Dear teenage me,
Hi there. It's me. I mean, it's you. I mean...oh just listen. No really. Stop asking questions and, for once in your life? Just. Listen.
First things first. Please stop wearing those bright orange and purple Adidas pants everywhere. They aren't that cool and are too big. Really.
You will be elected to student body president your senior year. Being on the stage in front of the school will never bother you. But at 32 years old, you'll think about it and you will feel nervous.
In several years, cell phones are going to have capabilities unlike anything you've ever seen. Everyone will be carrying them. And instead of calling each other on them, they will stare at them and type messages to each other.
A kid will write horrible things about you in an underground school newspaper and years later, your feelings will still be hurt. Try not to let it bother you. Everyone doesn't have to like you.
On that note, stop trying to make everyone like you. Their approval is not the end of your worth.
You don't have to always be the one talking. Spend more time listening. You'll be glad you did.
Slow down enough to see the world around you...or at least enough not to crash into it with your car.
You will go away to college, only to go to three colleges. What you are looking for you will never find in the next town or on the next campus.
You will sit on a bed in a college dorm room with a Bible in your lap, afraid to open it for fear of what you might find. Open it.
You senior year, you will get up in the middle of the night to scribble some notes about a paper you are writing for your English class. You will continue to do this. Always. And when you are older, words are how you'll make sense out of life.
You'll get an A on that English paper and your teacher will say you have a gift. Listen to her. Major in English or Literature. Skip Psychology.
One significant conversation with a best friend is more meaningful than a group party.
You will learn the art of placing a tissue on your pillow when you cry yourself to sleep so you won't wake up to a soaking wet pillow. No, I'm sorry. You will never outgrow unleashing the day's burdens into your pillowcase. But the burdens you carry now are not significant compared to the ones you will carry as you grow.
That guitar player at Young Life? In a few years, he will take you to the mountains and ask you to marry him. He will love you more deeply than you can fathom and you will spend years wondering why. He will call you from work three times per day, every day, just to see how your day is going. He will love dogs and mountains and music and Jesus. And you will fall in love with him every time he opens your door.
You will have three daughters. You will homeschool them and grind your own flour for bread. No, I'm dead serious.
Denim? No. You'll dress normally. You're one to talk, Miss Purple Pants.
You will listen to your babies breathe as they sleep and feel as if it's your own soul breathing in and out. You will never tire of that sound.
Go ahead and break up with that boyfriend your senior year. You will break up soon enough anyway, and there is no sense in dragging it out. Oddly enough, he will die in his twenties from a heart condition. You will go to the visitation and see his mother, pregnant with your third child. You will feel guilty that you carry life when she just lost hers.
Your best friends will not be the ones you have now, save one. This best friend will hate that guitar player...just for a short time. Her grandfather will die soon and you will feel guilty you weren't there. Try to be there.
One day, believe it or not, you will long for solitude. Sometimes you will want to be quiet and just sit. And knit. Or read. Or write.
Your Bible will be your most prized possession. You will read of blood and sacrifice and a cross and a hill and it will all make sense to you. And you will weep. For the orphans, for the oppressed, for the lost...and for you. For the teenage you that never really embraced Truth or understood the cross.
Put down the phone. Don't get in your car. Stop worrying about boyfriends and spats and squabbles and pep assemblies. Find the hill. Run to it...run hard and fast and don't stop until you sit on a mountainside and stare headlong into the eyes of a Redeemer. Tell Him your story. And listen as He tells you His.