Lately, I’ve been all over open letters online. I’ve been loving the Dear Future Husband letter thing, letters to Your Future Self, etc. But I decided to take a slightly different path and write a letter to the Younger Me. Basically, I wish I had known these things when I was ten, eleven, twelve, and on. I’ve learned so many little tings in the past few years – and I think it’s important that I share them. So here we are now. A Letter to the Younger Me.
Dear Younger Amanda,
There are some things I wish I could have told you when you were younger, in the midst of life, trying to figure everything out.
Perhaps you would have turned out to be a different person than you are today. But no matter. You’ve lived a short fifteen years at this point in time, and you’ve already learned a lot.
First of all, I want you to know that life is going to be hard. Things are going to happen that will test you. Your heart will get broken no matter where you are in life – by people and all kinds of crazy circumstances. It’s not going to be easy by any stretch, but God will be with you through it all. Trust me on this. You will never ever be alone.
Besides not being alone, you should know something else. Sometimes, life will be really dark. You might feel hopeless, or lost, or drowning. But darling, always remember that the sun will rise, however long the night. You’ll get through whatever happens, because you will not be alone. There is hope, and you must not ever give up.
Dear Younger Amanda, having a lot of friends doesn’t mean much. Being popular doesn’t matter. It’s really okay if you’re not “in” with the “cool kids”. It’s much more important to focus on being a good friend to others and getting to know a few people well. It’s the quality of friends that matter; not the quantity. And you can work on being a quality friend.
Dear Darling, I want you to know that drama really doesn’t matter. It won’t matter who-likes-who in a few years. Don’t even get your heart all tangled up with crushes and drama and silly young-teenage girl things that don’t matter. Your heart is WAY too precious to throw around like a bowling ball. It’s worth it to focus on more important things than relationships at such a young age; don’t worry about marriage. You’ve got plenty of time.
Younger Me, figure out things you love and work on cultivating those things. Don’t be afraid to try new things, make mistakes, and brush yourself off from those embarrassing little mishaps. And keep on trying. God has given you passions for a reason. Don’t give up on things you don’t think you have talent in. (And here’s a hint: in the future, you are going to love to read novels and write like crazy. Don’t give up just because you think you’re not good at it!)
Dear Girl, find people to look up to and get to know them. Amazing people will come into your life, and you’ll feel like the luckiest girl alive. You probably will be. Listen to people older and wiser than you, and learn from them. You are going to be blessed greatly and learn a lot. Don’t forget to thank those people.
Dear Amanda, hard things are going to happen, but look at the big picture. Don’t fret so much. Everything happens for a reason, and you don’t need to worry so much. You’re young and free now; enjoy it.
Even when you feel like you know better, trust your parents. Remember that they were once your age, and they really do know better than you. Amanda, make sure to cultivate a relationship with them. Trust them. Listen. Take advice. And know that they understand the Bible really well, and you can always talk to them.
Dear Younger Me, the most important thing I will tell you is this: READ YOUR BIBLE. You will be thirteen when you really start reading your Bible regularly, and your life will change after that. It’s going to be an amazing ride, so hold on tight, and follow God wherever He leads. It’s crazy, awesome, and totally worth it. And by strengthening your relationship with God by reading your Bible every day (or as best you can) and praying, you will grow so much.
Your Slightly Older Self