Dear Younger Me

Dear younger me,

Oh my sweet summer child. So many things to tell you. So much you don’t know. Yes, you are mature for your age, but you have so much more maturing to do. Your wisdom will be hardwon. Terribly hardwon. There will be pain. I can see it, written all over your heart, all in your eyes; some of it still burns when I look back. You’ll make a lot of irreparable mistakes, my love. But you’ll be the better for them.

There will be times when you just don’t understand. There are still times when I don’t even understand. You won’t know why, or how, or what could God possibly be doing. There will be days when the only thing that gets you through is the still small voice saying “it will be okay.” It isn’t now, but it will be. And then there will be the days when you can rely on your humans. They are truly amazing. Not once are you alone. You’ll feel it, though, mercy, you’ll feel it. Loneliness, out of place, not enough. But you are enough. And you find the place you belong, I promise. You thought it was impossible; it’s not. You belong. The friends I have now are the best we’ve ever had. You’ll be safe with them. You’ll be safe and you’ll be yourself. It’s the most beautiful thing. Even as I look back right now, I’m in awe. I finally understand what it means for people to be your home. Just wait a little longer, my love.

There will be pain, but there is so much joy, too. My goodness, the memories, I don’t even know where to start. You’ll have some wonderful memories, memories that will get you through. I see you smile, limitless and warm and free. Every second is worth it, my child, even when it doesn’t seem like it. I promise you, it is.

And guess what, sweetheart. You like public speaking. Trust me, I know how that sounds. I know you don’t believe me. But you do. I know, I hated it the beginning of senior year. But you’ll see. The Holy Spirit’s got it. Every time, He is with you. Also, you get a standing ovation for a speech. Yeah, senior year. Don’t look at me like that. It’s true. You’ve always had it in you. Little sparks of intrigue, little shreds of spotlight that hadn’t come together yet. For God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound judgement (II Timothy 1:7). See, you stop caring about what other people think of you. You find your identity in Christ- you’ll understand what that means- and you find your strength. Other people’s opinions don’t matter; you aren’t afraid. He’s got you. You accepted Christ a long time ago, dear, but the moment you stop caring what others think, and you do- that is the moment you are truly free. And you have so much to say. Sweet and salty, that’s what you’ll be known as. Public speaking is the last piece, I think.

You are free. You are strong. You are soft, but you are no longer weak.

It is an uphill battle. That’s a cliché. It’s a knock-down, drag-out struggle, to say the least. Some days your soul will tear against your chest. You’ll be in pieces. Tears don’t even begin to describe it. But God is there. Not once are you alone. He is home.

You will make it. If you only knew, my dear. Those flames you walk through make you stand tough as steel, and shine like gold. Those irreparable mistakes you kick yourself for making give you wisdom beyond your years, and humility to hit your knees and turn to God.

If only you could see the joy to come, sweet one. If only you could see the indescribable tapestry of joyous memories and carefree smiles and sparkling laughter that I have become. Every second is worth it.

Life is beautiful, my love.

And little younger me, it’s not your fault.

All my love,

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