September 14, 2012

you just have to be you...

I have gone on and on and on about Emily Freeman's book Grace for the Good Girl ... and now her second book has arrived. It is Graceful and it is for young women. I bought three copies for some very special young ladies, and after reading just one page, I thought of a few more girls who might need it. Including my sixteen-year-old self. Oh how much sooner I would have learned these lessons! Emily thought that writing a letter to our teen self might help us to see the teens in our life in a different way...

dear sixteen-year-old me,
if i was hand-writing this, you would recognize your loops and swirls instantly, because some things never change. it would probably be in aqua ink, with doodles around the edges and flowers in the corner. even with mom's teasing about colored pens and sharpies, we have never outgrown it. {i hope we never do!}

i know the mirror is not your friend, but the next time mom says you are beautiful, won't you listen? please? you think she says it because she has to, and i know you want to seek it, but your heart won't let you believe it. there is so much blocking your view... the scars of the divorce and the words and tauntings of middle school... but i need you to look beyond those things. the halls of the high school surely don't help, but you shouldn't compare yourself to others. it isn't real, and it is a lesson better learned now. when people say that it is your insides and what makes you you that really counts, they are speaking the truth. Jesus doesn't care how your hair is fashioned, or about those royal blue shoes... He just cares for you. and that makes you beautiful.

i know you went to sunday school this week... and then felt guilty about leaving before church started. oh how i wish you knew Jesus like i know Him now. you might still leave before church, but your soul would feel loved, right down to your toes. He is not just the King of Kings, He wants to be your friend. your best friend. He will listen to you when you rant words in your head that you never let out, and He will hold you when the tears finally come. and He would let you know that even if you let those words spill, your mom would still love you. she might even take your side... but you will never know if you never speak up.

dear girl, keep writing. because if you stop now, it will be years and years before you begin again. and if you do write... maybe share it with someone, because your words and your feelings are worthy... and so is your peace of mind. i know fear holds you back, along with the what ifs.  if someone doesn't like you, or what you have to say, it is okay. really! it is not your job to make them like you, or to be perfect. your job is just to be the you that God designed you to be. silly. laugh-out-loud-funny. caring. sensitive. loving...

you know, your instincts are good... you have ended some friendships that just weren't right, and the world did not end. and so... when you feel like love has drifted away, listen to your instincts. don't hang on... it is okay to let go. i promise you that you will not be alone forever... that someone else will find you pretty and funny, and you will fall in love all over again. and in that love, you will nod your head and know that the things you thought love would be were right on target.

i want you to know... that your life will be beautiful. the world will break you, and God will put you back together in ways you never knew possible. you will go places you never dreamed, and love like you never knew you could {because only once you hold new life in your hands can you ever really know.}  and you will never, ever, ever stop loving ice cream, the ocean and tacos. and brave the next time your order mexican food and get a tamale, because you will love them.


Southern Gal said...

"...God will put you back together in ways you never knew possible."
Our teenage selves never would believe this, would they? Oh, to have only listened a little more in those years.

Pam said...

There are so many things I wish I could tell my 16 year old self, but I am sure she would not believe me. What do they say about hindsight? ; )

Busy Bee Suz said...

I LOVE this. I love who YOU are today....surely I would have loved you back then!

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