I often find myself reading posts from teenage girls on Facebook and thinking, “Boy, am I glad social media did not exist when I was a teenager.” And then I read my diary from back then and I’m ecstatic that social media did not exist when I was a teenager.
I surely would have embarrassed myself, my family, and everyone who knew me.
Because being a young person is hard. It was hard then, and it’s even harder now. And, like many other young girls, I wore my emotions on my sleeve. Everything is just so confusing. Relationships are confusing. Feelings are confusing. And boys…well, they are the most confusing thing of all.
I wasn’t the most together girl at age 16. It was a fun age, though. I did have friends. (I was the girl who was just friends with everybody and did my best to keep the peace.) I was very involved in my school and my church. I remember my mom threw me a big surprise Sweet 16 party that year. (There is a video somewhere that would surely be great entertainment now.) But despite the fun and the friends, it wasn’t the easiest time. Navigating between school and friends and family and boys and all these crazy emotions and figuring out what I was going to do with my life after graduation – it’s exhausting to think about even now.
But if I could go back, I would say this to my 16-year-old self:
It’s going to be okay.
I’m sorry that boy you like doesn’t like you back. I’m sorry that friend hurt your feelings. I’m sorry that you don’t understand all the rules in your life.
But it’s going to be okay.
I know your emotions and feelings are a little topsy-turvy. I know you’re trying to figure out what the future is going to look like. I know school can be hard sometimes.
But it’s going to be okay.
I see you trying to do right even when everyone else is doing wrong. I see you being a friend to that person that nobody else will hang around. I see you making peace between your friends and helping everyone get along.
And it’s going to be okay.
Those times that you are standing for right and being a friend and making peace? They are worth it.
Those boys that reject your affection? They are so not worth it.
Just hang on, little girl. There are a lot more hills and valleys in this roller coaster of life, but someday – maybe after years of getting it all wrong – you are going to figure out what matters.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12
God has a plan for your life. And nobody can thwart that plan no matter how hard they try. Not that cruel boy or that betraying friend or even these crazy emotions you can’t seem to get a handle on. Believe me, in 20 years it won’t matter. What will matter are the choices that you make to do right in the face of opposition, to follow God no matter the cost. That’s what counts.
One day you are going to read your diary and laugh at some of the things you wrote. (And perhaps cringe a little, too.) Trust me.
So don’t despair when everything looks bleak and you feel you just can’t handle it all. Trust that God can handle it and let Him. Put the future in His hands. Put everything in His hands. They are very capable. Oh, and listen to your mama. She’s pretty smart.
Your Future Self
P.S. Sometimes I need to remember that God has a plan for me even now. Thanks for letting me remind myself of that today.
I shared this post in Salt & Light Link Up.