Have you ever wished you could go back and talk to yourself in Middle School or High School? I posed this question last summer here on the blog, but I just got around to finally composing a list. There's so many things I'd like to say to myself. For sake of time and organization, I've composed it in a list rather than a letter. I tried to be personal, while still maintaining a sense of impersonal language so that I might could use it in a lesson someday. I really feel like as young women we need to spend time investing in the lives of the "little girls" around us. Whether it be the smallest girls in the nursery or older girls in the student ministry at our churches, we NEED to teach these girls. We need to think about the things that we wish we would have known. We need to teach these girls that they are "kind, smart, and important" as Abeline in The Help teaches her babies. So, this is my list of ten things that if I could go back and talk to my younger self I would tell me. (Wow. That sentence was incredibly awkward.)
- You are going to be shaken. Your world is going to be rocked. You're going to feel like your life is over. I promise you are going to survive, though. It is going to be hard. But, you need to remember to turn back to God. Always keep trusting him, even when he seems silent. You're just talking too much and need to learn to listen.
- Stop hiding things. Be more transparent. You are not alone in your struggles, even though it may seem like it. Find a trusted friend and share what is going on. Find some godly women in your church-they are dying for you to ask them for advice. You don't have to keep up the "perfect little Christian girl" act anymore. Sweetie, we already know your not perfect.
- People are going to let you down. The people that you trust the most are going to disappoint you. This is a part of life. Don't stop having friendships with people because someone else betrayed you. What is done is done. Move towards the future. Hey-when you graduate high school, you're not going to see these people again. Live for the moment. Show the love of Jesus. Don't give up. Don't let Satan win by holding grudges and not moving on.
- Invest in people. Spend time creating meaningful relationships. Don't just be "bffs"-share in life together. Don't be shallow and fake. It is okay to let your imperfections shine through. Show them the love of Jesus. Let your love of Jesus be so present that no one can ignore it. Don't let fear keep you from speaking out. Live it out so that you don't regret things later.
- You are beautiful. While it might not seem like it because you don't dress as cute and your hair is a frizzy mess, remember that the King is enthralled with your beauty. He thinks you are worth it. Don't waste time comparing yourself to other girls- you aren't them. They feel just as empty inside as you do. There isn't a magic potion to make you feel better. Fill that emptiness with God and seek to find contentment in him.
- You will survive middle school and high school without being in a serious relationship. It may seem like everyone is dating, but you are called to something better. Don't think less of yourself because you aren't dating anyone and you've never been kissed. You were called to a higher purpose. God has a plan- and that involves saving yourself. You don't need boys to be happy- so stop having a pity party and rejoice in God's timing!
- Work on your relationship with God. It isn't about checking all the boxes and being perfect. Read His word and know what he is saying to you. Study it. Spend time in prayer- not because you feel like you have to, but because it is the desire of your heart. There is so much he wants to teach you. There is so much you have left to learn. The Bible isn't just about Jonah, Noah, and the Christmas Story. You have a long way to go, precious child. Don't give up.
- Don't stress about the little things. Your grades don't matter as much as you think they do. It isn't worth a breakdown. A "B" is not going to kill you. It won't be the end of the world. (Trust me, you are going to get TWO "C"s your freshman year of college. Live and learn, sweet girl.)
- Don't complain about your family as much. Yes, your brothers are annoying. Yes, your parents are "way too strict". But, when you go to college, you are going to miss your babies. You are going to call home everyday at 3 to hear about how their school day went. And your "totally uncool" parents? They have your best interests at heart. You really don't need to be allowed to see those scary movies. They will just give you nightmares. The reason they care who your friends are is because they care about you. You really do love them- even when you say you don't. They really are super amazing and you'll be glad they did what they did someday.
- Throw away that life plan. Throw it away. You may think you can schedule out your life, but you can't. You will end up doing what you never said you would. You are going to go to colleges you said you wouldn't. You're going to be indecisive about your major. You won't have a ring by Spring. That "MRS" degree? Ha. Think again. Follow God's plan, and don't stress out about what that entails. Go with the flow. Be bold. Be daring. Speak fearlessly. Proclaim the gospel. Do the things that really matter in life and let God handle the rest.
So. What about you? What would you share with your younger you? What message do you feel that you need to share with the younger generation of girls that are a part of your life?