Shanna Decker is a 25 year-old Jesus-loving, childhood cancer survivor and amputee (with a backwards leg) turned professional mentor for thousands facing childhood cancer. She is a non-profit co-founder, professional speaker since age 7, and professional fundraiser by day. Contact her to inspire your event at www.BecauseLoveWins.com!
Today, I want to make mention of these people – who have stood by us in great times, bizarre times, and hard times. Who make us laugh, bring purpose to our lives, and who we could not be ourselves without. These are words for them:
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
I think I’ve evaluated that life is often a walk to find the line between remaining optimistic and leading, and being jaded and hiding away. When I was 18, I was like most 18-year-olds and thought I knew just about everything that there was to know. And I did know enough to live through college, collect some awesome friends, do some jobs I love and decide on a wonderful boyfriend. But I certainly didn’t know everything.
It’s amazing to watch little kids look up to me and other people my age. I remember the first time that I realized they expected me to know everything for them. It’s amazing – and somewhat terrifying. But it’s a wonderful thing how loving someone and leading someone teaches you to make up your mind and be what you know you should be. That was one of the most memorable catalysts for growth in these 7 years.
So now I’m 25. I learned a lot since age 18. Here are 25 of those things.
Eating healthy isn’t a fad. It decides an awful lot about how you succeed in life.
You don’t know everything. Neither to do I.
Apologies are real, and if they work, that’s awesome. But sometimes they don’t, and that’s likely not your fault.
You never, ever, need to apologize for who you are. What you have done, yes, but who you are – no. Don’t. Ever.
Mental illnesses suck, and are real, but also don’t decide a person’s character.
I love Justin Bieber.
God can take it when you’re angry at Him.
You really aren’t likely going to know what God is always doing, but eventually you’ll make it through.
Dating people is fun. Don’t be afraid to do that. Heatbreak heals. You’ll grow a lot.
You don’t have to be friends with people that you don’t like.
It’s okay for you to say no and have boundaries.
LOVE YOURSELF. Do things that make you happy.
Never stop dancing. Especially when you’re sad.
Your mom and dad are people. They are different than you, and make mistakes. Not everything is their fault.
Changing poopy diapers is a life skill everyone should have.
Roommates found on Craigslist can be character building.
Listen first. And sometimes just listen, if you have no idea what to say. You don’t always need to know what to say.
Don’t walk away in the middle of an argument.
Arguments and conflict are okay – learn how to fight fair and express emotions.
People who look awesome sometimes make big mistakes. And things are redeemable.
Driving with the windows down doesn’t get old.
Smile wide, and often.
Say what you mean. Try to figure out what you mean.
God holds me so so so close. And I am so important.
I am valuable, and should be treated as such. So are you.
So there you go. I have lots of cool things planned for the 25th year of my life. And Justin Bieber released a song for my birthday. What a guy. Have a wonderful day, lovelies!