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SOPHOMORE YEAR RECAP (happy summer!)



FINALLY!


SCHOOL IS OUT FOR SUMMER!


The older I get, the more excited I am for summer to come. I used to cry on the last day of school; now I cry because the last day of school can't come soon enough. At the same time, the start of summer creates a slight twinge of anxiety because I'm yet another year closer to graduating, moving away, and figuring out what to do with my life. Which is slightly terrifying.


Nevertheless, I am so excited for summer. There's so many things I'm looking forward to: sunshine, hanging out with friends, getting my upgraded license, summer cross country training. As I look ahead onto my calendar that's slowly filling, I can't help but look back on the past months of hard work, hard lessons, and incredible memories.


My sophomore year has probably been the year of the most growth and maturing. I honestly don't even recognize the girl I was as I entered into my second year of high school, and while it was such a difficult year for so many reasons, I'm so thankful for the healing and hard lessons that are shaping the person I'm becoming.


As I'm reflecting on the school year that's coming to a close, I want to share some of the highlights with you - but not just the good. This recap is going to encompass the good and the bad, and some of the biggest ways I've grown throughout my sophomore year.


Chapter 1: The Cross Country Season

I know I've said it so many times before, but these distance people are my people!


Cross country season is always one of the highlights of the year, and honestly such a saving grace during the stress of school. We made so many memories and became really close. As runners, we see each other at our best and at our worsts, and man, our season really was described by that. We felt like death as we ran in the heat and battled injuries, and we processed hard things together. We came out of the season stronger than what we came in, celebrated PRs, and spent a whole lotta team bonding time together.


Our XC season was full of highs and lows, but it was most definitely one of my favorite parts of sophomore year.


Chapter 2: When Wednesday Became the Best Day of the Week


Sometime during the fall, I started attending Switch regularly, a youth group through LifeChurch, and it quickly became my favorite day of the week. I found community and a place to belong at church, which my heart so desperately needed. Switch was the space I needed to worship passionately, find mentors, and simply feel wanted. Finding a youth group that felt this much like home started to make the biggest difference in my life, and I am honestly so, so grateful.


Chapter 3: The One Where Jesus Became Everything


No one wants to go through heartbreak. No one. But I've learned that the heartbreak is what it takes to strengthen your faith and push you closer to Jesus. Without the heartbreak, we wouldn't be able to heal and grow and learn and become our best thriving and healthy selves. Without the heartbreak, we wouldn't be able to appreciate the small things or love so big or trust in the Lord with our whole being.


A really big part of my sophomore year was the heart work and healing I had to work on. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. and I'm not done yet, but this chapter deepened my faith in ways that are difficult ways to explain. I've experienced the Lord's presence in the valley and peace when grief could have overtaken me. I learned to lean on Jesus in every moment, in every emotion, and in every hard thing, because He will hold you close, keep you safe, and love you more than anyone else ever could. This chapter was by far the hardest one of the year, but it probably was the most important.


Chapter 4: Surgery Time


The one thing I didn't want to hear: surgery.


If you missed the full recap of why I had to have surgery, then check it out here, but long story short - the extreme shin pain I had while I ran (which I had dealt with for almost two years) was not actually shin splints and could only be solved by surgery. It was not the news we were hoping for, but it was a relief to have a solution to the pain I had lived with for so long.


Recovery took much longer than usual, not to mention that it hurt a lot, more than we had expected. The surgery and recovery was a major part of my life, and while it was hard, it was a necessary reminder to appreciate and enjoy the little things, especially the things that seem like a given, like they'd never be taken away. Because believe it or not, nothing is a given except for the love of Christ.


Chapter 5: The One Where We Danced the Night Away


One of the highlights of this school year was the Snowball with my best friend Piper. You can find the full recap here, but honestly, it was just such a fun night of memories and dancing. We got to enjoy simply being together and laughing as we took pictures, had a simple yet special dinner, and danced the night away. It honestly reminded me that sometimes, all we need to do is just let go and celebrate how far you've come and allow yourself to dance and sing and enjoy this beautiful life God's given us. Hands down, this is one of my favorite parts of the year, and I'm going to cherish the memories we made for a long, long time.


Chapter 6: She's a Track Star....or maybe just a manager


As track season began, I felt so excited to be able to start running again and be with my team again. I knew straight off the bat that I wouldn't be able to race quite yet, but running felt so good. I embraced my role as manager and tried to be my teammates' biggest cheerleader. I absolutely loved supporting my team and being able to make some incredible memories with them, even though I wasn't able to run like normal.


As far as my running went, it was looking really good for a bit, until some new pain and sensations arose in my incisions/shin area. I'm still working on figuring that out, but I am so thankful for this track season and all the memories we made. We laughed and cried and acted goofy, and dang, every day I am reminded of how much I love these people. What a great way to close out the year!

 

This school year was a tough one, but it was also filled with so many amazing memories and even better people. I'm so grateful for the lessons I learned and the ways I grew as a person and in my faith. As summer begins, I'm working on being intentional about running after Jesus with my whole heart and using this season to dive deep, heal, and just love life. I'm simply taking it day by day - and I can't wait to watch how this summer and junior year unfolds!


What was the highlight of your school year? What was the biggest lesson you learned this year? I'd love to hear down in the comments below!

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