Dear Younger Me,
I wish that you could see where we are now; you’d be so excited. It’s been a journey full of ups and downs but believe me when I say that we’ve learned to love both the mountain tops and the valleys. There are so many amazing, beautiful, heart-breaking things for you to experience. And every single one of them is moulding and shaping you into a woman who wholeheartedly seeks after the heart of God.
I know that it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and that if you let your guard down for even a moment, it’s all going to come crashing down around you. That’s a weighty burden and one that you were never meant to carry. The people in your life love you, and you’re not going to let them down if you show them what’s really going on inside your heart. I know that it feels like your heart is made of paper-thin glass right now, that if you give it to someone, they’ll shatter it into a million pieces. Yes, hearts are fragile things, but they are also resilient. And the people in your life right now love you, and they’ll hold your hurt and your heart tenderly, and they walk with you in these grey days.
I know that there is hurt in your heart. A hurt so deep that it feels like it’s crushing you, draining the life out of you some days. But I’m here to tell you that it gets better. Lean into the people around you. They’re not going to abandon you if they see the messy parts of your life. I know that it’s scary to be vulnerable and ask for help, but the people in your life will love you even more for trusting them with your pain. And in community, the most broken people can be made whole again through the love of Christ.
School is not the end-all and be-all in life. Yes, it’s a big part of growing up and figuring out what direction you want to go when you’re an adult; but it’s not more important than your mental health. You feel like you need to be as smart as your friends, but my love, your grades in school are not your identity. It doesn’t matter how many perfect scores you get. What matters is how you love the people in your life and how you love yourself. The end result is not worth the mental anguish that you’re putting yourself through right now. Enjoy this period of being young. Join the clubs, try out for the musical, take risks, and most importantly, have fun. Your memories of this time shouldn’t be coloured by stress and ideas of unattainable academic perfection. They should be of building friendships and trying new things. Don’t be afraid to fail because it is in the dusting off and getting back up that you discover who you are and what your character is made of.
You are beautiful and worthy of being loved, whether boys like you or not. Your worth is so much greater than the opinions of your peers. We’ve spent far too long caring, comparing, and criticizing our body. How I wish you could believe that there’s not a single thing wrong with how you look. It’s taken us almost a decade to finally find a home in our body, and what a glorious place it is to be!
Find what you love and hold on to them. Don’t be ashamed of the beautifully quirky parts that make you who you are. Keep waking up early to read your Bible. That is such a necessary discipline to have, and it’ll carry you through the rest of your life. Find your people and hold onto them. They’re the ones who are going to hold you up when things get tough, and they’re the ones you can lift up in return. Lean into relationship with the adults in your life. They chose to hang out with you every Friday evening, and that small act of love will impact the rest of your life.
I know that it feels like you’re being pulled in a million different directions right now, but I want to tell you that it gets better. Not necessarily easier, but it gets better. Hold tight to the Lord, and He’ll guide you through the shadows and into the light. You’re unique and beautiful and worthwhile. You’re going to make it. We’re going to make it.