the best version of you

This type of post is not my usual content and I’m not really sure where this post is going.  Consider it an encouragement/reflection type rant?  It’s also a little long, so kudos to you if you make it through!

(All the flooding recently means lots of flowers so Martha and I ran out for some photos; enjoy the spam ha)

But I’ve heard a couple things the past couple weeks that really stuck with me enough for me to want to share them with you.

First, I arrived on campus on August 18th and am officially a SU Pirate! If you’re on my newsletter list, you’ve already heard the scoop.   After a week of settling in and attending meetings, classes started and I’ve begun to settle into a real schedule.  I also got a job for a few hours a week and am looking forward to attending a couple club meetings.

During orientation week, one event was basically a congratulations/welcome ceremony where all the freshman (about 400 of us…we all fit on one basketball court!) walk down an aisle lined with alumni and faculty to our seats.  They have alumni and current students speak and tell stories about their experiences and goals to succeed.  One alumni centered his speech on one phrase:

“Walk swiftly toward your discomfort.”

That stuck with me for a couple reasons, but I’ll explain those in a minute.

The second thing that struck me is examples.

Especially with the world as corrupt as it is, the younger generation need good examples and role models. Celebrities and famous athletes are not the greatest examples despite how awesome they are at their jobs at times.  But they have a lot of influence.

I have a few people I look up to for tons of things, but even people as young as I am can be examples.

1 Timothy 4:12: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 

I remember looking up to all my friends older siblings with awe. They were taking these hard classes and traveling to these amazing places. I wanted nothing more than to be as cool as they were.  Be able to talk in front of people.   To be as smart as they were.

A couple days ago, my mom sent me a text that a family friend had sent her.  It was only a couple lines, but it made me stop what I was doing and just reread it over and over.   The family friend’s daughter had been actively following me on social media and following my art.  She reminisced about when my siblings and I were younger and how her daughter thought I was great (maybe my art, not me now that I went back and reread it again ;).

Who me? Me me? The person who makes mistakes all the time? Who’s face turns bright red whenever I have to talk in front of people? The one who struggles to figure out every decision? How??

My first thought was to scroll through my instagram feed to find out what exactly I had been posting for this young lady to see. Obviously I don’t post anything inappropriate, but what would someone following me view me as? Was it something that I would want my younger siblings and cousins to look up to?  Was it something I would’ve wanted to see when I was younger?

I am by no means saying I’m a great example. I make millions of little (and sometimes big) mistakes.  I don’t know much, but I can always try to react in a better way to the ever-frustrating world.  Next time you’re posting on social media or talking with friends, remember that sometimes people you don’t even know will be watching.  So, if not for yourself, strive to sculpt yourself into something better for every little pair of eyes watching and for God’s glory.  Always.  This scripture is a little longer but so so true.

Phillipians 3: 12-14: Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Be the best version of you. You can only do that by growing through failures and mistakes. And to go back to the Southwestern speaker – You grow through discomforts. You might totally be uncomfortable and awkward.  You may make mistakes.  But you will overcome it.  And you will be better because of it.  So walk swiftly toward your discomforts and become the best version of yourself. Be a good example by overcoming obstacles.

1 Samuel 16:7: “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees;[a] for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

ALSO this does not mean you need to change your personality or never make mistakes.  You can have low points. Man makes mistakes. We’re human. But you are you.  There are amazing things about you that only you can uniquely share with the world.   But you are trying to bring the best parts of yourself to light and accept that mistakes are okay.

I saw this photo on Pinterest (here) that basically says our God creates mountains and solar systems and brilliant oceans.  And He looked at you and decided the earth needed one of you too.  How awesome is that?  Seriously.  So cool.

My mom says everyone needs a leader; everyone wants a leader.  That doesn’t mean you have to be that leader for everyone, but lead yourself.  And let God lead your life.

 

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2 responses to “the best version of you”

  1. Emma Grace says:

    This was super encouraging, Madison! Some of the things you said made me go “wait… Is she writing this to ME?” 😉 Sometimes (ahem, lots of times) I just really need to hear that (as in, everything you just wrote!).

    I hope your freshman year is full of awesomeness(is that a even a word?!)!

    ~Emma~

    • Madison says:

      I’m so so glad! It’s something I have to remind myself of all the time… we all make mistakes but that shouldn’t stop us from striving for the best through hard work 🙂

      Thank you!

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