Hi! It’s me… a little older and wiser. I remember that day you sat crying on the bed when you were 16, and Mom came in and asked you what was wrong and you replied, “I don’t know!” Oh, hormones are cruel!
I’m 48 now. I know that sounds ancient to you but..good news…I don’t feel ancient. Hard for you to believe – I understand.
I looked for that picture of you that I remember when you were 16, but I can’t find it… because we just moved into a really neat house that we dreamed about for 20+ years (you’ll love it!). We’re knee deep into renovating it and stuff is everywhere – oh, I don’t want to spoil your surprise….. Anyway, in the picture, you thought you were so fat but that’s ridiculous. You are not even close!
Although you have a fun lighthearted exterior, and many friends, you are concerned about so many things. You know how Mom is always saying, “You analyze everything!” in her frustration with you? She is right. You do. And right now you think trying to figure everything out is a good thing – because your life is before you and you have many years to fill… with oodles of choices and plans for the future.
And I know how you are… such a deep thinker…. But I have some tips that may make your life a bit easier if you’ll consider:
• First off and foremost- you are a good person. Those tapes that run in your head that say you have nothing to offer are pure lies. God made you unique with a plan and purpose only You/We can fill. Cool huh?! There’s no one like us!
• You are not fat! You have to struggle not to get fat for the rest of your life but a good exercise routine will help and… hey,.. learn to love healthy food instead of the junk…
• You can strip the joy right out of life with all that thinking bad about yourself. Learn to like yourself!
• Your plan to zoom through college like you want to is not a bad plan. But try to learn something as you do it. You’re goal oriented, make it mean something. Learn to love learning- it will help in the future.. you have to be there anyway, right?
• Marriage – don’t worry. You’ll meet a nice guy – not like the others, and marry him. But be nice to him, he’s sweet and loves you deeply. He’s not perfect but a good match, a really good guy!! Yipee! Even a nice guy can turn if you’re too hard on him. Learn to be soft.
• You know how you said you’d shoot yourself if you grew up and had sons and no daughters? Well, um……Sons are the most wonderful gift!!! Be open. They’re not that scary!
• Stay away from the partying guys. They may be fun but they’re a bigger mess than you…. and for whatever reason – they seem to be the ones who just can’t figure life out before they cause a lot of damage.
• And about that rebellious nature?… don’t let it stop you from seeing that some people really do know what they’re talking about – They’re just smarter than you are! So, learn from them. It doesn’t take anything away from you.
• Remember all your choices have consequences. A fluke accident can change the course of your life.
Right now is a crazy time in your life. Be encouraged.. it’s a crazy time in every 16 year old’s life. Your body and hormones are changing and trying to take over like aliens. It’s okay. You’ll get through it. Just remember, that yearning you have in your heart for something more – is the Lord. He is a very personal God who will walk you through the good and bad. A best friend you will never lose…
One more thing… you have good judgment in friends. Keep choosing friends that will spur you on and will allow you to spur them on too. Friends that have ambition. You will have some friends that are a boatload of fun. Have fun, but be smart.
Try not to take life quite so seriously. Don’t try figure everything out…. You’ll never be able to anyway, there is so much going on you can’t see.
Sit back, relax a little, let God steer you and enjoy the ride!
This “Letter to Me” is part of a celebration (and a plea for compassion for teenagers) of Emily Freeman’s book, Graceful being released. It’s a book for teenage girls – something I sure could have used! http://www.gracefulthebook.com/
What would you say to your teenage self to encourage him/her?