Dear Younger Me,
Wow, It has been awhile, hasn’t it? Life changes. I am the person you never imagined you would be six years ago… So different, yet still, so many similarities to the young teen girl I left so long ago.
You know, I remember when you were just 15 years old. And I wish I could tell you a few things that would have really helped you out…
#1 Everything will be ok.
It really will be. You think that Life is so hard for you right now, and I know it is, but just remember, storms don’t last forever, and after the rain, a rainbow. The pain will make you into a stronger person. Don’t let it make you bitter, but rather, better. Smile through those tears; You can do it. Keep on. And also, the sooner you hand over the controls to God, the sooner it will ease up. (spoiler alert: as soon as you committed your life to Him, even though it was still tough, you were able to rest, and trust that it was going to be ok)
#2 You don’t need to do that for acceptance.
I know what you are doing. Stop it; that is not the way to get acceptance. If people don’t like you for who you are, then that’s fine. You won’t die without their friendship. It matters only what God thinks of you, and where you stand with Him. Sadly, Younger Self, that isn’t even a thought to you anymore. Get your priorities straight. You spend so much time pleasing others,thinking it is love. And that leads me to my third point.
#3 it isn’t love
You call it love. It isn’t love. Love is when a man that you turned your back on, defied, and disobeyed still wanted to die for you to save your soul. That my dear, is love. Not people who love you for only what you will do for them.
#4 You are fine
You try so hard to be perfect. Always obsessing about your outward appearance. How much thought do you give to your inward appearance? That is what really matters! Believe it or not, people don’t pay as much attention to your outward as you do. You are fine. Spend more time on what matters (that is what people notice most, anyway)
#5 It won’t always be hard
This is really the same as point one, reiterated. But It will do you good to hear it again. Life gets easier. But to be perfectly honest, it is never easy. You know exactly what makes it easier; a submitted life to the Savior, who bears our burdens and shares in our grief. With His help, we can withstand the storms of life.
#6 Think positive
Listen up here. Stop being so negative. About others, about life, about yourself. If you would look up every once in awhile, and look for the sunshine, you would find it. There is a silver lining in every cloud.
#7 Look for the good
So instead of criticizing, praise. Instead of counting complaints, count blessings. You have quite a few! You have a beautiful family, healthy body, warm house, free country… just to name a few.
#8 Be the good
It is funny, in a way. You always want to complain about people not doing right, fuss about hypocrites, and whine about suffering. And what are you doing about it? It is not going to get better by you doing exaclty what you don’t like to see others doing. So cut it out, and grow up. Be the good you wish to see in the world. You don’t like hypocrites, be a zealous Christian. Tired of seeing people doing wrong? Then it is time you stopped, too. You know there is suffering in the world, so make an effort to do reach out, help where you can.
#9 Will it matter?
When you begin to worry, ask yourself about its eternal value. (for example: My hair is a mess, What will people think of me? What is the eternal value; will this matter in a year? Or, I gained two pounds maybe people will think I am fat! Oh really? And what if they do? What will it matter in 10 years? ) What really matters: I gossiped about that girl. Does this matter for eternity? Yes it does! Make it right! Or I lied about such and such…. This will affect your relationship with others and with God… This is something to worry about.
#10 Focus on others
The greatest joy in life is found not in serving ourselves, but others. Jesus was the greatest example in serving. Do you wish to be great? Then be the servant of all. Do you want joy? Serve. Happiness? Serve.
Well, Younger Self, this has been a pretty blunt and honest conversation that we should have had long ago. I hope that my bluntness didn’t turn you off, but rather that it will give you something to ponder… And think about the things you might write to yourself now in six more years.
I really think the main gist of this whole letter, Self, is to keep your focus where it should be; on God and eternal things. This world will pass away, and so don’t waste precious time.