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525729_4440380094938_612481533_nBy: Nozipho Mpanza.

This year marked the beginning of ‘phase 2’ of my life. When I think gratitude, I am painted a picture of the beginning of my varsity career. I stood anxiously in a line intensified by the loom of expectant first years and wondered what treasures the year had stored before me. Then operation ‘make friends’ began.

“Hi, I’m Nozi” – my first real introduction. She smiled and said “Hello Nozi.” It’s always difficult after you’ve introduced yourself to someone, an awkward silence follows. T hat silence was broken by some talk about the weather and then … a testimony. My testimony. The only way I knew how to engage was to do so involving Christ, that way, one could make up their mind about me fast. She did and an amazing friendship has blossomed from those terrified first year students.

There’s much to be grateful for. Testimony, because testimony inspired conversation and conversation channeled many of my friendships this year. Purpose: the lesson of purpose has been clarified within me – find your purpose, write it down and make it clear so that even when strength begins to fail you, your purpose is able to carry you. Failure: a proverb once described failure as a hurdle on the road to success. It is. It has been through some personal failures that I have gained perspective on personal ambition and hunger for my goals. We only fail completely when we fail to try again. God has used many brushes to paint an excellent picture for me through my journey and for that grace, I can only be grateful.

The word gratitude evokes an unconditional appreciation of life’s gifts within me. I have many things to be grateful for: family, peace, conflict, education, perspective, opportunity, shelter and love. Above all else, I appreciate salvation and favor because these eternal gifts have been the lamp that shines before my feet. All of life’s obstacles have served as motivation to fix my eyes on what’s unseen. As my year concludes, I am challenged to align my perspective with all enthusiasm. Change the way you look at things and the things that you look at will change.

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