A Letter to My 14 Year Old Self

Hey guess what?

You finally made it. You went off to college and got out of that town where all your demons hide. You’re actually studying something you enjoy, and you’ve grown so much these last four years.

I know you can’t see that now, but one day you will.

That ache inside your heart, the pain you feel in your chest, the emptiness you feel when you look at where your life is going, I promise it will go away.

But I’ll tell you a little more about that later.

Right now you’ve just started high school, and I know it feels miserable. The friends you’ve known all your life feel more distant than ever, your mom has started a new job she doesn’t like, and you feel like it’s all your fault.

But it isn’t.

There are new people in your life this year, your freshman year, and I want you to hear me out. You have this desire to fit in with them. A new year, a new school, and you feel extremely out of place. All you want is to feel like you belong, that you matter to someone, anyone.

But you matter more than you know, to someone you don’t really know yet.

This group of people, I hate to tell you, but they won’t be in your life forever. Most of them won’t even make it past this first year with you. And I’m sorry about that, because you’ll bare your soul and your scars with many of them.

There are new people in your life this year, your freshman year, and I want you to hear me out. One of them is a boy, and he’s going to consume your entire world for the next few years.

Let him.

He’s going to show you the world, and tell you you’re in the middle of it, that you’re holding his together. He’ll be your first kiss, your first date, and he’ll become a part of you forever. It’s important that you learn what it feels like to be treasured like that, and it’s important that you understand how important this will be to your growth as a person.

But he’s gonna break your heart. More than once.

And that’s hard to see now because he’s half of your world, and losing him would change you forever.

It will, this I can promise you.

A lot of things will change about you this year, including your brokenness. You’ll learn to see the world differently than ever before. You’ll pick up your writing again, and be serious about it. (It’s a pleasure to tell you that this will strongly impact your decision for a college major.)

And in a month or two your mom will sign you and your brother up for the DNow 2010 event at the church you’ve grown to hate attending. You’ll fight her on it, but it will be the best part of this year for you.

You see, at this DNow, you’ll experience Christ’s love for real, for the first time, and it’ll rock your entire world. Accepting Christ into your life, it’ll change everything for you.

And I do mean everything.

Those friends you’ve come to love from this year, you’ll learn exactly how unhealthy those relationships are for you. I’m writing this note to tell you that you’ll survive that loss just like you’ll survive the loss of the boy– by the grace of God.

Your way of coping with pain, dealing with disappointment, you’ll overcome that too. All because on that one night, on the edge of the pew, those words will penetrate your soul.

I wanted to tell you that there’s a lot of things that will happen this year, and the three that will follow at your high school. Many of them will matter, and shape you into the person you are today.

But many of them won’t matter at all.

Your failing grade in math- won’t matter.

Your fight with your best friends over a miscommunication- won’t matter.

Your inability to agree with anything your mom says- won’t matter.

Life goes on for all of us, even you.

And I know you can’t see it now

But one day you will.

Because today, I’m able to write this to you and tell you that even though the darkness isn’t gone, you’ve learned how to manage it. And that boy? Well he’s not in the picture, but you’ve learned that when you give that part of you over to God-well, he fills all those empty places. You’re actually making progress in school- on your way to getting a degree in English-Journalism, and you graduate next December.

So don’t listen to those voices in your head telling you that you aren’t pretty enough, or smart enough, or strong enough, or courageous enough.¬†Because the King of Kings, the creator of sunsets, vacuum cleaners, Dr. Pepper, and crayons thinks that you are so much more than¬†simply enough.

And in a few months, you’ll experience it for yourself. Just hang on.

I promise you’re gonna make it.


21-year-old you


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