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:
- Keep your sass. You’ll later struggle to even stand up for yourself.
- Read your Bible daily. It lights the path to a life better than your wildest dreams.
- Be proactive. Go for all God calls you to.
- Education is a gift, not a birthright. Don’t take it for granted.
- 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 would you believe that a piece of Africa may come to you? Don’t worry about what that means. Just know this: 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
(I wrote this post in 2012. This weekend, I was on a women’s retreat where we all shared our life stories and I got to thinking about this old blog post. So here’s my testimony in a nutshell: I stink. I fail. Jesus saves. God loves. I pray you get in on His goodness too.)