Dear 16 Year Old Me…

There are so many things I wish I could change.

So many things I wish I could save you from, and stop you from doing. I know you are feeling hurt, betrayed and worthless right now. I promise you won’t be feeling this way forever.

It’s going to take you a few years, and even now at 25, you’re still not fully there. Eventually you won’t be so self conscious about your body and the way you look. You will begin to open your eyes and see that people actually do love you just the way you are. You will begin to love yourself and not see yourself as the ugly, horrible person I know you think you are.

You will lose your very best friend this year and that one is going to cut you deep. It’s going to hurt you for a very long time. I can’t tell you that it will be over sooner than you think because it’s been 9 years and you still miss her. She passed away 5 years ago and that will add even more regrets to your already hurting heart. She was an incredible person. The best flute player you had ever heard. She loved to write, and inspired you to do the same. She knew how to make you smile every morning when she would text “good morning sunshine!” She showed you what real friendship was, never forget that.

When you meet the boy you think will love you forever, don’t push all of your friends away to be with him. Temporary happiness never lasts. When he leaves you, don’t chase after him. It’s going to break your heart. You thought you knew what real love was, but darling, you have no idea what life has to show you. You will be okay. After a few months of hurting, you will pick yourself up and become a much better person because of the pain. Don’t get your blades out again, they won’t help. They will only make things worse. They aren’t going to bring him back to you, so let them, and him, go.

I know you and mom aren’t on the best of terms right now. You are feeling like she doesn’t understand you at all. You think she is suffocating you and that she is only trying to make your life worse. The more time you spend away from home means less fighting, right? Let me tell you, you are wrong. Give her a chance to open up to you once in awhile. Stop pushing her away and eventually you’ll start to see that she isn’t always the bad guy. I know you don’t see it now, but she is trying to protect you from making the same mistakes she did. If only you knew before you made them too. She loves you ten times more than you could ever imagine, even if you don’t see it that way. Don’t worry though, you’ve had 9 years to get to know her better. You will spend more time at home and you will realize that she is only human. Give her a chance, I promise you won’t regret it.

You will find God again too, darling. Overflow 2012 changes your life. You will start the weekend wanting to be anywhere but there. You don’t think anything can change you. You are so angry at the world that you just don’t care anymore. But let me tell you, by the second worship song, you have already broken down. Then the speaker comes to the stage. His main point is “Don’t go back to your Egypt.” You comfort zone when life is hard, your Egypt, is cutting. It is the last toxic part of your life that needs to go. You have been hanging onto it for far too long. It is a daily struggle, still is some days, but one day you will beat it. You are 7 years cut free this year. You CAN do it. You will never forget that weekend at Overflow. Most of your friends forgave you for pushing them away. You will finally forgive yourself for the horrible things you did in the past as well. They will become part of your story, your testimony. Hold on to the hope you felt that weekend because it will carry you through many more hard times. When you are having a tough day, stay close to God and remember that He loves you far more than you could ever possibly imagine. I know you are struggling right now but it will not last forever. There is always a light at the end of the dark tunnel, even if it is a long one.

One day you won’t be ashamed of all of your sins from the past. You won’t have to hide them anymore. One day soon you will realize that you are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for. You will use your bad experiences for good things. Your biggest fear that no man will ever love you because of your past – that means nothing anymore. In a few years you will meet a man who loves you just the way you are. He won’t judge you because of your mistakes, but instead, he will love you despite them. He knows your sins are part of who you are and he loves everything about you. Every flaw and every scar makes you who you are. You were made to do incredible things.

Tenth Avenue North quotes it perfectly. “You are more than the choices that you’ve made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You’ve been remade.”

“After all this has passed, I still will remain. After I’ve cried my last, there will be beauty from pain.”

You will be okay. I’ll see you in a few years.

xo.

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