I was looking in my email for something the other day, and I came across an essay I had sent to my mom back in high school to print (keywords, amirite?) I obviously had to look at it, but what I saw surprised the poop out of me.

It was an essay I had written about leadership because I had become co-captain of my cheer squad. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read it. Here is a phrase that stuck out to me the most:

“I always felt I was more meant to blend in rather than stand out. There was really nothing special about me, I did not think, and if there was, I tried to hide it. I just wanted to be a part of the crowd: equal.”

WHAT. That was me?! I honestly couldn’t believe it for a second because now, I feel a certain sense of confidence in who I am. Heck, I’m writing this blog because I truly believe I could help some people out with the knowledge I have. I also think I’m hold at writing, which makes me special in a way. We’re all special and we deserve to recognize that in our lives!

So, here’s the moral of the story.

1.) you were born to stand out.

Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

There is something inherently special inside each and every one of us. Find out what gift God has blessed you with and USE it to help others!

2.) take a second to recognize how far you have come. I used to be a shy, timid girl who would let others walk all over her. I never spoke up for what I wanted. I never spoke out against what I thought was wrong. Reading this essay made me see the person I used to be in such a new light.

It also gave me a new appreciation for who I have become. I’m still a work in progress, we always will be. But I know that I have come so far, and I am choosing to be proud of how hard I have worked.

So I encourage you, take a look at the kind of person you used to be. How have you changed? How have you grown? I know you’ve come so far, too. Never stop chasing those dreams.

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