To Me

graceful for young women

*Another letter, this time inspired by a fellow blogger whom I am linking up with today to share some hindsight if you will. I don't know her personally but her writing has touched a place deep within my soul and she has a new book out as well as a book/study guide for teenage girls, Graceful. You can read her thoughts and see other letters like this one here, Chatting at the Sky. Friends, this is good. And as a mother of three teenage daughters, well two and another close behind, I am in the trenches. Being a teenager is tough. Amen and amen. 
Dear Teenage Me,
I am filled with thoughts about what this letter should look like and if I didn't know how we turned out or what our life looked like now I probably would know exactly what to write.  Somehow, knowing this makes me hesitant to be honest because I wouldn't want to change the outcome.  I would however want to stress a few points to you.  Not only for you now, during your high school years, but maybe selfishly so that the you now, meaning me, isn't still dealing with baggage from then.  Did that all make sense?  Good.  Let's continue.

You are unsure of where you fit in.  Due to the fact that you are a people pleaser to the max this is not healthy.  It will cause much doubt, fear and anxiety.  Many lessons will be learned because of this.  News flash, you will not ever meet everyone's expectations, nor will you be able to ensure their happiness or acceptance of you.  You will however, be loved unconditionally by your family and Heavenly Father.  Remember, the One you accepted at the Crusade for Christ and on the PATH retreat?  Just checking.  Please Him ALONE.  He knows what's inside and you will feel better if you trust your Mom enough to tell her what's going on in that gorgeous head of yours.  Really.  She may seem like the enemy now but she will be a confidant and friend when you become a mother someday. 

Yes, you will be a mother.  Of four.  Those four will love you like no tomorrow.  You will be their everything and it will feel like someone came and ripped your heart right out of your chest every time you look at them.  Still does, even after all these years.  One of these will come sooner than expected and your life's plan may seem derailed.  Try and remember it was never really your plan being played out.  Try to not be afraid to tell the truth.  There is freedom in that place. 

This I cannot stress enough, you are loved sweet girl.  Sixteen is hard.  You will make it.  You will have joy.  You will know real friendship.  You will feel confident.  Everything is made beautiful, even all the ugly stuffed way down deep inside.  He isn't through with you, or me yet.  Thank God for His grace. 

Guess what?  Softball or your grades or all the "good girl" acts do not define you.  Striving will not earn you acceptance.  Trust me.  This one has taken us a long time to learn and if you can start now maybe the mountain won't be so big for us when we're on this side of  it.  None of those things will make you better, will help you gain approval, will win you a seat in heaven, will make boys notice you for the right reasons or force girls to like you.  They won't, that I promise.  Be you.  And don't be afraid to be you even when it's tough, and it will be tough. 

You are amazing.  Your generous, thoughtful heart and empathy will guide your actions.  Let it.  It's His leading, that's how He designed you.  You were not a mistake. 

Lastly, the life you're living has eternal value, live it that way.  You are loved.

Much love,
Yourself, eighteen years into the future!

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