“Never Give Up”
By James V.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Griffin Furlong, from Jacksonville, Florida, will soon be starting his freshmen year at Florida State University. The path to college hasn’t come without a fight. This individual has had to battle the death of his mother, family financial struggles and homelessness, but through it all he has managed to maintain a positive outlook and succeed greatly in his studies.
Griffin’s story begins with the death of his mother to leukemia when he was just six years old. One can only imagine the trauma of losing their mother at such a young age. But things got worse. Unable to make ends meet, his family was forced to move into a homeless shelter. He lived there with his father and older brother for two years.
The family continued to struggle, but through it all Griffin continued to do his best in school. However, it was also clear that the death of his mother was very hard on him.
“At some points I was just.. I wanted to quit. It was horrible. A kid shouldn’t have to go through that”.
His family later moved to Jacksonville when he was in the sixth grade. But they continued to struggle financially. Often struggling to meet even basic needs, such as having enough food. As well as having to depend on help and support from other family members to get by.
Even through all this, Griffin continued to try to motivate himself and keep a positive attitude. Both for himself, and the memory of his mother. He was a member of the high school baseball team. Every new season he would write the phrase “Never give up” in the brim of his baseball cap to motivate himself. He was even highly praised by his teachers for his hard work and motivation. One teacher saying he was the most hard working and motivated student she ever had; Never missing school and always completing all his work on time.
Griffin recently found himself homeless once again. This time he was able to go live with his girlfriend’s mother for a few weeks, then moved in with an aunt and uncle.
Through it all he has managed to maintain an amazing 4.65 grade point average, and will be graduating as valedictorian of his class on June 4th. With a love for calculus, he plans to take up civil engineering at Florida State University.
Despite all his hard work, Griffin still faced hardships. He received some grants to help him with his college expenses, but that was not enough. To deal with this, He attempted to raise funds through a project on GoFundMe. Thanks to the generosity of strangers, Griffin has raised over $60,000, ensuring he will go to college debt free.
This story shows that God has a plan for all of us. A plan to prosper us, and help us succeed. We only need not give up hope, and continue to believe and have faith, and strive forward to the best of our abilities.
This is such an encouraging article. If we choose to give up, then we will never know the possibilities of what God has in store for us. I pray that Griffin continues to push forward no matter what the future holds. Thanks for sharing James!
As a GED teacher, this kind of story really blesses me! THANKS. Every person who presses on plants seeds in many more…and you just increased their planting by telling the story.
Thanks for sharing such a great story about a young man who could have just as easily let the trials rob him of God’s plans for him, but instead brings hope and inspiration to others.
People need to get a dream and let nothing stop them from going there.
Great job, Jim! I look forward to more from you 🙂
Jim, this was such an inspiring article! It just so happened to catch me at a time when I was beginning to question my resolve in the Lord. This morning, I read the first 2 chapters of James, before leaving for work. On my way in, I listened to a message by Tony Evans on the importance of trials in life. And now…your article describing Griffin’s journey, just drove the point home for me. My prayer is that this article ministered to you, while writing it, just as it ministered to me while reading it. Well done my friend! Well done indeed.
Thank you all for your kind feedback on my first article! Griffin’s story is pretty inspiring.
Just read your first article, Jim. Awesome story! This shows every struggling young person that there is a way. It may be difficult, but if you don’t give up you “receive the prize” as God says in His Word!
I said a prayer for Griffin….
James great article and very inspiring “Our God never fails”
Keep up the good work.
As a teacher of high school students who put forth so little effort, this is encouraging. On thing I noticed is that he did not let his circumstances drive who he is as a person. He became determined to overcome his situation and he did not let it become an excuse to do nothing about it. It just goes to show the power of a mind set. I pray that Griffin will continue to work hard to achieve his next goal…graduating college. Thank you for sharing this encouraging story.
Jim, what an encouraging article. Thank you for sharing – we all need a reminder like that once in a while. Keep up the good work.