Lessons learned thus far:
1. God is so so great. I cannot believe how many times God has subtly reinforced the fact that He loves me and He daily is drawing me near to Him.
2. Family is to be cherished and not ignored. I am so grateful for the fact that I learn this lesson before its too late always. It happened with my grandfather, and my father and now I have learned to share how much I love respect, and honor my family.
3. Life is a beautiful mess. Sometimes we go through situations we cannot control, nor can be steer away from them without getting a little messy. I always thought I could stay uninvolved and that way I wouldn't get my heart broken, there is no way you cannot steer away from getting your heart broken unless you live under a rock.
4. Forgiveness is about bearing the pain yourself and letting the other person go free. Which can be depicted by the cross. My Uncle reminded me of this, and I believe its true. So often when I forgive its too hard, and I tend to bear that pain until God wipes it away. But forgiving someone is about giving restoration and sometimes not receiving it. Or at least its been my experience.
5. I love Gods call for my life with all of my heart. He had such a great call attached to my name when he created me, and I cannot wait to find out all the details. I am excited, and scared at the same time.
6. Sometimes your plan (now speaking of social work) isn't always the plan that is enacted. I planned for two years to attend social work for my third year. Im currently going into my third year as a CSI/crim major, taking poli sci courses and community development. I love my classes, and I am excited for what God will teach me through my obedience.
7. Best friends are forever. No matter what: people may come and go, boys may walk in and out of your life, family might be messed up and crazy -- best friends will always be by your side. I praise God for the amazing friends He's blessed me with. Its been a wonderful ride so far, one that cannot be mistaken for anything but Gods divine hand.
8. I love working and serving people with all of my heart. There is nothing more fullfilling than walking through a crowd within the community talking to teenagers and kids alike that you can show God to. Serving at the center has been so amazing, going to Ark Aid, street light, and even serving your own friends and neighbors brings life into my lifeless soul. I praise God for designing me this way, that I can find extreme joy in serving Him through His children.
9. Pain is gain. The hard times brings wisdom, knowledge and discernment. I praise God for the things I have had to go through in my lifetime. I have not had it hard, but somethings have bruised and scarred my heart. It is so hard to go through those things unscathed, but I have managed to stay close to the heart of God. Sometimes I cry out "why" but this year I have learned to give thanks for even the hard times. Through those times, I can acknowledge someone else's pain through empathy, and be the love God would show.
10. My father was the greatest love of my life. He always cared, always endured, always prayed. My father showed me love at its greatest capacity, especially within the last year of His life. He would change his wake up times for his meds, just to wake me up in time for work. He would talk to me about any problem in my life. When I got a haircut, he would looked shocked at how beautiful I looked. His love was one that endured, and was always there. Its hard when a love like that vanishes from your life. I have learned (through trial and error) to not look for it in just anyone. I have learned that the man that will be in my life, must love me just as God would love - as reinforced by my father.
These are things I have learned up until today. Tomorrow I will learn another lesson.
Life is a beautiful mess.
-Jessica Elise Justrabo.