my dearest julie fruits (that name will one day make you smile),
My heart aches as I see your sweet face so full of doubt and fear. My older self whispers to your heart that you are loved in ways you only dream of right now.
All that work and worry trying to fit in? Let it go. Easier said than done I know, yet in the end not being a homecoming princess really won’t be as important as it seems now. You will find your value in a way you cannot imagine right now.
Not dressing like everyone else? Promise, it never is possible. Wear those comfortable jeans and go barefoot when you can. Fashion rules will continue to escape you. Find a friend to shop with…one day a daughter will remind you to put the old lady clothes back on the rack and walk away. Shoes will never get easier, but some day you will love your pink Dansko’s. And yes, you will love pink even though your tomboy self cringes as you read this.
That boy that you were so shy around? The one you think is breaking your heart? He won’t be the “one.” That one comes as a gift much later than you hope for but at just the right time for you to appreciate the work a godly marriage takes. He will teach you about love and even more about laughter.
Those girls that seem to have it all? They are really as frightened as you are you just cannot see it. 35 years later your lives are much alike. Right now they seem so different than you, yet they too will be hurt, have their hearts broken, and sadly some still are frightened all this time later. Love them anyway even when they don’t see 16 year old you.
Not being able to engage in small talk with strangers? Would you believe someday soon you will love it? You will still prefer deeper, longer, and more intimate conversations, yet it will be a way for you to open the doors to those possibilities.
There are so many things I want to warn you of, choices you will make, people who will leave wounds, events that will shatter you into millions of pieces, but each of them will lead you to a bridge that will begin a new journey in your heart and in your life. It will be a journey there are no words for. And I promise, a journey that is worth the wait. A journey that will lead to a love that changes everything.
Until then precious one, be gentle with yourself. You are safe, there is hope and you are loved more than you can ever know. Your heart will still get broken some days, you will still cry big tears, yet you will laugh more and learn how to live a life of thanksgiving because you are loved all the way to new life.
This Dear Me post written to my teenage self is part of Emily Freeman‘s celebration for her newest book, just release called Graceful. It’s a book for young women (remember her first book, Grace for the Good Girl, for us grown ups?–it’s like that only really different because it’s for teenage girls).
This letter was so fun to write, you should write one too! Emily is hosting a link up this Friday for anyone who wants to write a Dear Me letter to their teenage self.