Monday, July 23, 2012

To my Teenage Self

Moving back to the place that I grew up calling "home" has been surreal.  Hundreds of faces and places bring a rush of memories--most happy, but some that still bring tears (and some that fall in both categories).  I'm nearing a quarter-century in years, but ten years ago seems like yesterday, and I feel an overwhelming thankfulness well up in my chest when I think of how far I've come.

Sometimes, I can't help but wish some things were different, and pray that others will see that I am not who I once was.  I know I can't change the past, and I'm thankful for the things I've learned from my mistakes, but if I could write a letter to my teenage self, here's what I would say:

  • Keep your eyes on the horizon.  Everything looks big at first, so back away, take a deep breath, and trust that mountains are climbed step-by-step (so keep walking...).
  • You are more than your looks, your brain, your choices, your wit or your charm; you are a beloved child of the Living God.  Everything else is secondary, at best.
  • Don't be so hard on yourself.  Lighten up, girl!  This is just the beginning (and mistakes teach you more than perfection).
  • Don't be afraid of the dreams that God has put in your heart.  Don't listen to the lies.  God will lead you.  You will push through.  Be brave and trust Him.
  • Similarly, don't be afraid of the gifts God has given you.  You have much to offer.  Be gracefully confident.
  • In relationships, what matters most is if you were loving.  You cannot control other people, but you have complete control over yourself.  You cannot make someone admit they hurt you, and they may never be sorry, but you still must forgive them.
  • Dating is for marriage, because there's nothing "fun" about a broken heart.  Trust me.  (Oh, and gentlemen really do exist.  Sometimes, you have to wait for them to grow up.)
  • Above all, follow God.  Nothing.  Else.  Matters.


  1. This is really great, Lauren. You are such a beautiful person inside and out.

  2. I just really love this...and you, Lauren!