Dear 16-year-old self,
Oh girl, you are climbing a mountain. I know each day can feel like a hurdle, never enough and yet you have done so much. Life can be so cruel to teenagers – the constant comparison, the threat of college applications, the gossip from different friend groups, oh and let’s not take a moment to fret the awful hormonal acne.
I wish I could tell you it’ll get infinitely easier.
In some ways, it does. Being able to pour yourself a glass of wine at the end of a long day certainly doesn’t hurt. But there is a lie that as soon as you graduate high school or college, get that little piece of a diploma in your hand, that everything will fall in to place. I wish it were that simple at times.
But here is what you need to know – you are enough. Just where you are, just as you are. With all your insecurities, stress, putting too much pressure on yourself, you are enough. You don’t need to ‘start fresh tomorrow’ or pull yourself up by your bootstraps or just get through this season. Don’t rush the process. It may be painful and frustrating and anxiety-inducing at times, but no one else knows what they are doing. Everyone is just trying to figure it out.
I can also promise you this – God is with you in the process. Oh goodness, it doesn’t feel like it a lot of the time. I can viscerally remember the lost feeling, the stumbling feeling, the feeling of wondering what if you screwed this whole thing up. And the reality is, you never did.
God doesn’t waste anything.
No detour, no small volunteer job, no relationship or friendship, nothing. It is all in who you become and, let me tell you, the life you have is quite wonderful. It is settled and slow and purposeful. It is relaxing and challenging and encouraging. You have opportunities you never imagined, you have a husband better than you deserve. You’ll get there, someday.
But, in the meantime, just remember this – you are enough. You, just as you are, is more than enough. Take a deep breath, wash your face and head into tomorrow knowing you have nothing to prove and nothing to lose. You are called, ordained and anointed just as you are. Not because you are a woman or skilled-enough or work hard enough. But because at your core you are a child of God, a daughter of the King, and he has spoken that truth over you.
Let me repeat that – you have nothing to prove and nothing to lose.
It’s all going to be okay, sister. It’s all going to be okay.
In all love,
Your future self