Way to be original, Jeanette. 🙄
No, really. I struggled with the lack of originality in this post, and almost didn’t share it. But I happened to read the words of my dear friend Yolanda, and she changed my mind. Yolanda has the kind of writing talent that I would love to develop eventually. You can find her blog here
In a recent post, “Fragments of One Mind” she wrote these words: “We were made to make. We were made to bring glory to our Maker. In making, perhaps we present more fragments of Him and give the world more glimpses of His glory.
Each meal that’s made, each poem that’s written, each piece of wood that’s taken in hand to make a house that will be a home is something newly made. This thing once made can never be made again.”
(And here, the thought that jumped off the page at me,)
“So if one song seems to allude to another, what of it? It is only drawing the eyes to a more complete picture of glory, connecting fragments of life to give a more complete picture of God.”
Yolanda’s writing is volumes deeper than mine, and always seems to spring from a heart of maturity. When I read her words I always get a blessing, and this time it was simply this: that it doesn’t matter if my [blog post] seems to resemble one you may have read elsewhere.
In a classroom full of students, assigned the same title for an essay, what are the chances that two of the essays would come out identical, word for word? It’s unlikely. Each person looks at life and the world through their own unique perspective.
On that note, having bored you with my lengthy preface, I give you my version of “A Letter To My 14-Year-Old Self”
Dear 14-Year-Old Me,
I’d ask “How are you?” but I already know. (Young, insecure and a little bit boy-crazy, right?) It’s okay. Actually, it’s not okay, but it’s at least somewhat normal. And you will outgrow it, but not before you make a dummy of yourself more than a few times and get your heart stepped on once or twice.
You need to slow down and wait on God. His timing is perfect, and your attempts at rushing Him are only going to prove futile and unfulfilling. (Plus you are WAY too young to even be thinking about all that stuff.) Time will fly, and in no time, you’ll be 27 and writing this.
I know you’re wondering, so I will tell you up front, that one day your Mr. Right is going to drop out of nowhere. He’s going to come as a surprise and not at all how you pictured him, but the two of you will be perfect for each other.
But you are 14. That will be years down the road! Seriously, just wait on God!) The next thing you need to know is that it doesn’t matter if all your friends are slender and beautiful and you think you can never be like them. It’s true, you will never be like them, because you aren’t them! You are you!
You are just the way God wanted you, and your silly little diets aren’t going to do anything but make you look like a big sick girl. You may succeed at getting skinny, but you will never be small and delicate. God made you sturdy, and being sturdy is going to serve you well one day when you’re a Mommy and a farmer.
True beauty doesn’t hinge on what the mirror or the scales say, anyway. The only real beauty you can have comes from having Jesus in your heart. When you accept Him as your Saviour, you will understand this more. However I should warn you that the beautifying process takes FOREVER. Years down the road, even when you’re three years from 30, you’re still going to find that there’s much improvement needed.
But don’t let that discourage you. Read your Bible through, while you’re young and can retain it. Read it, and read it some more. God tells you in His word how you can learn to be beautiful.
Little by little, while reading His word, you will begin to see things in your life that are not conducive to spiritual beauty, and with His help you will work on eradicating those things. You will find that you are selfish, that you talk too much, that you are a gossip. You will find that you are ungrateful and that you are way too concerned with what others think.
*You will work hard to overcome these things on your own because you forget that you can’t do anything good of yourself. You will be reminded of your inability to change, and ask again for the Holy Spirit’s help.* And as your crochet patterns always say, you will repeat from * to * 1001 times.
I’d like to tell you that it gets easier when you get older. In a way it does. Those teenage years are rough. But I have to tell you that your struggles won’t go away, really; they will just change, and the ones that do go away will be replaced by new ones. God never promised us that life would be easy, ; He just said He would never leave us.
I can tell you that the miserable insecurity doesn’t last forever. You will realize that it’s okay to be yourself, and you will become a lot more confident than you are now. In 10+ years, you will still note with a touch of envy, your friends who are slender and pretty but you won’t be consumed with trying to be like them. You will have realized that we’re all different and it’s just a matter of fact.
Also- you may want to change the way you perceive maturity. Don’t be getting it confused with words like “proper” and “elegant” and “dignified.” ‘Cause it’s just not looking like those are gonna happen… So what is maturity? I’m still not sure… Go ask someone proper and dignified.
Next news flash… Mom loves you. Pretty sure you already knew that, but just making sure. Things are a little rocky right now, but if you could see yourself you’d know that you are the problem. My dear, you are a rebellious brat. Your life is a mess, and your poor Mom, she’s not sure what to do with you. But it’s gonna be okay. You aren’t going to bite each others’ heads off, and one day you will be best of friends. You can help right now by watching your smart mouth and showing a little respect.
Last but not least, you need to know that God loves you. He loves you a lot. You probably think you’re a pretty bad person right now, and you should know that even after you accept Jesus, you’re going to make some pretty bad choices. You see, Satan tries even harder to get you, once you commit your life to God. And sadly, you are going to let him win sometimes.
God is going to be disappointed in you, but He is never going to leave you. Nothing you do is going to change His love for you, He will be waiting with open arms, whenever you come crawling back. And He’s going to carry you through some tough things later on. He truly won’t leave you to fight your battles alone; in fact He wants to fight them for you! So trust Him and never let go of His hand.
I’m sure there are other things I should tell you, but this is getting long. Hang in there and I’ll see you in 13 years!
As I wrote this, I thought: why did no one tell me all this as a teenager?! And I realize that they did. I just didn’t hear them. Sometimes, in relating to some very dear friends of mine who happen to be teenagers, I just wish I could fast-forward them past those turbulent and confusing years. Seeing their struggles brings back memories of being in their shoes and I want to shield them from making mistakes, protect them from peer pressure and drama…
But I have come to the conclusion that we need to experience it all! All the mistakes, all the questions, all the insecurities, all the hurting and all the regrets… The struggles you have as a teen, help to prepare you for the rest of your life.
So instead of wishing these hard years didn’t have to exist for my friends, I want to just be there for them, praying for them and showing them the grace that Jesus has showed me.
Y’all might wanna pray for me, ’cause it just hit me that (Lord willing) in 11 years I will have a teenager myself.
Have a good week; I’m going to go look for grey hairs.
For the sake of history, here are two pictures of me as a teenager. (age 16) 🙈