Emily Freeman from the blog, “Chatting at the Sky” and author of a new book for teenage girls, “Graceful” wrote on her blog today a letter to her sixteen year old self. She invited us to write our own letters to ourself at that age and it sounded like a fun idea. It has been twenty years since I was sixteen and If I could’ve written myself a letter at that time, this is what it might sound like:
Dear Me at Sixteen,
Hey there! I know that right now you think life is really good, regardless of all the insecurities you are trying to hide behind.
You should not have to act like anyone other than yourself to gain true friendships (the ones your heart really needs). It might bring you into friendships with friends that don’t care about doing the right thing. You’ll be tempted to fit in, but it will take your heart off course.
You have a cute boyfriend and lots of people that want to be your friend. Let me tell you, right now, it’s important to nuture those friendships with the kids that want to do right and be involved with school. Don’t make one guy the focus of your heart. He won’t be around forever. He will make you feel beautiful, you will fall madly in love and he will break your heart 4 years later and you will have wasted many, many opportunities for growth in High School that will help you in later years.
Be so grateful for the Godly parents God gave you, listen to them, be honest with them and talk to them often. Some over you will not understand grace any more than you do right now, but it can’t be your excuse to rebell and have an attitude against the God who saved you at the tender age of 5. Remember how you loved Him and would pray to Him? He’s the one that desires your heart, give it to Him. You don’t need acceptance from a guy or your friends. Friends are given as gifts and should be cherished but to look for your acceptance from them is harmful. You are already unconditionally loved and accepted by God, not because of anything you could do, but because of who you are. Believe it. Live it now for it will make your life truly peaceful and joyful. Once you do, God will direct your life as you trust Him that all things are for your good and His glory.
P.S. If you choose to disregard my advice and make some pretty foolish decisions, know that God in His great mercy and grace will be faithful to complete the work He began in you. It will still take a lifetime and it may take a little more stripping away at the hard places you’ve allowed into your heart, but He will do it. Please continue to seek Him because He promises you’ll find Him and it will be better than any earthly acceptance you have ever known.