August 17th, 2015: A Few Things I Learned

Devotions

Hey y’all! Sorry for the lack of posts the last few months. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I would bore you with all the excuses I have for not “having enough time”, but instead I’m just going to get to what’s been on my heart!

As some of you know, I graduated high school in May and I’m off to college (in a week to be exact.) As I closed one chapter of my life, I began to think about what this next chapter would hold. I thought back to the summer before my eight-grade year and the kind of dreams I had for myself. The kinds of goals I set. The kinds of expectations I had. Where I wanted to be in 5 years. I wanted to share what I learned over the last 5 years of my life and how those dreams, goals, and expectations shaped me into the woman I have become. While I am far from perfect or having all of the answers, I wanted to simply share what I learned!

  1. Make up your mind, and don’t waiver.

As the great theologian Katy Perry once said, “If you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything.” This could NOT be more true. If you don’t have your mind made up before you walk into a situation, you will be pressured into making a decision you will most likely regret. When I was making up my mind throughout high school about who I wanted to be in those next four years, I resolved certain things. Firstly, I didn’t want to get caught up in a high school relationship and leave my girlfriends high and dry. Secondly, I knew I didn’t want to get involved with drugs. Thirdly, I didn’t want to drink a drop of alcohol. While I somewhat failed at the first resolution, I stuck with my convictions about the last two. I had made up my mind. People would tell me, “Just have some fun,” or “Stop being so high strung,” but let me tell you, I didn’t need to do drugs or drink to have fun. I had plenty of fun doing other things!

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

  1. Make your own road and build your own gates.

Your journey will look completely different than your best friends, or the girl you Instagram stalk on the daily. Don’t go down a rabbit trail trying to be someone you’re not. Trends will come and go. When the trend fades, you’re stuck being someone you swore you’d never be. And if you don’t trust me, trust the Bible.

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

When you follow everyone else you’re going to be deceived and trapped. It’s. Not. Worth. It.

  1. Boys? Stay away.

Okay that’s a little harsh, BUT true. I had a boyfriend the majority of high school, so this was one of those things I learned the hard way. I learned SO much from that relationship and I can honestly say it taught me so many good things. When I met my high school boyfriend, I was not looking for one. Honest to goodness! I had my mind made up that I did not want a high school relationship. I ended up getting into that relationship, which was very healthy for a high school relationship, but I almost lost my best friend. We lost touch, felt disconnected, and it was a really hard time for us. Don’t get me wrong, I know many married couples that met in high school and have been married for 15+ years, but they will tell you that it did not come without struggles and hardships. And I’m sorry, but that probably won’t happen to you. I’m sorry to burst your bubble. As the great theologian Taylor Swift says, “When you’re fifteen and someone tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them.” #TRUE. Let’s learn from Taylor and agree that she just got her heart broken. It’s not worth it! When you are seeking a relationship, you gotta check your motives. Is it because you want someone to buy you dinner? Take you on dates? Like .02% of high school guys will ever live up to your expectations. They may make you feel head over heels for a few months, but when things break off, you will realize that things weren’t so perfect and now you’ve got some serious emotional scars. Trust me on this one!!

  1. Girlfriends? You NEED them.

I hear people ALL the time saying, “I just don’t like girls. They’re so fake. I like to hang out with guys more.” Y’all I get it. Guys are usually more fun. They laugh at your dumb jokes, they don’t care what you look like, and they’re way more relaxed, but you NEED girlfriends in your life. Girls will be your number one supporters. They’ll call you out when you’re wrong. They will build you up. When you find the right type of girls to be friends with, they are going to push you to be the best version of you. I had a few friends that were fake, mean, and didn’t truly care about me, but then I met true friends. Girls who tell you when your dress is hideous, that your hair looks terrible, or tell you when you’re being mean to your mom, are the girls to keep around. I promise they exist. Don’t let the mean girls in your small town or huge youth group rob you of healthy friendships. When you meet girls who share your values and want you to see the best for you, you’ve hit the jackpot. This is also Biblical. #surprise.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 

Oh, and the Bible also tells you that bad friends (friends who encourage you to do wrong and lead you down the wrong path) are bad for your soul.

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

  1. When you get that stomachache because you know you shouldn’t be doing something, call your mom.

I’ve been there a few times. You got into something you didn’t mean to get into and you feel like you can’t turn back. Just turn back! Call your Mom. Call an Uber. Call someone. When you start to get that sick to your stomach feeling… That’s your conscience (aka The Holy Spirit). I can’t tell you how thankful I was when I left a situation unharmed because I called someone. When you’re somewhere you’re not supposed to be, I can promise that your mom or dad will be more than glad to pick you up before you get into any trouble. Trust your gut.

  1. It’s okay to be different

Wanna look like every other girl on the block? Act like every other girl on the block? Talk like every other girl on the block? Okay well you do you Boo Boo, but that ain’t me. #sorrynotsorry. Don’t let ANYONE tell you that your convictions from when you were 13 are outdated and make you a prude! Those are lies from the enemy! As you get older, you’ll get told all kinds of things: “When you were a kid, you were just naïve!” or “As you get older, it’s okay to start doing certain things because you are more mature.” RUN from those people! RUN. Don’t let anyone tell you that God’s truths are wrong, outdated, or lame. While the world may say these things, God has your best interest. ALWAYS. Pushy guys will try to test your limits, mean girls will say hurtful things, and crazy moms will say CRAZY things, but God calls you to be set apart. He says, “You are made new through Me, and you will look different than the rest of the world.” If you don’t believe me, believe the Bible!!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:19

In the end, YOU are the one who has to look back and take responsibility for your actions. But if you lose everything trying to become someone you’re not, what’s the point? Again, if you don’t trust me, at least trust the Bible!

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Mark 8:36-37

So here’s to a fresh start. It’s a new school year. A new day. A new week. What are you going to do with it? Write down your goals. Write down your dreams. More importantly, seek God. Chase Him. He’s the only one worth the chase. Pinkie promise, y’all.

Love,

Hannah

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” Ephesians 3:20

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