Love, the greatest of all things

As our semester has turned to online-only classes, it is important to remember and appreciate the times we have with our sisters. As I intend to study abroad in the fall of 2020, it was a difficult goodbye knowing I wouldn’t be able to see my sisters for 9 more months. Although I am hurt by this goodbye, many things came to my intention about my past 7 months in Zeta Tau Alpha. As I began my sophomore year, I made new friends and grew existing friendships I now cannot live without. These sisters, these friendships, and this chapter have molded me into a person I now love being. As many women struggle with insecurities, I was one of them defeating myself over the way I looked, the food I ate, the grades I made, and the things I did. I allowed myself to consume my thoughts of worldly things that, in the end, didn’t make me who I really was. I still struggle with these thoughts but compared to how I used to see myself, I have never loved myself more. I don’t think I would have ever found that if it wasn’t for the sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha consistently pursuing, encouraging, and loving me. The phrase in our creed, “love, the greatest of all things,” was just another sentence to me when I first joined Zeta. I never truly believed love to be the greatest of all things because I had never experienced the love Zeta provided me. My best friends saw my struggles and insecurities and took them as their own. They helped me through many adversities going on in my life and turned them into something great. They pushed me to only say positive things about myself, find things I love doing, and encouraged me to be the best version of myself I could possibly be. Through the love they showed me, I was able to find love for myself and all my flaws. Before these friendships, I perceived my worth only by the things you could see on the outside. I was buried in thoughts of unworthiness, my inability to do things, my achievements not being enough, and that no one could possibly love all of my numerous flaws. However, all of these preconceived notions about myself were soon torn out from under me because of the people I chose to surround myself with. I learned my worth is not defined by looks, weight, or possessions, but that it is rooted in my passions, love for others, good deeds, and my identity in Christ. Not only were those closest to me a part in mending my brokeness but it was also the Zeta sisterhood as a whole. Being a part of the Executive Council as an officer, I found 11 new friendships who seek to not only instill in me love, support, and encouragement but our chapter as a whole. Through their dedication to living by our foundation precept, “love, the greatest of all things,” it inspired and motivated me to do all things out of love. I had the privilege of getting two little sisters this year who not only show me grace and kindness but also demonstrate what caring about important things in life looks like. I joined a bible study with 10 other women who were eager to get to know me and invested time in praying for my struggles. These women text me words of encouragement, ask for updates on my life, and took my burdens as their own. Additionally, living in the house this year provided me with 70 plus roommates. Through this experience, I have learned to have grace and patience. These sisters have done many things to make me feel loved that didn’t go unnoticed. These were things like folding my laundry, helping me study, cleaning my dishes, assisting in setting up events, and lending me dresses to wear to functions. Moreover, I gained a Historian committee through my executive council position. These women have sacrificed their time and effort for me. It is hard to invest in something when the life around you keeps moving at full speed, but these women show me constantly what it means to be selfless. It is all of these relationships and many more that have been a part of helping me find self-love and a deeper love and appreciation for those around me. I finally found that love truly is the greatest of all things.