You’re 16. It’s been 10 years since I’ve seen you so I thought I’d give you a heads up about a few things.
They say the older you get, the faster life moves, and you roll your eyes because high school is feeling like an eternity but trust me when I say, they’re right. Once you start college, life is going to move at an uncomfortable pace. When you graduate college (oh yeah, spoiler, you WILL graduate), that uncomfortable pace will accelerate to a level you’ve only heard your parents talk about. Get ready.
Another fair warning that I know you don’t want to hear: That boy you’re with is gonna break up with you. It’s really gonna hurt. It’s okay to grieve it and feel it when it comes. But please know something WAY better is coming. I’m not talking about the boy you’ll date in a couple years or even anyone you’ll meet in college. You don’t know it yet but God’s got someone really special waiting for you. He’s going through his own thing right now too…but when you guys finally meet it’ll be the perfect timing. He’ll love you in all the ways you never thought you needed. He’ll bring out the best in you and help you face the worst in you and love you through all of it. You don’t even know it yet. But hang in there. It won’t be anything you expected, but I promise it’ll be amazing.
The last thing you want to hear right now is that there are more important things than a relationship. But don’t neglect your friendships for the sake of a high school boy who doesn’t know how to do this thing right yet. You are doing life with the people you will talk about and remember even after you’ve lost touch, simply because you’re so impressionable right now. Try not to lose touch…but if you do, don’t kick yourself for it. Life is gonna take you and everyone else in a million different directions. I promise that’s more exciting than it is scary. And it doesn’t mean you’re left alone…God fills in all those “gaps” with some pretty amazing people.
On that note, don’t judge so hard the people who are different from you or who choose a lifestyle or a belief system that’s not like yours. You can try and associate with the “right” people or always do the “right” thing but don’t for a second think you are above anyone, my dear. In fact, those are the people you can probably learn the most from. Make friends with people who are different from you. Ask questions. Shut your mouth and listen to their stories. You might just meet someone who will change your life.
Speaking of life, don’t be afraid to change your mind. Right now your heart is set on one thing…but don’t be afraid when the time comes that it doesn’t feel like the right thing anymore. Your identity is not tied up in your talents or even in where you choose to use them. Use them for good things, but not at the expense of who you are at your core and what you believe in. Don’t be afraid to try new things and engage in conversations about big things…you never know where that can take you.
Don’t get too attached to snow. There will come a time you won’t get to see it very often anymore…so I guess, don’t take it for granted either.
In the years ahead, the enemy is gonna start throwing lie after lie your way and you’ll start to believe some of them. Things like: you’re not good enough, you aren’t worthy of love, you’re not smart enough, you’re too needy, you’re alone, you’re ugly, you’re unloved, God is disappointed with you, God can’t be trusted, God abandoned you…when you hear these things, be quick to identify them as lies. It’s all part of a large scheme to get you far away from the Truth…the truth that you don’t have to be enough, that you are more loved than you could ever imagine or deserve, that you’re never alone, never abandoned, never so bad that God would forsake you as His child.
When you feel like you’ve hit your lowest of lows—and I’m talking ready to run away from everything altogether in every sense—He will be right there again to remind you of who He is, who you are, your need of Him and His desires for you. It’s gonna break you into a million little pieces and yet somehow put you back together again more whole than you were before. You will see His glory. Right now it’s a lofty concept you’ve only just begun to hear about…but soon you will actually see it and know it. And that’s what’s really gonna change you and make you come alive like you never thought you could.
Get ready for a roller coaster, my dear. But know that you’re strapped in with the mightiest of Protectors, ready to laugh and scream and cry the whole way through with you.
It’s not gonna be perfect, but it IS gonna be good. You don’t even know it yet. But it’s gonna be good.