So I know I'm super late, but last Thursday I celebrated the big 2-0. It's weird because 20 year-olds used to be the people that I thought were considered old. So yeah, I guess now I'm OLD. It's cool, though. Another year older, another year wiser... I mean, that's how it works, right?
So thank you to everyone who made my birthday so special. I felt very loved and I am so grateful to have such good people that care so much about me. Seriously though, I really felt super cool every time someone posted on my wall...so thank y'all for all the posts, emails, and birthday wishes. I love y'all.
But really, this past year has been the best year of my life because I've learned so much.
about what is right
what is wrong
who I am now and who I am meant to be
what I really want out of life
what is important and what is not
how to be more selfless and considerate of others
how to let go of things that I can't control
how to trust in and rely on the Lord with all the energy of my soul
that good things and happiness come to those who are worthy
that we experience things because they help us to be who we are supposed to be
that listening is sometimes more important than always having an answer
how to be patient and loving of people, even if they're hard to love
that everyone has something to share
to not make excuses
that humility really helps relieve daily struggles
that sharing and giving of myself is more important than always looking out for myself
to find beauty in the small and simple things
to be grateful for everything, even when I struggle
to always remember what I know, where I stand, and what my purpose is
to be forgiving of others as well as myself
to be willing to sacrifice good things for better things
that just because others may seem like they are okay doesn't mean they aren't struggling on the inside
to be there for others
and that the Lord really does love me and you so much, despite our imperfections.
I just want to say how grateful I am for the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I've really come to love this Gospel with all of my heart. It really lights this fire inside of me that just makes me feel so happy and at peace. Our Heavenly Father knows us, even better than we think we know ourselves. He knows what we are capable of and the worth of our each of our souls is sooo great in His sight. We are so precious to Him. I know that He loves each of us with such a love that I don't think we even comprehend sometimes. I know Christ lived and died for us because of the pure love He has for each of us. He completely and perfectly understands us. He knows exactly how we feel when we are sad and frustrated, but also when we are excited and happy. This Gospel is true. If anything is true and right and good, it IS this Gospel.
This weekend, a bunch of good people and I gathered to watch the CES Devotional given by Elder Russell M. Nelson called Youth of the Noble Birthright: What Will You Choose?. In this enlightening and inspired devotional, Elder Nelson posed eight questions:
1) What will you choose to increase in learning?
2) What manner of living will you choose?
3) Will you establish priorities to help make choices in life?
4) With whom will you choose to associate?
5) Will you choose freedom or bondage?
6) Will you choose to follow the Lord or the philosophies of men?
7) How will you prepare for your personal interview with the Savoir?
8) In whom will you put your trust?
This life is the time for us to prepare to meet God. Life after death isn't just something people talk about and hope for-- it is a real thing. We are going to stand before our Heavenly Father one day.
Are we ready for that?
We can't forget how much God loves us. We are capable of living righteous lives, even if it is hard. It is through those struggles that we find out how strong we really are and it is through those struggles that we realize who we really are and who we really can become. Elder Nelson put it so perfectly when he said "As you choose to live on the Lord's side, you are never alone. God has given you access to His help while you move along mortality's perilous pathway. As you diligently, earnestly pour your heart out to Him in daily prayer, He will send His angels to help you."
It's just really awesome how beautiful life can be.
PS- Don't forget: YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS