Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dear Me {A Letter to My Teenage Self}

Dear Teenage Me,

A little advice from the "me" you'll one day be.

Lighten up on the tanning bed.
Wear your retainer.
When you decide to switch to diet soda, do yourself a favor and transition to water instead.
You'll  never drive a yellow Mustang or a red Beetle.  These won't be life regrets.
When you see this glossy picture of Charlize Theron, step away from the salon.  You will never look like her. It won't turn out well.

 A few tips:

  1. Keep your sass.  You'll later struggle to even stand up for yourself.
  2. Read your Bible daily.  It lights the path to a life better than your wildest dreams.
  3. Be proactive.  Go for all God calls you to. 
  4. Education is a gift, not a birthright.  Don't take it for granted.
  5. Go on those youth group mission trips.  You'll one day have a wanderlust for missions that can't be satisfied.

You know that "dream husband" description you wrote in your diary? Scrap it.  God has a far better man in mind.  And the two children you hope to become pregnant with?  Well... think bigger. Don't box yourself in.

You won't actually make it to being a missionary in Africa.  I know, we really thought that'd happen.  But God is going to blow your life plans out of the water.  You will love what He does.  I'm not saying it will be easy.  It won't always be sunny skies.  But you'll learn just how faithful He is.

Yeah, yeah, I hear ya. You think you already get how good God is.  You don't.  You might not until heaven.  Which reminds me of something else you'll soon find out...

You aren't the Christian you think you are.  I would tell you to be careful... to watch for the darkness ready to creep into  your heart.  But the truth is, falling on your spiritual face will be one of the best things for you.  God will mercifully allow failure to reveal poisonous pride.  You don't believe that you'll turn away from Christ?  You think you'd never rebel?  I'm sorry to break the news, but it will happen. Soon.

When it does, don't dwell in the shame and wallow in the failure.  Jesus' death easily swallows your worst mistakes.  Let His light break through.  It will be brighter than you ever knew.

Here's a truth you'll someday love:
You are weak. Your faith, abilities? Weak.  But He is strong and His love holds fast.

You will walk from failure into a joyful life without guilt.
Go ahead and start thanking God now.  It's going to be good.

You, at age 29

Today I'm linking up with Chatting at the Sky.  Write a letter to your teenage self and link up here!  The link up is to promote what should be an incredible book for young women. I haven't read it yet, but I love the author's blog and think this may be perfect for the youth at our church.

PS - My real life amazing friend Jessica writes to her teenage self here.


Rebecca Rainer said...

Dear Teenage Rachel,

You rocked that haircut and looked beautiful!

Your big sister who has always looked up to you.

Amanda @ wandering said...

I loved how you wrote about how God will blow your plans out of the water - the good and the hard of that.
And the message of Jesus being bigger than our worst mistakes. Yes.

Denise said...

Such a great post.

Mindy Rogers said...

I followed your link from the link up on Chatting At The Sky and I loved reading your letter! Sweet and funny and heartfelt! :)

Zhanna said...

This is why I love link-ups! Because I get to discover precious gems like you!

Beautiful letter! Believe it or not, you definitely rocked that short hair cut! No joke. It seriously compliments your delicate features :)

And I love the tips you added.

Would have made teenage life a little easier if only we had applied these principles.

Sigh. You live and your learn.

You said it best: falling flat on your face will be one the best things. We learn a lot in our darkest times. It's there, in the ugliness that He reveals his treasures.

And yes, think outside the box! Think bigger. I love that.


RACHEL said...

Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments! Zhanna, Mindy, Amanda... I found your letters like this, and I loved reading them!!

Rob Haynes said...

Rachel as I said in my email you are a rare find don't change less it be Gods will. (Charlize has nothing on you :-) )

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