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

3 Truths for The Teenager Worried About Money

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How do I pay for Christmas gifts? How do I pay for gas? How will I support myself when I graduate? What job should I get? Have I saved enough for college? Should I take out student loans? Is my budget realistic? What will happen if I accidentally mess up my taxes? We have endless questions (and fears) about finances. I was terrified as I prepared to move out and support myself for the first time...

You’re Not The Only Chronic Illness Warrior

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“I can’t, but thanks for the invite.” The sentence echoes on my lips, spoken to more people than I remember. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to say no. I thrive on adventure and exploration. I’m a social butterfly. And yet, I’ve said so many no’s I never wanted to. I wasn’t always this way. But when I first got sick as a young teen, I watched as “out of sight, out of mind” became a...

3 Ways to Love Your Friends with Honesty

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“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” – Albus Dumbledore “Sara, I wish that you had invited me.” We sat across from each other, afternoon light playing with the steam rising from our mugs of tea. I uncomfortably folded the tea bag tag into a tiny square. Erin and I were serving on the same ministry team, and God had been...

Three Truths for the Writer with Nothing to Say

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Am I really a writer if I’m not writing? Another line marked, another due date on my calendar, but I was coming up empty. My fingers danced in the air above my keyboard without landing. I was a writer who couldn’t write. It wasn’t just that I had no ideas or no motivation. It wasn’t only the fears, doubts, and what-ifs. I was empty. I had nothing to say. During a decade of blogging, I’ve...

6 Ways to Bless Your Long Distance Significant Other

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He was tired, burnt out, and needed a good meal. I couldn’t give him a hug. He was graduating! I couldn’t cheer or take pictures or bring him a gift. It was his birthday. I couldn’t make him a cake or throw him a party. And so instead, I stared at a circle, leg bouncing, waiting for the call to reconnect. Wishing I could be there for him. Wishing I could take care of him. Wishing I could do...

Three Truths For The Chronically Ill Teen

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My heart broke as yet another chronically ill teen unwittingly voiced questions and struggles I’d heard over and over again. Most of us don’t know it, but we all seem to have the same questions. Perhaps there are some variations in wording and scenarios, but those questions you are ashamed to verbalize? So many others have wondered the same things. You know what? It’s okay to ask those questions...

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...

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 →