Thursday, September 13, 2012

dear me

dear teenage me ~

before i get to the important stuff...a couple of tips that may really pay off in the long run...

1:: i know you think you are invincible but teeth really do decay and getting them drilled and filled is no fun so do this one simple thing - floss {and don't avoid brushing your teeth because you are 'too tired'}.

2:: don't buy the all-sequin multi-colored prom dress...for so many reasons...seriously...trust me on this one.

3:: practice cleaning up after yourself.  i know you think it's all part of your 'creative' side to keep your room looking like a tornado hit it but there is something to be said for organization.  you may be able to function in your mess now but wait until you add a husband and kids to the mix...i'm just sayin'.

ok...the rest of what i have to say to you is going to be a little more difficult to swallow.  you may roll your eyes and dismiss every word because you think you have it all figured out...but you don't.  i wish i could help you realize that sooner than later.  i know it would save you so much heartache...and counseling.  even though you will doubt this truth - you are so precious and so valued...but you have no idea why...no idea that it really has nothing to do with you.
that's me in the black dress with the red nails and matching red lipstick...nice...
so let's get right down to it...

you can't be all things to all people.  eventually you will lose your true self underneath the chameleon coat you wear that changes color based on who you are trying to please or get approval from at any given time.  it's ok to try your hardest at things but check your motives.

oh...and news flash...refraining from kissing boys and drinking alcohol doesn't make you a 'good person'.  again - check your motives...start figuring out the 'why' behind what you do so that when the ground gets shaky your foundation will stand.

you know that mental resume that you carry around in your head?  crumple it up and throw it in the trash.  i know...you didn't think anyone else knew about that...well i do.  i know how you keep track of every award received, every academic success, every popularity contest won, every compliment given.  i know how you imagine a gigantic piece of paper that you can never quite fill up with enough accomplishments.  guess what?  20 years from now nobody will care about that piece of paper...including you.

loving people and spending time with them is great...keep developing that gift of connecting with others.  but...and this is a big BUT {no...i didn't say you have a big BUTT...you barely have any butt}...allow for some time to be alone to connect with yourself and your Savior.  

whoa, whoa, whoa - before you stop reading...

OK...I know he's not your Savior yet.  In fact...at this point you almost cringe at the word and all those 'born again' yahoos who claim to have entered into some kind of 'new life' in Christ.  this will come as a major shock, but one day you will be one of those yahoos.  your life will be made new.  you don't see a need for that now but you will.

stop trying to read through the entire bible because you want to 'accomplish' something and start searching the scriptures for the truth and promises that God wants to speak to you right where you are.  remember that it is the living word of a living God.  it's not something to be checked off of a to-do list.

i know you believe IN God but i implore you to BELIEVE God.  everything that he has to say to you in his word can be trusted.  everything else you hear can not.  question what the world tells you and don't take everything at face value.  there is so much more depth to the people and the experiences surrounding you.  be brave enough to dive into the deep end, instead of just splashing around on the surface.

let your writing take you places...even if they are dark places.  you have dabbled in your love affair with words.  their healing power will begin to touch your life but don't hold back.  don't always write what you think others would want to hear.  write what is being whispered in your ear...on the good days...and the bad.  begin recording the story of your life...you'll want to remember all that you've come through on this journey because as you will one day see...there is great purpose in it all.

above everything - seek to believe this truth with your whole heart.  hear it.  say it.  examine it.  pray for it.  experience it...
jesus is not something to add to your resume.
jesus is not something you do because your parents told you to.
jesus is not something that happened to you when water was sprinkled on your head as a baby.
jesus is not a guilt trip.
jesus is not the quick-fix solution to whatever problem you are currently facing.

jesus is life and light...in him there is no darkness.  let his light blind you so that you might truly see.  when life gets dark seek his face...with all your strength seek his face and you'll find he has been holding yours in his hands all along.  gazing at you - a precious, valued child - with love and grace not for what you have done but for what he wants to do in you.  fight to see yourself as he sees you.

oh...and one more thing...peace is possible in your frazzled, hurried heart...i can't wait for you to know what that feels like one day.

love, 
me

{i wrote this letter as part of the launch for graceful by emily freeman.  i can't wait to do this study with some of the teenage girls in my life...check it out!}