A Grateful Heart

(I am sorry I haven't posted in a while, I just finished exams!)

As I sit here, I am reflecting on the past four months.

Initial thoughts: holy cow I have one semester left.

Secondary thoughts: what a ride this semester has been.

With each passing semester, I find myself thinking of the ups and downs. Four months is a long time. You change immensely. You find new friends. You lose old friends. You learn that maybe you don’t like whiskey as much as you thought. 

So many things have happened this semester.

I started off with intense anxiety and panic attacks. I still have them (this week has been absolutely horrendous for my anxiety) but they come less frequently. I probably had a panic attack every day during the month of September (no exaggeration). 

A new medication, time with friends, and a whole lot of prayer to God has lead me through the storms of this semester’s anxieties. 

Every year I challenge myself and give myself a verse. I meditate on this verse daily. Last year, my verse was Ephesians 3:20. What an Ephesians 3:20 year I had.

This year’s verse is 2 Timothy 1:7. It reads: "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (ESV). 

Fear has been my enemy for quite some time. I fear the unknown. I am entering into uncharted waters, with graduation and the job search. I have no idea where I will be or what I will do. All I know is that I want to make people’s dreams come true. That has been my passion for sometime. I love to see others accomplish their goals.

The only thing I truly know is that God is holding me tight and filling me with His spirit to radically love others. The amount of pain I see on a daily basis breaks my heart. We are His chosen and His beloved, but we seem to forget this. 

This semester I have challenged myself to love others who may be different from myself. I have challenged myself to not be restless, but fulfilled in God. 

Creating The Z List was a huge step for me. For so long I have wanted to blog, I just needed the self push. I found that this summer, and I am so glad I got the courage to share my words with others.

There are an endless amount of thanks that needed to be given. At Wake Forest, I have found a small piece of home.  I know not all feel the same as I do,  and that is okay.

As you age, you realize home isn’t a place, but it is a feeling.

I have found home in some incredible people this semester. So many groups and individuals have impacted me this semester. There are too many to list, but I will try and say a few. From my Peyton, to my field hockey girls, to my Delight bible study, Besty (she's my photographer and friend) to my sorority sisters and family, my big diamond Laura,  my Alexa, the three AMAZING women I live with, my Student Government people, and the rest of my Wake comrades who inspire me on a daily basis to be better. Thank you for loving me. I only hope one day I can give back to you some of the love you have so greatly given me.

Thank you to all those who fight for justice on our campus. You are so needed. Every day campus is better because of people like you. 

Thanks to Wake Soccer for providing the most exciting sports semester of my life. You are each fantastic human beings and I'm real proud to call myself a Deac. 

There is another part ofWinston that is home. Addison, Syd, Davis and Carter are home.  I get to love on some amazing kiddos. Jennifer and Kelly, I am so thankful you have allowed me to be in your kids lives. They have made a big impact on me, and I love the snot out of them! You’re both fantastic role models and moms who I look up to very much.

I also need to thank my amazing therapist. Kristin is a confidant and has helped me through very hard times. Thank you for coaching me and loving me. 

To my best friends (Cash Money) from home: you’ve loved me since the weird middle school days. I am so proud of the three of you. You’re phenomenal women who are each the epitome of Proverbs 31.

To my mom, my brothers, my sister, and my sweet Sophia: you have REALLY loved me since the awkward and weird days. Sophia, thanks for putting up with all my kisses and constant photos. Every day God has made me thankful to be a Ziegler.

Finally, there is a crowd who needs to be thanked: all those who have reached out to me about depression and anxiety. Whether you yourself struggle, or you have encouraged me in my battles, I thank you. Your love of me brings tears to my eyes. My love language is words of affirmation, and I need all the encouragement I can get.

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that silence is not the answer. So be loud my friend. 

I close with a final thought: it is well with my soul. Bethel has a rendition of this and it absolutely breaks me every time.

I leave this semester knowing it is well with my soul. I am His beloved. Thank you. And thanks for being you. You’re loved. Know that.