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We have all been through things that have made us believe that it cannot get worse than it is. It has made us turn away from those we love, it also has brought us closer to those who have been there from the start.  It may have been physical pain, it may have been emotional hurt, and it may have been a combination of the two. Whatever it was, it shook us up and it broke us down.  Something that I have come to learn is, with every up there is a down. But, it goes the other way too. With every down there is an up.  In order to get back up it takes strength. It takes perseverance, and trust me when I tell you, it takes patience. At the beginning of the year I felt that God was telling me something. I felt he was telling and nudging me to keep my faith and understand that there is a plan. As the year moved on it went to remembering who I was and who my identity is. Then, everything will be ok, I cannot do anything on my own, I am loved more than I could ever understand, I need to pray and listen, I need to have courage, and now I feel that to end off the year, God is telling me to have strength.  It is as though I am His warrior that He is preparing for a war.  Yet, as I look back at all of these lessons, I am seeing that strength was something that I needed to gain and focus on in order to successfully understand the other lessons.  Many things this year have brought me to my knees in prayer, and Christmas has not even come yet so the year cannot be finished.  My motto at one point was “in the end everything will be ok”. This means that despite the lowest of the moments, eventually things will be ok and I need to have strength to remind myself of this small seven word principle.  When I started allowing myself to give in and say “I cannot do this on my own”, I felt the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. A lot of times I would keep things to myself and just assume that they would go away if I did not focus on them.  I am here to say that this ideology was not a good one. Something I had to learn through this was that true strength comes from admitting, sometimes in tears, that something is wrong and you need help to fix it or get through it.  Whether it was to God, or it was to a friend, in the end things were resolved and I was able to have a clear head when helping those around me. There are people out there who love you. There is a God who loves you!! I hope that who ever reads this understands that I am being honest when I say that sometimes things are hard and it sucks and it hurts. But, I am also saying that out of it you will get stronger. Sometimes in order to come out stronger you need to be broken down and submit everything.  Also, you are not alone.

1 Peter 5:9 says Stand firm against Him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”

This past weekend I told myself that my friends and family sometimes need to be the pillars to lean against, but the foundation that we are all standing on is our faith in and our love for Jesus Christ.  Strength can come from lifting weights or running a mile everyday. Strength can also come with the pain and the suffering. You can do it! You can stick with it! Just remember what goes down must come up! Remember you are loved, and remember that no matter what you are no alone!

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