My 16 Year Old Self…

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Dearest You

You are 16.  In so many ways, you are grown up.  You have achieved much and most days feel like you can accomplish anything!  I would venture to say you often approach the day with more confidence than I have now.  I remember the feeling.

Then, there are the other days.

You know the ones I am talking about.  All of a sudden, you’re a little girl again.  You desperately want someone to convince you that you are beautiful and that you’re making the right choices.  That all the areas of doubt that chase after you, will soon be worked out for the best.  You want to believe that your friends will always like you and that the boy you dream about will become your husband.  You want your daddy to hold your hand and walk you to school again.  You want your momma to tuck you in at night and sing to you.  You just feel uncertain.  The little girl who is trying to walk in a woman’s shoe.

Don’t worry, it’s normal. It’s a part of growing.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  It is okay not to be a grown up.  You should be growing.  You should be maturing.  You should be learning…but you are not finished!  I am not finished.  None of us will be complete until Jesus calls us home to heaven.

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

Even though none of us are finished, some wise people are further along in the process.  Learn from them.  Find yourself a godly mentor who is producing fruit in their life.  Get to know someone who is actively pursuing Christ.  Or, maybe you’ll be blessed with a few people like that.  Humble yourself and ask to learn.  You need it, because that is how God designed His family.  He wants us to learn from each other.

Be confident in who God made you and who He did not make you.  Work hard to be successful in areas that you are talented and be comfortable in admitting where you are weak.  Everybody has different giftings.  Find yours and strengthen them!  Pursue opportunities to use them!  Yes it’s good to try things out and be well-rounded, but it’s also very healthy to be selective in what you fill your time with.  Take positive steps towards growth!

I had a very hard time with this, when I was 16.  I wanted to be chosen and have a role in everything I saw.  This created “plastic woman” and she was UGLY.  She was loud and insecure.  She was trying to squeeze into every wrong situation, while missing all the opportunities that would have been a great fit.  People around “plastic woman” judged her and teased her.  The ones that accepted this identity were also suffering from living under the fake, plastic shell.  They created a vicious cycle amongst each other.  It was suffocating.

Once created, it takes a long time to heal from this identity crisis.  “Plastic woman” does not give up easily because she is being motivated by satan.  He wants you to believe the lies that are being whispered to you.  He does not want you to see what is going on until you have lost everything.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10)

The only thing that heals you and brings you back to the truth of who you really are, is making choices to find your identity in Christ.  This must be your foundation if you will be able to believe any of God’s other truths for your life and future.  This will take time and you will need to choose to believe this every day.  You will probably need to even say this out loud!

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:3-4).

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Walk in these truths.  In your “confident days” be confident because you are trusting in God’s plans for you, not in your own abilities.  Every good thing you experience or any talent you exhibit, are from God.

Allow yourself to find truths in the middle of your doubts and move past them.  You friends will not always like you and they will hurt your feelings.  They are human.  Sometimes this is because they make mistakes.  And, sometimes this is because you need to choose healthy relationships and these people are a bad influence.  God is the only one who will never leave you.

You are beautiful but you won’t look like a super model.  We often convince ourselves that since we don’t look a “certain” way, that we are ugly.  Not true!  Super models are real people who are airbrushed and not every person is supposed to have long blonde hair.  It’s good to be healthy, but don’t lie to yourself and wait for everyone else to perpetuate the false reality you’re hoping to achieve.  You will just be disappointed and you will miss out on being the person God designed you to be!

The guy you like when you’re 16 will most likely not become your husband.  Out of all my friends, there are only 2 or 3 of us who married high-school sweethearts.  It’s not a bad thing.  Now that I’m married, I am so glad that I did not stay with my high school boyfriend.  He is a great guy, but not for me.  My husband is perfect for me, but I would not have been ready for him when I was 16.  Just be confident that God has someone in store for you when you are a better age to receive that blessing.  I know you think that it’s just something adults tell you, but it really is true!  In the meantime, be careful to guard your heart and make pure choices.

It’s good to pursue a close relationship with your parents.  Even now, I love holding my daddy’s hand and praying with my momma (actually with both of my parents).  The world will tell you that it’s not cool, but God tells you to honor them and you will live a long life (Ephesians 6:1).  Enjoy them and be respectful.  You want to look grown up?  Be respectful and kind.  It shows maturity and they will probably give you more freedom too!

Finally, avoid blue eye shadow, stop playing with your hair so much, and be careful how much you laugh when something is only a little bit funny.  You may not understand now, but trust me.  When you’re no longer 16, you will thank me.

{Picture is courtesy of a “high school throw-back,” I am on the far left in the flower dress. Oh my!}

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