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I Wanna Say “Thank You”

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Thank you God for every moment, every stage, every place, every memory, every person, and every time of growth in my life. Looking back over the past 18 years, I am in awe of where You have brought me and everything that You have blessed me with!

Memories of Sanibel Island, learning to swim, the beginning of my love for the beach, island bike rides, Dairy Queen stops, IBC root beer, and endless movies. Sweet, sweet May days.

Places of love, joy, and childhood. Moving to 214 Crestmont Drive! Building our play house. Endless summer hours of fun with my sister. Playing house. Growing up.

Raking leaves, goofing off. Losing my two front teeth. Building snowmen. Survivor family nights. Playing in the rain.

Moving to Florida. Private school. U.S.’s largest public high school. Teaching His Princess to 5th and 6th grade girls. Dancing. Writing. Starting to blog. My Sweet 16. Times of growth: becoming me.

Moving to Ocala! First job–lifeguard at the YMCA! Senior year, memories, homecoming, friends, sleepovers, late-night talks, texting. Different stages and new memories.

Places I love. Spots that make me remember. Memories of truly getting what God was trying to tell me. Standing in awe on a mountain looking at the ocean below. Beauty defined.

High school swimming. Work outs. Races. Meets. Times. Disqualifications. Injuries. Coaches. Teammates. Banquets.

Brio Girl Top 4 Finalist 2008. New friends. Stage that God placed me on. Priceless memories. Photo shoots. Interviews. Makeovers. Long flights and layovers. Meeting my role models and writers I absolutely love. Watching a movie in Susie Shellenberger’s house. God opening a door.

Family. Team Cummins. Times of growth, love, and mostly hope (and some delayed gratification mixed in there too!). Endless memories. Vacations. Thousands of miles with the top down. Road trips. Inside jokes. Crazy. Fun. Deep. Us.

Prepping for surgery (10 days from now!!). Journey to learn confidence in Him alone. Stages. Places. Moments. Memories. Growth. Pain. Worth it all. Seeing the end in sight.

So many different friends. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Miami, Ocala, Virginia, Oregon, PNG, Colorado, and beyond. Moving on to college. New. Old. Thankful for each and every one.

My first car! Man, God blessed me. Words can’t even begin to describe this one!

Graduation. 2009. Family around me. Friends. Goodbye & hello. Forest. Cypress Bay. HCS. Homeschool. My journey. AP Tests. SATs and ACTS. Last first day of high school. Baccauloreate. Growing into me.

Finishing my first semester of college! CFCC. Ambassadors. Rotaract. Classes. Studying. Starbucks. New friends. Road trips. Exams. Papers. More studying. Sonny’s. Sweet tea. FCA volleyball girls. Sleepovers. College Bible study. Pictures. Running. Thunder storms. New stage in my life.

They say a picture can describe a thousand words. Each of these pictures and the words accompanying them describe just a few of the MANY things that I am thankful for today. Last night I was looking through old pictures and couldn’t help but thank God from the bottom of my heart. He really has taken me so far. He has blessed me beyond measure. How He has grown me amazes me beyond mere words. Each moment, stage, place, memory, person, and time of growth that He has brought across my path has helped shape me into who He wants me to be–simply emily.

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