Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dear Teenage Me,

Dear Lindsey,

First of all,
  • let the eyebrows grow a little. Thinner isn't always better.
  • buy a size'll start looking back at pictures wondering why you ever wore clothes so tight
  • keep running, your future self will thank you one day... once you're outta shape it's a lot harder to get back there!
  • get in the Word, make it priority. This is often the means God will use to draw you closer to Himself
  • keep journaling, you'll get a big kick out of those journals one day!
You're 29 now and let me tell you, your life is more beautiful than you can even imagine right now. God has taken you down some awesome roads and pulled you away from many wrong ones. Dream bigger, Linds, than what you see in front of you. Dream bigger.

There are times now when I open my eyes and see the life I'm in and think of you. I think you'd be proud and excited about all the Lord has given you. And though there are times life is harder than you ever expected,  it's even in the midst of the hard that the real beauty is found. 

Oh 16 year old me. You think you have things figured out, but the truth is, even at 29, you still don't have them figured out. And honestly, that's the way you're gonna start to prefer it. So I don't know much these days, but here are some very important things that I wish you knew right now...

Be kinder to your mom and listen when she talks. She'll become your best friend and she'll fight for you when no else can. In fact, you'll want to be just like her one day. So tighten your lips and lose the attitude, show her the love she deserves. Give your dad more hugs and tell him how awesome he is. Bask in being his little girl, for soon you'll be grown up and in another man's care.

And ease up a little on your little brother. I know he's young now, but allow him to enjoy you while you're still home for him to enjoy. Teach him about life as you know it, let him ride along with you now and then. It'll mean so much to him. At 29, your siblings are your dearest friends. Make these days memorable with them. (They all 3 grow up to be the most incredible people you'll know.)

Lindsey, I want so badly to steer you away from the sin you're dabbling with. Away from the company you keep and they way you people please. You see, God gave you a gift of relating to a lot of different people. He did that so that you can use it to glorify Him, not so that everyone will like you. And guess what? Those people that you try so hard to please? They will have no influence or bearing on your life in even 5 years. Let em go.

I want to go into specifics and tell you who to stand up to, who to stay away from all together, and who you should try harder to befriend. But the truth is, I wouldn't be me if you weren't who you are now. I wouldn't be able to look back 13 years ago and praise the Lord for the ways He protected me and kept me from falling too far. It's only Him, dear Lindsey, who keeps you. So I won't tell you specifics, but I will tell you to look closer to Jesus. Yes, you've known of Him all your life and your parents know Him deeply... but that won't carry you, sweetie. Open up your blue eyes to the sin in your heart and gaze upon the only One who can carry it away.

In a couple of years, God is going to allow your world to be shaken up a little when He allows illness to strike you. Cling to Him when all your strength is gone, He will be the One to lift you up. He'll use that illness to draw you closer to His heart.

Your husband is wonderful, the kindest man with the biggest heart. You know those lists you're making now about the perfect husband? He's better. Open your heart up wider. Don't stay so narrow-minded.

Appreciate those little streets of Centerburg and remember that things don't stay the same for long. Live fully where you are, and love the people around you. Remember how alive you felt on that trip to Honduras? That's how it feels to do what God has called you to do. You'll have more of it, so much more!

So stand up for yourself and who you know you are deep inside. Stand up and cling to Jesus. He's with you every step of the way, even when you kinda wish He weren't. He'll never let you go.

Invest in those good friends you have. It's pretty awesome the friends that stick. You will still have about 3 of them dear to your heart and involved in your life by 29. Love them the right way now.

So I'll see you in the mirror in a few years, and I'll look back at pictures from your life now with fond memories. Dream bigger and follow where the Spirit leads, He'll give you the ride of a lifetime.

you in 13 years

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