A Letter to My Younger Self

This month I want to focus on quiet moments with myself and God so that I can get a better grip on my thought processes, my emotions, and my ideas and wishes for the future. A lot of this will happen through journaling but I thought I’d try a bit of an exercise and write a real quick, un-edited letter to my teenage self and share it on the blog.

I have spent a lot of years allowing myself to get stuck in the mire of negative self talk. I talk to myself in ways that I would never talk to anyone else. I’m my own worst critic and for a long time, I have talked myself out of a lot of potentially wonderful things out of fear. And I have simply lacked the self-discipline and motivation to work harder for other things. But what if I could turn around and give my younger self advice? How would I talk to teenage me? What would I say 10 years later?

Dear Elyssa,

There is a lot going on in your life right now and I know you’re trying to make sense of it. And I know it’s hard and I know it’s messy and I know you don’t like it all. But I want you to remember a few things. In the years to come, you’ll need to keep these truths close to your heart.

You are an amazing young woman. You’re creative and funny and you love your friends and family. Take every opportunity to love on those around you and make people feel special with the gifts God has given you.

You’re smart and talented and you have a good head on your shoulders. Go out there and learn everything you can and do well in school so you can come out knowing how to think critically, solve problems, and best of all, how to continue to be a life long student. Never allow a season of your life to go by when you stop learning. Learning is for life. Period. You owe it to yourself to make the most of what the modern age has to offer.

You have a family who loves you. Treat them with love and respect and kindness and consideration and a willingness to serve. You only have one life to share with them–make it memorable.

You have an insatiable love of words. Write. Write. Write. Then read, read, read and write some more. Don’t let a day go my where you don’t put a pen to paper even if for a moment. You’re going to look back one day and wish you had documented all of your experiences and ideas and wonderful life moments. Don’t stop writing. It’ll turn into something one day. You don’t want to look back and regret all those unwritten pages of your life’s story.

Don’t worry about guys. Set your standards, mark your boundaries and God will honor your priorities. He will bring along the right man when the time is right and you will be THANKFUL. My darling, you will be THANKFUL you stood your ground and didn’t let the desire for a relationship compromise your standards or your life goals.

You have a God who loves you with a love bigger and stronger than anything you could ever know. Love Him back. Spend time with Him. Share your heart. Don’t push Him away when you don’t know how to handle your emotions or messy thoughts. Draw near and sit at His feet and let Him work on the mess and the uncertainty and the questions. He’s the best friend you’ll ever have and moments spent with Him are never wasted. In fact, moments spent with Him are the sweetest and the best of your life.

One day you’ll look back and wish, wish, wish you had done better. Don’t let yourself down. At the end of it all, it’s just you and God. He believes in your worth and your potential.

Allow yourself to believe in you too.

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