Thursday, July 7, 2016

Why this...why that?

Every time I’ve gone on social media lately I’ve regretted it. Why? Whenever I’ve opened Twitter or Facebook, all I’ve seen is awful news about all these shootings and bombings happening. From seeing the news that Christina Grimmie got shot, to the nightclub shooting, to some mother murdering her daughters, to the Alton Sterling shooting, to another guy getting shot by police in Minnesota; it’s too much. Too much for my heart to handle.  And those are just a few of the awful tragedies that have happened within the past month. It’s scary that I can’t even name all of them off the top of my head; and let me repeat - that have happened within the past month.

{“I have told these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33}

I’m gonna be typing verses/quotes throughout this post because they help me, and I hope they help you as much as they help me.

You never think it’s going to happen to you, or in your hometown until it actually happens; when you least expect it. I learned this when there was a shooting in my local mall. I’ll never forget the horror of seeing the mall that I nearly go to every day on national news. I’ll also never forget driving past the mall when the shooting happened, and seeing all these police cars everywhere. I thought that someone just stole something, until I logged on to Twitter and read that it was a shooting. When the mall reopened, I couldn’t go back for at least a month.

Now, I’ve grown a nasty habit of going out and always expecting something to happen. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even sit in my own home without worrying that someone’s going to target at me through the window. I can barely walk past strangers anymore without having the fear of them pulling out some kind of weapon. I usually like to smile at people, because that’s simply the type of person that I am; but now I’m afraid to. I still do smile at everyone I meet, but I just am more careful now than ever.

I never truly understand why people can be so cruel and make these awful choices.  I mean, I know that it’s because they’re so unhappy with themselves that they want to go ruin someone else’s life. But really, how does that serve them? I really don’t get why hurting people makes people feel better about themselves or life.  What gives anyone the right to senselessly gun someone down just because their pain has built up so much inside?

This blog post could literally be all questions that I have about people, because I just wish everyone would listen to God instead of the devil. He gives us a choice. We can either follow Him and His will and treat ourselves and others correctly, or follow the devil. Some people unfortunately choose the devil’s path, and it just makes me so sick.

Once reading something online about something happening, it’s so easy to get caught up in reading more and more sources about more details. I’m guilty for doing that a lot lately, and it’s been depressing me and has been heavily increasing my anxiety.

A lot of you know I’m starting college soon; and since I’m taking summer classes, I mean sooner than soon. If you read my last post, you read about how I already was feeling nervous about going off to college; such as leaving my family and friends, college rape, and other typical things that tend to happen in college. And after hearing about all these horrifying events happening, you can definitely say that I’ve gotten more nervous about leaving home and going off to college.

My anxiety though….oh my. Let’s just say I’ve had a lot of trouble with trusting God lately. Have you ever just tried to pray and pray and pray and you still feel like He doesn’t hear you? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately, because I’m constantly worried that someone’s going to hurt me or one of my loved ones.

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

Pssst. That’s my favorite Bible verse!

BUT, here’s the thing that God has really been teaching me lately. Anything can happen, to anyone at anytime. Even if some miracle happened where gun violence would stop, or people stopped the violence in general, tragic things won’t stop happening. Horrible things happen everyday; such as car accidents, cancer, injuries, etc. The scary thing is that, we don’t know our futures and we don’t know how much time we have on this earth. God has a path for all of us, so we have to follow Him and trust Him even though we can’t really predict much. We can prepare and dream big, but He is ultimately the one who is in charge of our lives. And these past few weeks, I have been struggling with letting Him be in control in my life. And trust me, when He’s not in control, things can get pretty messy.

“I have to keep believing. He’s brought me to where am I today. If I let these stupid things shake my faith, then I’m letting evil win. I don’t want that, and neither does God.” - New quote from yours truly :)

{“Sometimes God allows terrible things to happen, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trusting Him.” -Christina Grimmie }

We need to enjoy every day on this earth, and find something good in each day; even if we had a terrible day filled with darkness. Live everyday of your life like it’s your last, and enjoy your time with your loved ones. Life is too short to be unhappy; we just need to love each other and ourselves. This has been said so many times, but we need to start applying this to our everyday lives instead of waiting for a tragedy to happen to remember that we need to enjoy our days and the people around us.

{“Till He returns, or calls me home, this is the power of Christ in me.”}

I really think the first step is to fall more in love with ourselves more and more every day, which is something I’ve been working on and have been making progress with for quite a while.

God, I want to lift up the families and friends of all the victims that have died recently. Actually, not just recently, but of all the victims that have died in all the tragedies that have happened in this world. I also want to lift up the families and friends of the suspects, because I can’t imagine what they’re going through either. Now, I want to pray for everyone because we all have dealt with losing a loved one before. We all are struggling with our own issues; whether it's with mental illnesses, physical issues, family issues, the list goes on and on. But God, we need to stay positive and we need to find light in all things. Lord, I pray as we move forward that we can all open our eyes and know that life is so precious. Help us to love ourselves, and to love others. We most importantly need to know You more than anything. Help us to live our lives to the fullest, and to do what we love so our dreams don’t just stay dreams. Help me and anyone else who is dealing with bad anxiety to not be so anxious, yet help us to just trust you. And to be more like you.


Let’s come together and let love win again.

Friday, June 10, 2016

From a senior to a freshman...again?

The day before senior year started, I was honestly already sighing about swinging back into the daily dreaded routine of waking up at 6am (but actually...more like 6:30), tests, homework, people, and a new friend of stress walked in to the list of things to do - college applications and SAT's/ACT's (ohhhh noooo let's not talk about that)! My emotions were a combination of all the angry, stressed, crying, and annoyed emojis (and for those of you who use emoji's, you know there's too many to count). I was already ready to be done. I remember typing a text to a friend/mentor of mine saying, "Ugh, I'm so ready to be wearing my cap and gown and to walk across the stage and get my diploma. I don't want to have another crappy year (the people who know me closely already know this, but my junior year felt like I was walking through a fire)." As I pressed the send button, I started staring into space smiling (you know how you'll think of something either hilarious or something that makes you smile and you'll just spend a long time either laughing your head off or smiling till your cheeks feel like they're going to fall off) as I imagine hearing my name called, walking across the stage like I'm a model doing her runway walk (I didn't actually walk like that...just so you know) and receiving the beautiful diploma that I had worked so hard for. My friend replied to my text saying, "Anna, enjoy this year of school! You don't want to look back at high school and only remember the times that were absolutely miserable." She was right. I knew I needed to enjoy my final year at Atholton High School regardless of trials that I faced. After all, I finally, truly knew that God would never put me through something that couldn't handle.

 Senior year came and was over just like that. So many things changed for the good, and I must say I have learned a lot about myself, life, people, why things tend to happen, why people can be oh so mean sometimes, and the list goes on and on. I grew in every way possibly - mentally, spiritually, and yes, physically as I encountered several health issues. *rolls eyes but then thanks God that He has protected me and that I am alive and well now* As senior year began, I didn't have much to complain about because my classes were extremely easy, but things got real once I had to spend a numerous amount of time typing college essays and preparing for my standerdized tests. To the people who had to deal with me through that process: I bet you guys are either rolling your eyes or laughing at me right now. It's okay, because I can now laugh too about how stressed I was. Let's laugh together! HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. Okay I don't know about you, but that was really fun.



Okay, I'm totally good now. I don't know about you guys, but I seriously love it when I was so stressed over something (depends on what it is) but then once it's all over and figured out, I can laugh about it!

Once graduation day came, it felt really surreal and I couldn't believe that moment was actually happening; but at the same time I COULD believe it was happening (I know, my brain is kinda a weirdo at times) because I worked SO hard to get there. There was a period of time where I didn't know if I'd make it to that special day that I will never ever forget. I made it a priority to make sure I let my family, teachers, and friends know how much they mean to me and how grateful I am to have had them by my side for the past four years. Guys, make sure you tell your loved ones REGULARLY how much you love them. Go do it, right now. Don't wait until you finish reading this, the post will still happily be here. GOOOOOOOO.

So, a lot of people are asking me - what now? For those of you who don't know, I will be attending York College of PA and will actually be starting in a few weeks. I'm doing a summer program where you take classes and earn credits. This is a really great opportunity, because it will give me a jump start getting used to college life. I'm SO excited to go to York, and I'm so happy I picked York after all of those headaches and endless tears; from applying to visiting to retaking my ACT's to seeing which school best fit once I finally got acceptances letters; choices to choose from.

This is a new journey, a new start! New challenges, a new home, new professors (that's getting weird to say, instead of teachers) new everything it feels like! New every day opportunities to seek, and I can't wait. In high school, I was literally the queen of comparing myself to others, so I didn't do as much as I wanted to do. I let my anxiety attack me, I didn't want to try out for this or join this because I was afraid of "getting judged" or "looking stupid." Well, guess what? WHO CARES? If it makes you happy hold on to it. Do you boo, do things for YOU. If people judge you, they're actually really judging themselves. It's really not our place to judge others; even though it may be hard at times not to, let me just scream this out: GOD is our one and only judge. I already know exactly what I want to join and get involved with in college, so I couldn't be more excited to start learning new things both inside and outside the classroom!

Although I am super pumped to begin this new journey, I'm also very nervous. For one thing, I've lived in the same house ever since I was born; so I've never moved and since I'm technically moving out, this will be a new challenge and something new to get used to. As much as I feel ready to spread my wings, I'm very attached to my family and many people back here in Maryland. I'm going to miss them, sometimes I'll have random breakdowns just thinking about it. I've always heard the first few months of college are the hardest, as everyone gets used to being away. I'm so used to sleeping in my own bed, showering in my own shower, and eating my mom's home cooked food.

The next thing I am probably most nervous about is....relationships. Let me get a tad more specific, relationships with BOYS.

Not just lip smooching romantic relationships, but just relationships with boys in general; as friends. I'm all about meaningful friendships that will last a lifetime. For me, if I do decide to get romantically involved with anyone, I am going to make 100% sure that he not only treats me and others well; but treats himself well. I also want him to love and pursue God more than anything. Okay, now that's just me getting off topic and talking about my dream man, so let's get back to why thinking of college boys/relationships keeps me awake at night.

If you've been paying attention to the news and have seen the case with the guys that graduated from Stanford, then you can probably guess; rape. The other night, I watched a documentary called "The Hunting Grounds." As hard as it was to watch seeing girls cry and share their experiences, I'm very glad that I watched and that I'm aware of it. Rape is so much more serious that I ever even imagined before. I honestly don't even know how to approach guys anymore if they don't seem safe. I am a very friendly, bubbly, happy, outgoing girl (um I guess I should say adult, because I'll be 18 in a little less than 5 hours) and it's always going to stay that way. But now I feel like if I approach boys with my smiley personality, I feel they will take it the wrong way (if you know what I mean). I will NOT let guys take advantage of me because of my sweet personality, and I will simply walk away if I don't feel safe. #byefelicia

I don't understand why guys (or anyone, for that matter) rape. If a girl says no, SHE SAYS NO. Take it and roll with it. Be a gentleman, and be a friend. Be kind, and respect everyone - physically and emotionally. I really want to spread this message not just throughout York, but everywhere; because this really needs to stop. Many people have to go through tons of therapy when they get raped, and I can't imagine how traumatic is it. Lord, I hope and pray that this never happens to me; I am going to do everything I can to protect myself and to shine light. Even though the thought of it happening scares the bejesus out of me, I can't let that fear stop me from living my life. Today as I sat by the pool, I said to myself, "Hm, maybe I shouldn't wear a bikini or wear shorts or tank tops, because who knows what a guy can be thinking of doing if I wear those things." But I told myself this, "Anna. Wear whatever you want that fits you and makes you happy. It's good that you are aware of this, but you can't keep letting your fear stop you from living your life. You know how to take care of yourself, and it's honestly all in God's hands."

It's all in God's hands. It's all in God hands. I repeat this to myself over and over again when I feel anxious and feel like I can't get out of my head. Try it, if you haven't. It helps so much. :)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Because prayer is always the answer!

Hey y'all (Now, I'm not Southern but sometimes I like to pretend that I am)! This has been a hectic week, so I apologize that I am late with this week's blog post. I've still been pretty sick (but slowly getting better) and busy with schoolwork and I am also super indecisive so I was having trouble figuring out what I wanted to make a post of!

This week I want to do a post that is a prayer. It always hits me so hard that this world is filled with so much hatred. Every time the news comes on the TV, my mom and I end up looking at each other in disbelief. I know everyone is dealing with their own stresses and daily hardships and it's on my heart this week to do some prayer for myself, my loved ones, and the whole community around me.

          Dear Heavenly Father,

    Lord I thank you for another day today. We are never guaranteed tomorrow, so I just want to start off by thanking you that I woke up this morning, that my family woke up this morning, and that whoever else is reading this woke up this morning.

  Everyday you give us the opportunity to learn and grow and to be a better person than we were yesterday. I thank you for that and I pray that we can use today and every day to step out of our comfort zone's and to make a difference in our lives and other people's lives.

 The reason we tend to hold back is because of fear. We'll seek new opportunities to pursue our goals, but then all of these "What if's?" come into our minds and we tend to overthink. When we overthink, nothing gets done. God, help us not to think too much, but to just DO. Help us to know that we are human and that it is perfectly okay to make mistakes. We can always get back up when we fall down because of your grace.

God, you know that we are all dealing with different obstacles but you are still faithful through the hardships we deal with. You are faithful no matter what goes on in our lives. God, help us to look up and to you, instead of listening to the negative thoughts that come from the devil.

 When we listen to the devil telling us all of these lies, we tend to lash out and take it out on others. Please help us to not handle our pain that way. It is not our place to judge or hurt others because we are hurting. You give us many ways to deal with our pain, and hurting people is definitely not one of them.

 I thank you for hardships, because I know I have grown so much. Just looking over this past year, I had no idea I would where I am right now, typing out this prayer and thankful that I have gone through the battles that I have faced. 

 Help us to smile, be brave, to persevere and to know that we can do all things through you.
(Phil 4:13!)


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My very first blog post...EVER!!'s me. I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to read..


Ladies and gentleman, children of all ages, I'm finally getting around to creating a blog!
It's simply one of those things that we always say that we're going to do but we end up saying, "I'll do it later. I'm too busy right now." But look, here I am and I am so proud of myself that I AM FINALLY DOING IT. Seriously. I'm sitting on a bed right now typing away (using my time being sick with bronchitis well) and I could literally jump up and down and scream like a 5 year old because I am so proud of myself. I'm kinda sorta a lot taller now and would probably hit my head on the ceiling. I'm also not physically feeling so hot so I think I'll pass, but trust me; I am so happy. 

For those of you who don't know, I LOVE TO WRITE. Stories, songs, journal entries, and almost anything you can imagine writing. I love to share my writing with others and inspiring people through my writing. In fact, my absolute favorite thing about writing is when somebody tells me - "Wow, Anna. That essay you wrote really touched me. I could tell that you were really passionate about what you were saying and I could strongly relate to the experiences you were sharing." I love connecting with people. One of the most beautiful things about writing is how it truly helps people connect with one another which forms strong, trusting relationships. It warms my heart so much when people tell me that they can relate to me because I spent a good amount of my life feeling like "nobody understands," or "nobody is on my side through this."

After feeling that way for quite some time, I slowly began to realize something. No one other than God is going to understand EVERY single aspect of your life and how you are feeling 24/7 (Seriously trust me, I learned this the hard way). You may have those people in your life that seem to know you better than you know yourself, or you seem like you are the only one who knows yourself.  But, everyone's different and the journey you are on is YOURS and nobody else's. It's your story. God knows what's going to happen in the book. God knows exactly what you're dealing with, and He gives us trails because He knows we're strong enough to handle anything. We always need to look to Him, because how are others going to understand absolutely everything other than the One who created you? Sure, we tend to go through similar hardships. However, when you really think about it, it's impossible for it to be the same exact situation as yours.

Does that mean we're alone? Of course not. First and foremost, God is always here on our side. He always has been, and He always will be. That promise comes from above. He created you, He provided you with beautiful people and incredible opportunities. We will never be alone. Think about everything God has created. He created you and me; he created animals, the oceans, the sky, the beautiful sunrise that we wake up to every morning. How could we ever be alone when God is there and when He created so much for us? This brings me back to the example of WRITING! Writing is a God given talent and like I said earlier, it's one of my favorite ways of connecting with Him and my loved ones. 

Those are my words of wisdom for my first blog post ever in my entire life. :D I am really super excited about sharing more of my personal life with you all. I'm definitely going to try and be consistent and post every week. The topics will be super random, it could be on my day/week, a lesson I've learned, why I'm obsessed with goats, whatever I feel like writing! If anyone wants to hear about something specific, let me know!

Thanks so much for reading this and I hope you're doing great!

~Anna :)