Dear Younger Me,
Middle school is going to be hard. Let me just spare you embarrassing memories: do not date until you are ready to date for marriage. Every boy’s frontal lobe will still be developing, and both you and them are too immature to “talk” or “date.” Trust me on this one.
Middle school is such an awkward time. You will be learning who you are. I know that it can be so easy to compare yourself to others, but you are not those girls you are comparing yourself to. Do not be jealous of what they look like or what they have. God created you to be you…not them.
High school will be better (more frontal lobes are developing, so less drama and immature people). You are still so insecure, so depressed… Oh, Younger Me, I know all the thoughts and feelings you are thinking and feeling, but I cannot tell you enough how it is going to be okay. You are going to make it through these trials. I know self-image for you is hard, and the self-harm sounds so much better than the emotional pain…but you will realize: it isn’t. No, you are not ugly. You are not fat. You are not worthless. You are not a waste of space and time. Suicide will not solve the problem. Your family loves you. Your friends love you. God loves you.
Start a quiet time now. I know you will be busy with soccer, honors classes, and clubs, but you will need the Lord to get you through some tough times ahead. You need time with Him more than you know.
The latter part of high school: self-image and insecurities will rise often, but you will remember that you are not your scars and you will remember to stay strong. Your scars will fade. Slowly but surely, you will realize your worth and realize that your identity is found in Christ. Hey, and listen… When people ask about your scars… This is not a moment to be ashamed. This not a moment to hide. This is a moment for you to share what happened: that you were depressed, you wanted to die. BUT… that the Lord and His unfailing love broke through to your soul and reminded you how much you were and are loved. Remind them how much they are loved: by you and by the Creator of the Universe. You will be surprised how the act of being vulnerable and the Holy Spirit can open up conversations. Be bold with your faith.
And… You are going to meet your high school sweetheart, and your life will never be the same. You will see his spiritual transformation and being raised into a newness of life. You will witness what Jesus can do. You will watch the Lord change him 180 degrees and make him whole. When that transformation happens, be a better example than I was. His love language in this season of life is Words of Affirmation (hello, just like you), so encourage and uplift him in Christ! He will need it, because as you know, the Christian walk is not an easy one. Love him, but do not make him an idol. The Lord is the ONLY God you worship.
Also in the latter part of high school: do not be confused when the number of friends you have dwindles. You are going to cry…a lot…but this needs to happen. The Lord is allowing this pain, so that He can fill you up…so that you realize you only need Him (but this won’t happen until you are a freshmen in college).
Speaking of college: it is SO much better than high school. Do not stress so much. Picking a major is hard…but the Lord is going to guide you to the one you least expected you wanted to do, and you are going to be so excited when you find out and begin doing research. I know you won’t want to get close to anyone, because you are scared to get hurt…but life is made to be messy! If we did not make relationships with people, how could we show them what God has done in our lives? How can you pour into people when you have no one pouring into you? The people you will meet at the BCM are so genuine. They truly love the Lord, and they will encourage you every step of the way. The day you rededicate your life to Christ…remember that crying is okay. 🙂 Remember that He makes beautiful things out of us.
The Lord is going to work so much in your life, Younger Me. I look back now, and I can’t help but tear up as I think about how My Savior “saved a wretch like me” … Every decision you make is a part of you, your testimony… So go! Be a light in this dark world. Open up your heart to others. When you feel ugly, remember that the Creator of the Universe made you. He knew every mistake and flaw you would make, and He still died for you. When you are afraid, remember the Lord is ALWAYS with you. When you feel weak, remember that God is your strength. Jesus is worth it. Tell others about Him and what He has done for your life. You will not regret it.
I know I cannot go back and change the past by writing a letter to myself. But man, I am praying that if you are reading this, you know you are loved! All of this advice is from my heart, and I pray and encourage you to let go and allow the Lord to pour His Spirit into you. You are so worth loving!