Today, I am thankful. A few days ago I bought my first set of books for my Junior Year. Many of you do not know what I endured to get to this point. Words can not describe how blessed I feel to be here.

I remember leaving James Madison during the first semester of my Sophomore year. I had such a rough time there. I was sexually assaulted, and a constant victim of racism. At one point I was even suicidal. It was a lot, but I made it through. I had a true group of friends that taught me the importance of taking care of myself. Every life experience that I have gone through has helped me get to this point. Every struggle, disappointment, and heartache was worth it. Today, I am healthier than ever, not only mentally, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Did it happen overnight? Absolutely not, but through each and every trial I became a better me.

Often times we get so frustrated when we go through a storm, or when we are put through a test. Today, I encourage you to embrace the rain, and the storms. Learn to dance whether it’s raining or the sun is shining in your life. Each obstacle is apart of your story. These are growing pains that you are feeling. I know that they hurt, but never forget that the pain that you are feeling does not compare to the joy that is coming (Romans 8:18). Be encouraged!

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