A Letter To My Younger Self On Valentine’s Day
Hey. Stop what you’re doing for a minute and listen. You aren’t going to believe everything I’m about to say, but I know you will understand it. I know you, and I know what you’re thinking. Maybe you will recognize me. Maybe you won’t.
First things first, you’re gorgeous. I know you don’t think that, and I know right now you’re smiling and inwardly negating my words; you do that a lot. Stop it. God made you. You don’t know Him that well yet, so you don’t understand this, but He formed every part of you. He molded your face, gave you that hair you try to cover up. He made you with hips (not the bad thing you think it is). And all those curves that make you feel disproportionate? He made those too. He made your nose and your eyes and he made you a little shy.
You feel cheated right now, wondering why the God of the universe didn’t make you alluring or talkative or anything like the girls you wish you were, but you’re wrong. You’re so wrong. Because, when God made you, he didn’t step back and look at the finished product and say, “good enough”. He didn’t grimace when he realized he made a few mistakes, but ushered you out into the world anyway. He didn’t even nod and think he had done pretty well. No. He saw you and he was enthralled. Girl, the king is enthralled with your beauty. Why? Because you – because the woman he made – was absolutely gorgeous.
I know you don’t feel that way, when the boys in the hallway try to rate your beauty on a scale of ten, when they make you feel unseen, unwanted. Don’t listen to them. Ignore them. For they are just boys and you are a woman – not one of their playthings. You surpass their scale; no one can assign your beauty a number, a rating, a degree. Those who try and do such things are mere fools, not worth being heard. Yeah, their opinion seems like the world to you now, and the things they say cut deep, but you’ll get through it and soon they will be as laughable to you as they are to me now.
You think your brain is your only redeeming quality; you feel threatened when people try to challenge that. You tell yourself that if you can’t be pretty, at least you can be smart, but that’s not true either. God made you beautiful and He made you smart, so stop putting yourself down, stop believing lies (you made most of them up anyway; in a few years, you will realize that). You feel like no one will ever understand you, and they probably won’t, but that’s part of what makes you beautiful. God made you mysterious. You wouldn’t be you if people entirely understood you.
You don’t believe me. I know that. You won’t understand for another few years. You’re asking yourself how anything I say can be true, when deep down you feel so small and unseen. You don’t feel beautiful or powerful or anything like a woman when you sit in the back of the class room silent, avoiding eye contact with the “pretty girls” and the teacher who knows that, though you won’t speak, you have so much to say. That’s right; you don’t fool me. I know how your mind is racing, how badly you yearn to be heard despite your fear of speaking. Your stutter really isn’t that bad.
Girl, things aren’t going to be easy, getting here. Sometimes it’s going to hurt – a lot. But some day you’ll understand what I’m saying. Some day you will come to terms with the truth that God made you beautiful, and the lies you once believed will enrage you. Some day you will be angry at the world that pressed those unhealthy expectations and feelings of failure onto your heart, and you’re going to fight. You’re going to make war on those lies – in your life and in the lives of others. That’s right. Some day there are going to be women who look up to you, and you’re going to understand the struggle in their eyes. You’re going to see in them the girl to whom I am writing this letter. It’s still going to be a struggle for you; it isn’t always going to be easy, but God is on your side.
And you will grow, step by step, day by day, as I am growing now, as you learn what it means to be a woman deeply loved by the Lord.
Listen to me. Please. You are beautiful, just how God made you. If nothing else, please understand that. Cling to it. Cling to the truth that God made you well.
And keep fighting. I’ll see you on the other side.
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