A Letter To My Younger Self
Editor’s Note: Today, Mary Trenda is sharing a little more than just dating mistakes. I love these letters to our younger selves that are slowly coming forward on the Internet. Mary blogs at MaryInMarriedLand and tweets at @maryeatsgreen. – Lauren
Dear younger self,
Life is hard, but it’s a lot less messy if you seek Jesus daily. Please make sure you make time every morning before school or work to read your Bible and talk to Jesus. You do not know what this will mean for you just yet. I promise though that you will make much better choices.
Please please please STOP listening to the voices of the mob. Those voices casting stones at you. They are feeding you lies about your true heart and worth. If someone tells you that your legs and butt are fat, don’t let those words define the way you see yourself. Give them over to Jesus and let Him tell you who you are to Him. ‘Cause you see, His opinion is the only one that matters. Your jean size, breast size… those sizes fit you perfectly. You have curves as women were created to have and you are beautiful. Remember that those larger hips are going to hold your baby. Love every inch of you, and DO NOT settle for a man who does not love every inch of you the same.
You will be presented with many options for what kind of man you want to align yourself with over the years. You will feel an incredible urgency to find a man. And sometimes it will feel like that’s all your world is supposed to be about. You will love men’s look, smell, touch, gentle words. Then there will be the ones a little more rough around the edges. You will be drawn to them too. They will present life as an adventure. It will get overwhelming, so this is where I hope you listen to me: do not settle for any man who does not love Jesus. This means he REALLY loves Jesus. Be drawn to the right kind of heart. One day this man will come across your path if you too are seeking Jesus wholeheartedly. He will sweep you off your feet, dear one, because he too has been waiting for you.
If you choose a man less than God’s best, marriage and raising children will be even more difficult that it normally is. So wait for this man. And when you marry him? Respect him and let him lead your family. Be sure to show him mercy (as Jesus has done for you) because he will not be perfect for you. He too will be flawed and a sinner. He will not meet your every need. So, once again – find your worth in Jesus.
You will be asked to go to parties, drink beer, smoke cigarettes, do drugs, have sex, steal some things… the list goes on. You do not struggle with these areas alone. Everyone on planet Earth has been presented with these things. So, before you go feeling that “no one else understands what I am going through,” please remember that everyone does. Trust me when I say you want to stay clear of those things. Yes, you will want to stop being a “good little girl” and will want to experiment. You are only setting yourself up for heartache, heartbreak, time wasted, and consequences that follow years and years to come. These things will scar you more. They will wound you. Don’t go there. RUN from them.
Be bold. If you are passionate about something, run after it with your whole heart. Love Jesus boldly and never apologize for expressing or sharing that love with others. Just make sure it does not come from a judgmental place. BE REAL. Be open. Be raw. Love well.
And never forget this part: If you start to let bitterness of any kind creep into your heart – get rid of it. Period.
Do not get caught up in comparing yourself to others. You will waste all that you have to offer the world when you let your energy focus on living up to other people’s standards. You will feel like you don’t measure up sometimes. You will feel that you are not pretty enough, smart enough, fun enough, rich enough, talented enough. When you get caught up in the comparison game you will feel depressed, envious, and bitter.
Let this be enough for you: Jesus says that you are enough. Let that be your motto. This frees your heart up to love those around you and appreciate the gifts that God has blessed others with. This allows you to be open to learn from others.
Give your dreams to God and let Him make of them as He wishes. Do not stand in His way. Make sure though that you do your part and put forth the effort. Work well and work hard. Do not be lazy. He will bless you. Do it all in His name.
Don’t live by a set of rules. These rules will be presented to you in black and white. Instead choose to focus of living in freedom. Freedom that only comes as you develop and grow closer to Jesus. If you put all your energy into following the rules (the law as the Bible calls it) you will become so burnt out that you throw your hands in the air and give up because you aren’t good enough. So just follow Jesus daily.
Oh, and another thing, I know that those pretty high heels and lacy dresses are beautiful but they are not worth spending every dime on. Be sure to give your money to people who actually need it. Give freely and do not expect anything in return. Learn to be content with what you have and thank God for blessing you with what you do have. You have so much more than half the world’s population. To them, you are already rich. Do not let money and things become your god. It will destroy your heart and rob you of having compassion for others’ needs. You are rich if you know Jesus.
I know that you will want to “appear” like you have everything under control in your life. You will want to be the pretty girl that all the boys want. You will want to be popular and be adored. You will do your best to keep up appearances just because you do not want people to find out that you are flawed and less than perfect. NEWS FLASH: you are less than perfect and flawed. You were born into a world of sinners along with everyone else. Why try to be something you are not? But dear one, there is hope in that Jesus died to forgive you of your sins and to give you a full life on this earth. HE IS YOUR ANSWER. Run to Him and never look back.
Lastly, make sure that you have fun. Enjoy your life. Savor every memory. Savor the moments with family and friends. One day you will experience the loss of a loved one and you will understand how important it is to never take one day for granted. SO ENJOY LIFE. God gave it to you to enjoy it. You have His permission. Soak it all up, but remember that you will give an account to him for all the things you do (both good and bad).
Your older self.
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