Danielle, better known as Dani, hails from the sleepy town of Bedminster, nestled in the smack center of New Jersey. When she is not spending hours improvising from random chords on the piano, adding to her collection of existential poetry, or solving the Rubik’s cube for the billionth time, you can find her staring out the window daydreaming. Dani’s favorite subjects are math and English: math because there is only one answer to the same question and English because there’s an infinite number of answers to the same question.
Dani will be heading to college this fall, majoring in neuroscience with a minor in either mathematics or education at Rutgers University. She hopes to eventually pursue a masters in physician assisting. Her life goals include but are not limited to getting married and raising her children in a God-centered family, learning how to worship with reckless abandon, being a joyful light in the lives of others, and successfully doing five chin-ups (as of now, she can do nein).
High school has definitely strengthened Dani’s faith and relationship with God. Although at times God seems like the last thing on her mind, Dani has found new strength and new hope in the arms of her Savior. She knows that even in the valley of the shadow of death, the crippling waves of anxiety, the moments where she is abandoned by the world, her Savior will be there to carry her through every trial and tribulation. She loves her Father, and she knows that He loves her.
Although an introvert, Dani has a passion for people. Due to her spiritual gift of empathy, Dani can easily empathize with others and understand what they’re going through. Thus, she strives to see beyond the mask everyone puts on and show them that their true self is also worthy of love. She believes that there is beauty in every single individual, and her goal is to discover that beauty and coax it out of the darkness. After all, He makes beauty out of ashes and there is no one too far gone.
“Consider it a gift when God becomes your only option.” – Brian Johnson
God is not going to become real by simply reading the Bible every sleepy morning, saying a quick prayer before every meal, or faithfully attending church every week. God is only going to become real when you’ve seen His hand in the darkest night, when you’ve heard His voice in the depths of your despair, when you’ve felt His touch in your deepest sorrows. And when God truly becomes real in your life, you will enter into an unfathomable joy and love and peace.
You’re about to enter into your last few years before adulthood, before you leave the shelter of the nest and face the real world. Take advantage of these last quiet moments. Learn from people who’ve walked before. Spend time on the things that matter more. The outfit you wore for this party, the car your parents dropped you off in, the event your parents didn’t let you attend: all of these won’t matter at some point (trust me, I’ve walked these roads before).
Instead, learn how to talk with others much older and wiser and more successful than yourself, to be an example for younger children. Always treat everyone with respect, even though they may have insulted you, made fun of you, or hurt you in any way. Just because they are immature doesn’t mean that you should allow yourself to be pulled down to their level.
And most importantly, sit in silence and learn to recognize the voice of your Father. Because at the end of the day, He will never leave you nor forsake you.