Friday, September 14, 2012

Dear Fifteen-Year-Old Me

Hey there! It's me... the older version of you. It feels a little strange writing to you... well, because it is twenty six years later now. What feels even stranger is... now that I'm in my 40s {which was my mother's age back then}, it doesn't really feel that old. At least not as old as you'd thought it would be!

This is kind of back-to-the-future-ish, don't you think? Well, bear with me... because I think you'll like what I have to say!


First of all, do you want to know what's so cool? My beautiful daughter is exactly as old as you are! Yes, fifteen... which is precisely why I knew I had to write this letter!

You see... my baby girl... she is nothing like you! Well, maybe the brains part of her... she's like you. :-) Other than that though... nothing. like. you. at. all!


My beautiful daughter!

While you were such a shy and introverted girl, even to the point of not talking for long periods of time at school... my girl, on the other hand, isn't afraid to strike up a conversation with just about anyone! In fact, she says that her hobby is talking! :O

You'll be amazed to know that God's grace truly is sufficient. Though still a true introvert, this older version of you has been stepping out of her comfort zone lately... to the point of agreeing to share her story as part of the Ordinary Radicals teaching series at church this past Summer!

While you had low self-esteem and didn't quite feel that you fit in most times... my girl, on the other hand, is one who is very confident in her own skin! She has a radiant personality and fits right into any situation or people group.

You'll be relieved to know that God has given this older version of you lots of confidence... that He who began a good work in her will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus!

While you couldn't even run a short distance without feeling cramps in your stomach... my girl, on the other hand, plays on her school's basketball team!

You'll be happy to know that this older version of you runs a race now... running in such a way as to get the prize... running with perseverance, fixing her eyes on Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of her faith. But she only still just takes long walks for her exercise. Still no running! :-)

While your worldview didn't include much, other than benefiting your own self... my girl, on the other hand, wants to change the world!

You'll be encouraged to know that God will transform your worldview... so that this older version of you now understands what it means to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him. Among other things, this transformed worldview has been expressed through child sponsorships... and most recently, happening right now actually... through a project called Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy!

While you struggled to grasp the reality that God is good and found it hard to believe that God can be a loving Heavenly Father... my girl, on the other hand, rests in the knowledge that she is a daughter of the King, mostly because God has given her an awesome earthly daddy as an example!

You'll be happy to know that this older version of you has finally grasped how wide and long and high and deep God's love is for her... mostly from a gift God has graciously given her, the grace of her life... but also from discovering for herself that she is a beloved one... that God is always good and she is always loved!

So why am I writing to you about all these things?
Two words. God's grace! You might not yet see it... but it doesn't mean that God isn't already at work.

In just two short years, you will leave the life that you've known since birth. You will move half-way around the world to a foreign country called Canada. You will start a new life.

It is where this older version of you still live today... twenty four years later! Yes, you've actually now lived more years here than you have in the Philippines! You've become 100% Canadian now... hard to believe, eh? :-)

It is in this new country, in its education system, where you will learn to slowly come out of your shy shell and start to have confidence in yourself.

It is in this new country, in the several faith communities you belonged to, where you will learn what it means to run God's race and what it means to have a Christian worldview.

In just three short years after relocating to this foreign country, the man your soul loves will come after you and three years after that, you will marry him! {Side note: Ignore all those boys right now because they don't compare to the best that God has for you. :-)}

It is in this marriage, soon after your baby girl was born, that you start to grasp God's goodness and start to understand that He truly is, and always has been, a loving Heavenly Father and that you, too, are a daughter of a King!

It is in this marriage, through the good and the bad, that you finally understood God's relentless love for you... that He truly is always good and that you truly are always loved!

Knowing and following hard after God has enabled you and your hubby to parent your baby girl God's way. And by God's grace, she has grown up to be a beautiful girl, not only on the outside, but more importantly on the inside! By the way, she will soon be followed by a bouncing baby boy... who is now 12 years old... a young man with a special heart! You are truly blessed!


See? Didn't I say that you'll like what I have to say?
In recent years, this older version of you has come to love the writings of Ann Voskamp. So, I'll end this letter with one of the quotes from her book, One Thousand Gifts:
The secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is.
Beautiful, right? I hope you'll take that to heart and know that God is always good, that you are always, always, always loved!

Love,
This Older Version of You.

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Friends, this post is part of a link up that's happening today over at Chatting At The Sky where bloggers are writing letters to their younger selves in support of Emily Freeman's newly released book Graceful, a book for high school girls between the ages of 14 and 18... a book that I can't wait for my 15-year-old daughter to read!

Please hop on over there and check out all the wonderful letters. I promise you will be blessed!

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

2 comments:

  1. Isn't it fun to compare our teen selves to our own children? While it is easier to have them be just like us, life is more richly spiced when they are different.

    I love your letter to yourself. It is so encouraging and sweet it brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for dropping by, Kim! I'm glad my letter was an encouragement to you. :-)

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