rebelling against low expectations

AuthorSara Willoughby

is the 20-year-old author of He's Making Diamonds: A Teen's Thoughts on Faith Through Chronic Illness. She loves to read, write, and have adventures, be it off to Narnia one more time, wading through mud chasing the family dog, or playing a new board game with her two younger siblings. Sara is also a Lymie, TCK, and Bright Lights leader. You can find her at sgwilloughby.com

Teenager, You are Not Invisible

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My younger brother is successful in almost everything he does. His lawn mowing business as a pre-teen. His filmmaking career as a teenager. Finding an amazing wife, he married when he was 19. His track college scholarship. The guy faces challenges and excels. He’s intelligent, athletic, and charismatic. It’s incredible. I’m proud. But also, sometimes I’m jealous. Everyone wants to hear what...

Dear Teenager Who Doesn’t Know What to Do with Their Life

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Dear Teenager Who Doesn’t Know What To Do With Their Life, First, take a deep breath. In. Out. There you go. My heart goes out to you for the weight on your shoulders. I get it. I was on my knees this morning, asking God why. You see, I made a plan about what to do next with my life, but last night it fell through — again. I paced the living room. Tears might come later, but last night I was just...

6 Ways to Be a Good Mentee

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“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.” — J Loren Norris In my last article on the Rebelution, I talked about how we don’t have to do hard things on our own. We tend to think that as Rebelutionaries, we have to stand alone, but the wonderful truth is that there are others who will stand alone with us. We can ask for help. Just yesterday I called...

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Help

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I can still picture the cursive writing on the book. “Standing Alone,” it read. That appealed to me. I didn’t want a normal teenage life. I wanted something different. Something with meaning. Maybe you relate. Since different wasn’t the norm, of course that would mean standing alone. It sounded heroic. I opened it and started to learn about holiness. About being set apart for God. About being...

Did You Know Celebration is a Spiritual Discipline?

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“You need to celebrate!” my mentor told me. I’d just told her something I’d been praying for and working toward for months had happened. I laughed, feeling like a hypocrite. I’d just told my mentee that morning to celebrate what God was doing in her life. In our culture, we don’t celebrate a whole lot. Yet celebration is a spiritual discipline. The Israelites, following God’s law, made...

Why Teenagers Need Solitude (Even Extroverts)

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This week, I spent three days without speaking. It was hard. Y’all, I’m an extrovert! I’m a people person. I’m an external processor. I spend all day every day talking with people, laughing with people, offering tissues to people. At the end of a long day, I don’t want to totally retreat, I want to laugh with my closest friends. But you know what? Three days without speaking was incredible, and I...

Why Teens Should Think About Death More

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I wish people thought about death more. I think it would change the world. Hang on, stick with me. It’s just that this weekend, I witnessed a car accident. I was almost in a car accident. I also grieved the death of a family friend in a skiing accident. And I experienced the fragility of the human body, dealing with unusual brain swelling and lung issues. I’m twenty – we aren’t supposed to...

Rebelutionary, Don’t Forget to Have Fun

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A few years ago, I wrote an article for TheReb called “Rebelutionary, Don’t Forget to Be A Kid.” Then life went on, and I forgot about it. Recently, I was talking with a fellow Rebelutionary, encouraging him to delight in God and enjoy life. “Life is not just about having fun. But fun is part of life.” Due to different life circumstances, we both had to grow up too soon, and somewhere in the mix...

3 Reasons Teenagers Need Senior Citizen Friends

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“Do you want to go to a ladies’ brunch at my church tomorrow morning?” It was ten o’clock at night when Abby’s text came, and I deliberated. I had an insane to-do list for tomorrow. But I was trying to be intentional about reaching out and making friends, so I said yes. That morning, we arrived at her church and Maria met us at the door. Maria had some of the deepest laughter wrinkles I’d ever...

Rebelutionary, Don’t Forget to Be a Kid

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“You’re a weird adult,” my little sister informed me. Apparently talking in a funny voice isn’t something an eighteen-year-old normally does. But I personally think it should be. If you’re reading this, chances are you consider yourself a “rebelutionary.” Maybe, like me, you were raised to serve God intentionally in your youth. We’ve watched so many of our peers waste precious teen...

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →