Letter to my 16 year old self…..

Recently I ran across a book that looked like a good read….

“Dear Me, A Letter To My Sixteen Year Old Self”

In Dear Me, 75 celebrities, writers, musicians, athletes, and actors have written letters to their younger selves that give words of comfort, warning, humor, and advice. These letters present intimate, moving, and witty insights into some of the world’s most intriguing and admired individuals. By turns funny, surprising, raw, and uplifting, this singular collection captures the universal conditions that are youth, life, and growing up.

What a cool concept!  Boy do I wish I could go back and talk to my 16 year old self….would I have some wisdom to share with her….

Dear 16 year old Jenifer,

          First of all know that all your dreams come true.  You are married to the most wonderful husband and father.  He’s not perfect, and surprisingly, neither are you…but you are perfect for each other.

Love your friends for who they are…don’t judge them.  Reach out to those that no one wants to be friends with….you never know what another person is going through.  Maybe all they need is for you to reach out to them, be a friend, listen…you might make all the difference in their life.

Seek out role models and mentors on your own.  Ask a Godly woman that you know to be a prayer partner, spend time under the influence of strong Christian women who have walked in your shoes before.  They have great wisdom to share, listen to them.

If you have a Dad who doesn’t want to be involved in your life, find someone else.  Reach out to an uncle, maybe your youth pastor, someone who cares enough about you to pray for you/with you….someone who is willing to stand up and show you what a Godly man looks like, someone who understands the important of this relationship.  Don’t spend your life wishing your Dad was someone different….you can’t change him…move on….it’s not worth you spending your life wishing your relationship was different.

Realize that this relationship with your Dad will affect your relationship with boys.  His lack of love and affection and interest towards you will make you seek it from any boy who will give you the time of day.  Don’t try to make up for your lack of relationship with your Dad….finding some boy to “love” you will not fill this void in your life.  Spend your time trying to find a boy who loves Jesus more than he loves you.  He’s what you’re looking for.

Study hard but remember that school/education is not everything (gasp!)….hundreds of years from now it will not matter that you made an A+ on your algebra quiz….but that kid that sits next to you in math class could spend an eternity in heaven because you were willing to share Jesus with them…

Being perfect is not possible… Jesus is the only perfect one.  It’s ok to try things even if you know you might fail.  Your friends and family will still love you if you don’t do everything perfectly.  It’s ok to give yourself a break….

Wear less makeup!  🙂  More is not better!  With your hair….simple is classic…do not get a perm the day before school pictures…not a good idea!  You’ll regret it for years to come.

Appreciate what you have…even if it’s not everything you think you “need”.  You really actually need very little to get by in life….”wants” do not constitute “needs”.

Try to help your Mom more….pay attention to how hard she works around the house and regardless of your current feelings towards her, try to be a productive family member.  Do things just because you are a part of your family, because it’s the right thing to do….not because someone is paying you.

Spend more time with your grandparents…they won’t always be around.  The Lord might even take them home before you even marry or have children.   Ask them questions, learn about how things were when they were growing up…soak up everything they share.  They have great wisdom. Tell them you love them every time you talk to them.  Show them that you love them.

Spend time with your siblings…even if they drive you crazy, even if you’d rather be somewhere else.  Invest in them, tell them you love them, you’ll appreciate being close to them when you are adults and regret it if you aren’t.

Don’t get married as a quick fix to a problem….not.a.good.idea.trust.me.

You need to find your own faith and not depend on the faith of your family….just because you go to church every Sunday, does not mean that you have a relationship with the Lord.  You have to spend time with the Lord to grow your relationship….read your Bible, spend time in prayer (not only talking, but listening).
Be bold about your faith.  Don’t be ashamed, or hesitant to talk about the Lord, who He is, what He has done in your life….don’t just talk to your “church friends” about Jesus…He came for everyone.

Jenifer, know that Jesus loves you!  Live your life like a daughter of the King!  When you feel alone, like you have no one else, know that God is there….always….

Until next time,

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