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

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...

“Here I Am, Send Me”: 6 Areas to Consider Before Entering Missions

International mission work has increasingly been on my heart lately. If only you could see the passion in my eyes and hear it in my voice as I say that! After attending the Cross Conference in January, I texted some friends, “This is what I was created for!” I’ve been poring over Isaiah 6, when he is commissioned, reading it over and over again with a longing heart. Verse 8 says, “And I heard the...

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...

Has Quarantine Stolen Your Purpose?

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I had big plans for my high school years. I was going to lead Bible studies and disciple younger girls and volunteer and get involved in local ministry. I was determined to use those years of flexibility and energy well for God’s glory. I was going to do hard things. Well, God had other plans. I spent the majority of my high school years bedridden and housebound. I got sick—really sick—and I...

Don’t Do Hard Things By Yourself

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Are you a dreamer? I’ve noticed a lot of Rebelutionaries tend to be dreamers. Crazy dreamers. We passionately come up with projects and ideas totally ridiculous for a teenager to realistically accomplish. Sometimes, we realize that reality and give up on our dreams. Yet a lot of the time—often because of our ignorance—we dive right in and go for it anyway. Sometimes we fall flat on our face. But...

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 →