Over the past few years, I have had multiple people encourage me to pick a word for the year that will challenge me outside my comfort zone. The word that I have chosen this year is encouragement. I chose this because I know that not everyone gets encouragement often, so I want to do my best to change that in the lives of the people I encounter. I would not have been up for this challenge if it wasn’t for the mentors, teachers, and pastors that have shaped who I am today. They have given me advice that has helped me realize there are small things I can do to change the outcome of someone’s day. Currently, I am choosing to encourage people with compliments, take opportunities for acts of kindness, and ask my peers how I can pray for them in tough seasons. Although it may be uncomfortable, this year I have focused on giving specific and personal compliments.

 Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” If we are following what the Bible says, we all should continue to overflow with the joy God has given us so others can experience it too. Jesus is the perfect example of who we can become, He is the person I strive to be. This verse changed the way I see each encounter I have. Romans 15:13 has taught me to be intentional in every conversation.

Written by: Brianna Brown, Upper School Student.