It's safe to say this past month has been one for the books. Letting go of friends and finding new ones, second chances, learning who to trust--and who not to, growing up in some aspects of life...all of this combined led to a great deal of learning. I've learned that people aren't always who you think they are, the truth isn't always what you want to hear--or what you want it to be, and that sometimes bad things happen to good people, but good things come from the bad. Also, God has really shown me that what others can mean for evil, He can use for good. I've found that true joy consists of more than just a smile on your face. It comes from a love from the Father that outweighs and overcomes any struggle you can face. It is a passing of fear, a peace that passes all understanding, an unconditional love.
But, in all, these experiences turn out to be something beautiful, something to hold onto, something that brings growth and newness in life. So hold onto them. Hold onto the friends that mean the world to you, the memories that make life worth living, and the love that comes with both. Give second chances freely-but cautiously. Don't take advantage of the people or things that you don't want to live without. Forgive. Forgive those who have hurt you and learn from the experience. And, last but not least, find the beauty in it all--the beauty in the good and the bad, the beauty in the unfailing love of a Heavenly Father, the beauty in the things He's blessed you with...friends, family, life.