” things turned out to be not so impossible! And while I’m not traveling to Nepal this year, I am traveling to Ethiopia where I am working at an orphanage/hospital/school! I remember actually shaking as I wrote these 3 wishes because I realized they were out of my control in many ways. I also remember contemplating if I should even write down College of Charleston as the school I wanted to go to because I was so fearful of possible rejection.

So this past fall, when it came time for early admission, I decided to apply to College of Charleston. The process didn’t come without some tears though, because once again, the fear of failure was present in my life. I had put a huge pressure on myself to prove to those who had told me I was stupid because I was homeschooled, or who had assured me that taking a gap year would look bad on an application, that I could in fact get into one of the top universities in the country.

And so during the application process I lost sight of the fact that applying and being accepted to a college has to be for me and not something I just do so that I can prove my worth to someone else!

Now, looking back, applying to college hasn’t been the only time I’ve tried to base my value on what I could achieve. I realized I’m learning that what the world puts value in and what I put value in are not at all what Jesus puts value in! Whether I had been accepted or rejected from school, Jesus would love me exactly the same!

I found this quote the other day: We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit. (EE Cummings)

How loud this quote rings true on my own life! I hope in the upcoming year I am able to believe in myself and love myself not because I have accomplished anything or because I even deserve it, but because I know Jesus loves me. If I could really believe that, I think I will be able to take more chances, try more things and live more wholey because I wouldn’t be consumed with the fear of failure!

May we all find the courage to put ourselves out there when need be, to base our worth in Jesus, and to not let our fears hold us back from following whatever we believe to be impossible!

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

And, because I love this song and these women embody the word “brave” to me, here is a lovely bing commercial!

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