A Tearful, Joyful, Hopeful Letter To My Teenage Self

By September 13, 2012General

Dear Me,

I know this seems a little Back To The Future-ish, but this is a letter from your 37 year old self. No, I’m not writing from a retirement home, 37 is actually not as old as you think. Shocker.

What? No, I promise that you won’t start fading out of your family picture if you read this. Relax. This is just a little friendly advice.

Right Now

Right now, I know life is kind of crazy for you, trying to figure out where you fit in, wishing you had even a hint of fashion sense.

Right now, I know you’re trying hard to follow God. You’re doing great. It’s ok that you rededicate your life to Him every. single. summer. at church camp. I’m pretty sure God appreciates your enthusiasm.

Right now, I know your quite times are tough but keep reading that Student Life Application Bible. You’re building a foundation.

Right now, If I could tell you just one thing, it would be this, “Follow hard after Jesus. He will never fail you.”

What? I’m being cheesy and cliche?

Right now…you’re being a little sassy to your elders…little missy. But, yeah, I understand. It sounds lame if you don’t know the story…so here’s a sneek peek:

Someday

Someday you’re going to do things that you won’t believe.

Someday, you’ll work at a wonderful radio station and it will be your job to attend concerts. You heard me right. You’ll get paid to meet tons of people and be closer to music than you ever dreamed.

You’ll even get to meet Amy Grant. (Plugging my 37 year old ears) Calm down now. No really. I know you’re excited but can you stop screaming, please…?

It will be the most amazing job you could have ever dreamed of having. You’ll love it.

But then you and your husband (!!! Yay, you get married! You landed an incredible one, so ignore all those other boys.) will have to move and you’ll leave your job when you have your first baby. You’ll be sad to go, but it will feel right, because you’re following Jesus.

Someday, for your birthday, your husband will take you to Chicago and show you your mama’s grave. I know she’s not there, but it will mean a lot to you.

Someday, you’ll discover that everytime he goes there on business he checks on her spot, on his hands and knees, in his business clothes, he clears it out. You’ll fall in love with him over and over.

Someday, you’re even going to see a picture of you and your mama together. She was too sick to hold you, but she’s sitting right next to you while you were in your Daddy’s arms. Someone will tell you it was hard for her to take that picture, but it was important to her.

You’ll be 35. You’ll cry.

Speaking of crying, you’re going to see that picture because you’re going to meet your mother’s family. You’ll even go to the Philippines! They’ll travel from all over the country…just to meet you. They miss her too.

They’ll show you pictures of family reunions. They always have a big banner with the family tree on it. You’ll see your name and your brothers’ name on every one.

They never knew you, but they never forgot you. You were known.

You’ll cry. They’ll cry.

You’ll get to go because you followed Jesus. You gave up much of what you loved to do and He gave you something unexpected and infinitely better. He’s kind of like that.

Follow hard after Him. He will never fail you.

Someday, I know this is hard for you to believe right now, but someday…you’re going to love Mother’s Day.

Someday, you’ll sit on your couch, nearly unable to breathe because everyone under 4’ 5" wants to be as close to you as humanly possible while you read to them like Grandma read to you. And you’ll be blissfully happy. And glad you followed Jesus, because these little people are following you.

I know kids aren’t necessarily your thing right now. I know you’d rather play professional tennis or be Amy Grant’s backup singer/guitarist/best friend, but anyone can do those things.

Someday, you’ll be someone’s everything. Actually, three little people’s everything, but don’t freak out about the number. They come one at a time.

Someday, you’ll play tennis with your youngest daughter and listen to your oldest daughter write worship songs.

Someday, your son will melt your heart with one look from his blue eyes and his passionate mama love songs.

Someday, you’ll realize that Prom Queen is a low goal. Beauty is fleeting and popularity is fickle.

Someday, you’ll realize that the only things that will be remembered are the lives you loved.

So…Right Now

Right now, listen to your youth pastor. He knows what he’s talking about.

Right now, hug Grandma tight, because someday you’re really gonna miss her.

Right now, follow hard after Jesus. He will never fail you.

All the things that seem wrong right now, He’ll make right. He’ll make the ugly… beautiful. He’ll make the painful… powerful.

Nothing you’ve experienced has been wasted, it’s just waiting to bloom.

And don’t worry that you never really figured out that whole “tight rolled” jean thing. Someday? it will make a great story.

My friend Emily Freeman invited me to write this letter to my teenage self. Her newest book, for teenagers, is called Graceful and it released this week. It’s wonderful. I can’t wait to share it with my girls in a few years. Such wisdom.

If you have a teen girl in your life, I highly recommend it. Emily is one of my favorite writers. Her words inspire.

You can get a copy of her book on Amazon or learn more on her website.

I think the promo video for the book brilliant. Enjoy:

RSS and email subscriber, click here to see the video.

Giveaway! (CLOSED)

I have 2 copies of Emily’s book to give away today! To enter to win, just click here to leave a comment and tell us one thing you wish you could tell your teenage self. I’ll select the winners next week.

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Comments

114 Comments

  • Avatar Katie says:

    This is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and a bit of your life with the world. I’m sorry to learn that you lost your mother when you were young. You are a beautiful person – inside and out!

  • Avatar Cortney says:

    I wish I could tell me teenage self that I will be OK. That I will always be OK.

  • Avatar Shannon says:

    Great post.

    There are so many things I would tell my teenage self (and that my teenage self would NEVER have believed!).

    If I had to pick one thing, I’d say, “You will know pain, defeat, difficulty, and heartache … but the ways you will experience God’s grace and power in it all will carry you through, and the overarching theme of your life will not be these things, but wild adventure and amazing grace! Hang on – life with Jesus is a WILD RIDE!” πŸ™‚

  • Avatar Lindsey says:

    To my teenage self:

    You don’t have to be a people pleaser to gain acceptance. The one opinion that matters is His and His love never fails.

  • Avatar Carmen says:

    This post was excellent and inspired me to be working on the same. The discipline or articulating and acting, not just intending is my goal. My oldest daughter will be a teenager in just 4 short weeks. She is excited, as I am for her in this milestone. I would love a copy of this book.

  • Avatar Lannie says:

    Got chills reading this and remembering my teenage years. I would tell myself to hold on to my heart …that the first love won’t last and they are hard to let go of…

  • Avatar Faye says:

    This made me laugh and cry…thank you for sharing.

  • Listen to my mother and father their wisdom far out reached my teenage wisdom. Find God early on in life and cling to Him each day.

  • Avatar Alicia Coffey says:

    I would tell myself to follow after Jesus not the drinking and partying.

  • Avatar sarah says:

    I would say to myself – these things are insignificant and will not fulfill you.

  • Well that totally has killed me this morning. What a beautiful letter. It is humbling to be a person who watched from the hotel lobby as you were embraced by your Filipino family – what a gift. Thank you for writing this, friend.

  • Avatar KQB says:

    My daughter experienced teenage years of turmoil. We lost their father when she was 13 and she was pregnant when she was 15. She has given me two beautiful grandchildren but at 21 she has no faith in herself and is desperatly searching for love. She is intelligent, compassionate, funny and way too hard on herself. She can’t accept she is forgiven and recreated every moment she chooses to come to God. She believes but can’t accept it as real for her. I wish I could give her back her teenage years or give her peace for her heart now. I’m not sure we need the book but we do have a need, her name is Andrea and she needs prayer.
    I’ve been following the letters to my teenage self on several blogs and love the look into a past similar to my own! Thank you for sharing.

    • Avatar Jackie says:

      I, too, know the lie that is perpetrated on young and old alike…you are not worthy and the blood of Jesus cannot cover YOUR sins…my heart aches for the both of you as you struggle through these times. Know…KNOW…this too shall pass. Jesus REALLY will never leave you or forsake you…even when it doesn’t feel like it. Continue to love…continue to pray. I speak as that daughter…as a mother…as a grandmother of teens…

    • Avatar Kat Lee says:

      KQB – Yay! You won a copy of Emily’s book. If you’ll email me your address, I’ll have it sent out to you!

      -Kat

  • Avatar Annie says:

    Holy sobbing at my computer, Batman. This was so heart-wrenchingly beautiful, so hopeful. Thank you, Kat.

  • Avatar Jenn says:

    Kat, this is beautiful! I lost my dad when I was a little girl, so I can understand some of the sentiment there.

    I would say a lot of the same things to my teenage self- follow hard after God, and stop worrying so much about boys and crazy people who make your life miserable. And it is ALL for a reason.

  • Avatar Lauren Nicole says:

    I would tell my teenage self that being invited to parties and worrying about why no boys like you is a waste of your time. Enjoy yourself just as you are. Your higher power has so much beauty in store for you!

  • Avatar Janie says:

    To my teenage self: grow close to God and love Him most of all. Oh, and listen to your mom – she knows what she’s talking about.

  • Avatar Molly says:

    That was amazing to read. Thank you for sharing your heart daily. I throughly enjoy your words of wisdom and stories.

    One thing I would tell my teenage self- you won’t believe what God has planned for you, big plans…a hope and a future.

    Thanks!

  • Avatar Monica says:

    I have two daughters, 13 and 9. Their dad abandoned us a few months back and I have been trying to get them to see that God has a plan in this. When I read ” All the things that seem wrong right now, He’ll make right. He’ll make the ugly… beautiful. He’ll make the painful… powerful. Nothing you’ve experienced has been wasted, it’s just waiting to bloom”I thought this would be a great way to reinforce that. I think this is excellent!! Thank you for sharing!!

    • Avatar Kat Lee says:

      Monica,
      I’m so sorry for what you and your girls have been through. I can’t imagine how difficult that must be to walk through, let alone walk your daughters through. I’m praying for you and your girls today…

  • Avatar Alisa says:

    I would tell her its okay to make mistakes. Tell the truth no matter what. And you don’t have to do it on your own…

  • Avatar Tiffany Sample says:

    I would say: “Don’t give away pieces of your heart to others for acceptance… That will be (can be) fulfilled by the one & only Prince of Peace. I would tell myself who that Prince is… JESUS and how much HE LOVES ME!”

    *I have a pre-teen, she & I talk continually about HIS amazing LOVE!

  • Avatar Rochelle says:

    I have two daughters – 11 and 14. I share so much of what I wish I would have listened to at their age.
    I think I would tell my teenage self – to believe in myself and try the things that I want to do. Not to worry if others don’t find it “cool”. Do what makes you happy!

  • Avatar becky says:

    To My teenage self I say: RELAX & lean on God MORE!! Enjoy each day, & dont spend it concerned with being anything BUT,who God made you to be. Befriend that quite girl, who isnt in your “group”. She may turn out to be the best friend you could have. STUDY more!!

  • Avatar Joy says:

    To My Teenage Self: Don’t take to heart all the mean & cruel things that kids said to you….YOU ARE MORE!

  • Avatar Sara says:

    I would tell my teenage self that it really doesn’t matter what the kids in my high school think of me, because they are only a glimmer of my life, and I have so much more to live, and I will experience true friendship. The greatest friendship, relationship that I will have will be with the heavenly Father, because no matter what He never leaves me nor forsakes me.

  • Avatar Miriam says:

    Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

  • Avatar Katie says:

    Kat,
    This is so beautiful. I shared this with someone I love whose mother died when she was three. This special someone is now 15. It’s like you wrote this for her today, and you didn’t even know it. HE never fails us and never ceases to amaze me. Thank you!

  • Avatar Christine says:

    Can I just say, I love your blog so, so much. God uses your words to stir in me a great desire to mother my little girl well and to see her forsake everything to follow Jesus. Thank you so much for your blog. I am so excited for my new ministry of motherhood.

  • Avatar Lisa M says:

    Excuse me while I wipe a tear to two from my eye. That was a beautiful letter. Thank you for sharing it with us. I can remember a time when I was visiting with my paternal grandmother. My cousins from my mom’s side called and asked if I wanted to go with them to a youth thing at their church. I was vague with my answer and assumed they knew I’d rather not go. They showed up a few hours later to take me and I went, although reluctantly. If I could go back, I’d tell my younger self to embrace moments like that. Ask my mom if she’d take me church or at least drop me off at my aunt and uncles so I could go with my cousins and enjoy the youth group. I’d say call my cousins and tell them I’d love to go again and again . . . I became a Christian after I graduated high school and feel like I missed out on some important years with God and other God loving kids.

  • Avatar Alessandra says:

    Thank you so much for this incredible post. I’ve just recently joined the mailing list for your blog and anxiously wait new entries for this very reason…..they are filled with so much heart!

    I would tell my teenage self to listen to my parents more that they know WAY more than I think I do and to let go of all the anger I hold inside. He made things happen for a reason and the bad turned into WONDERFUL, so just have faith.

  • Avatar Lisa says:

    I was on my way to meet my girls for lunch at school when I stopped to read this.
    I stood in my kitchen & just cried. Wow, what a perspective & what a neat God.

  • Avatar Nia says:

    Very moving. Thank you so much for sharing. I have to now think about this topic for my tween!

  • Avatar Christie says:

    I wish I could tell myself that even though it seemed like it, I wasn’t the only one who was insecure and shy and completely uncomfortable in my own skin. That instead of comparing ourselves to each other and bringing each other down, we should be comparing ourselves to Jesus and lifting each other up. And then if I could tell myself that, then when I graduated high school, maybe I could have side stepped all the things that I did *wrong* trying to find love and acceptance because I would have already known that I was.

  • Avatar Faith says:

    I would tell myself to not be afraid to make friends. It’s not wrong if we’re all different and believe differently. Share Jesus with them and show them acceptance. His light will shine through you.

  • Avatar sandi says:

    i would tell myself that my parents are smarter than what i think. they wanted to protect me as fiercely and i desire to protect my children now. it’s okay to be different and to not be in a hurry to grow up. adult responsibilities are here far longer than childhood innocence.

  • Avatar Chris D. says:

    Stay true to your faith , save yourself for your future husband – the gift that only YOU can give him some day!

  • Avatar Jackie says:

    Thank you for the post. I would love to tell my teenage self two things. You are more than your molester; and savor every moment with your parents, you will lose your Daddy to Alzheimer’s and then just three years later your beautiful Momma will live with you as her caretaker as she also suffers the loss of her mind. You will need to remember what you had to be able to endure what you will go through.

  • Avatar Liz says:

    One day there will be this website called Facebook and on it you will be “friends” with people from all the different “groups” from your high school, yes even the “popular” people. You will look back and laugh at how much you tried to be popular, but also sad that you wasted so much time doing so.

  • Avatar Kristan says:

    I would tell myself: that boy you’re dating…he’s not the one. Don’t make him your everything while abandoning your former self and all your friends in the meantime. Soon he’ll be gone and you’ll have to rediscover who you are as an individual. Don’t waste your time. Start now. It’s ok to be “alone”. Because the one you end up with is so much better…wait for him!

  • Avatar Valerie says:

    I would tell myself to stop worrying about what everyone thinks of you. In a few years, who has the coolest clothes/shoes/car/backpack/etc. won’t matter. Be happy with who you are. There are a lot of those “cool” people who will wish they had what you end up with!

  • Avatar lily matin says:

    your letter is beautiful. i wish i could tell myself that someday the Lord would forgive me for so many unrighteous things and give me a second chance at beinga mother. the pain would become a reminder of how greatful you will be.

  • Avatar Amy says:

    Stop trying to be “popular” and love the friends you have!

  • Avatar Amy Oxley says:

    I’d tell myself to hug my mama more often, and to spend time with her getting to know her heart. I’d tell her that she wouldn’t have her around for long, and that she’d always long for those opportunities.

  • Avatar Elise says:

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    I would tell my teenage self:

    “You don’t have to choose to intimately know death before you can intimately know Life.

    Don’t envy the death other people have chosen to know. Even if that gives them an amazing testimony.

    It’s a GOOD thing to not know by experience everything your friends talk about.

    Life and wisdom and really knowing Truth only comes from knowing Life Himself. It is only in the growing closer to Him—which won’t happen just by aging, but only by choice— that you can even begin to have wisdom and knowledge.”

    I’m going to have to write a blog about this now…

    Again, thank yo so much for sharing!

  • Avatar Kel says:

    Just be yourself. God made you just the way you are. Go with that.

  • Avatar Melissa M. says:

    I would tell myself not to rush things and to get that college degree in teaching(I did not get it). You have a wonderful life a head of you filled with rough times and awesome times.

  • Avatar Shannon says:

    I would tell myself that I need to go easy on Mom. It wasn’t her fault Dad was unfaithful. And I would tell myself, “You’ll forgive him. And she’ll forgive him. And things will never be the same, but they will be good again.” I’d tell myself that God restores. Don’t rebel against God out of anger at the shortcomings of a human being. Don’t try to end-run heartache by doing stupid things and wasting time on stupid boys. Just press into Jesus. Honestly. I’d also tell myself that there is a wonderful, honorable, Christ-following man who will look at me and see a woman to be treasured and that we’ll be married and have children and that there is good, strong, permanent marriage. I’d definitely stress the grace and forgiveness, because the sad 17-year old heart in that girl I’m writing to, that heart heals, the Daddy’s Girl in there isn’t destroyed, and the parents who are hurting her love her so much and are still as amazing as they were before her world got rocked. It just takes time. And grace.

  • Avatar Bethany says:

    I wish I could tell my teenage self that your parents usually know what they are doing and to listen to them, share with them your struggles, and open your heart to them.

  • Avatar Larri says:

    If only we could send letters to our teenage selves. Great post that had me a little teary, Kat. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    PS…I never could tight-roll my jeans, either. πŸ™‚

  • Avatar Cindy says:

    I wish I could tell my teenage self to relax and not be worrying about boyfriends and that God has a plan, a wonderful plan. Marriage & children are in the plan. Even though I thought I knew this then, I did not act like I did……sometimes I have to remind myself of God’s wonderful plans still unfolding. πŸ™‚

  • Avatar Debi says:

    There are so many things I would tell my teenage self! I think I would realy like the teen me learn that it’s such a waste of time worrying about what others think about you, and that you DO have worth and a purpose! Of course, I’m sure the teen me wouldn’t listen. πŸ˜‰

  • Avatar Nicole says:

    I would tell my teenage self that it is okay not to get asked out on a date. No need to worry about boys at such a young age. Be you and try to follow the Spirit that helps guide you in life.

  • Avatar Kristen S says:

    The friends you choose to have really matters. Don’t believe the popularity lie. Choose friends that you enjoy being around, who encourage you, and who make you feel comfortable. Also, you have no need for a boyfriend now. It will come in God’s time.

  • Avatar Hollie Garcia says:

    Someday, it will all make sense! So keep loving people. Know that God has you in the palm of His hand. Wait on His BEST for you, and while you’re waiting have fun enjoying the life He has given you and the people all around. Study smart, study hard. Be a good girl! It’s worth it. Let Him lead you and wait on His time.

    Btw Kat, beautiful story πŸ™‚

  • Avatar Sandra Diaz says:

    I would tell my teenage self not to worry so much about the exterior. I wish I’d known then that I was NOT fat! So much less to worry about! I would also tell my teenage self not to waste so much time chasing after boys!!

  • Avatar Katrina S says:

    That just made me bawl my eyes out. Wow.

    One thing I’d tell myself? Spend more time on your relationship with God. Don’t try to walk that tightrope between the world and what you are called to do – it is too hard and it’s not worth it. Your best friend/husband will come along at the right time, so don’t waste the “now” fretting about the future.

  • Avatar Leslie says:

    Tears & smiles over here. Didn’t know that was possible….

  • Avatar Ruth says:

    One thing I’d tell my self would be don’t give up. keep on trying.

  • Avatar Corrie says:

    “it IS cool to be smart, behave and put others before yourself!”

  • Avatar aubrey says:

    just be yourself. it’s way cooler than you think.

  • Avatar Marie says:

    I would tell myself to focus on God and not so much on the boyfriend I had at the time. I would tell myself to hang out more with my family instead of my friends. Friends are good, but I wish I spent more time with my sister and brother before we went off into the world.

  • Avatar Marie says:

    I also wanted to add that I love your blog and thank you for sharing about yourself and family πŸ™‚

  • I would tell my teenage self to let go of the skinny ideal. It is way overrated.

  • Avatar Lisa M says:

    I just have to add, as a mom of a fairly new teen(14) and one on the way (13 in 2 weeks & 3 days)- gasp! – listen to your parents. They know more than you think. They’re not out to ruin your life, they just want to help you have a better one than they did. After all, they were you once.

  • Avatar Hillary says:

    I would tell myself, “Your salvation wasn’t just for life after death with a God who’s way up there somewhere. He’s with you in every little detail of your life, nothing that happens to you is a surprise to Him and He will lead you through it for your good and His glory if you will let Him, do everything for the glory of God because His opinion is the only one that matters, and for a mirror use His Word not the world’s.

  • Avatar Phoebe says:

    I would tell myself to not worry so much about trying to impress others and simply be myself.

  • Avatar lostcoin says:

    Loveliness. Beauty from Ashes. Only Him.

  • Avatar Lisa says:

    I would tell myself to avoid that certain guy who I thought was the greatest…who really wasn’t.

  • Avatar Ashley says:

    I would tell my teenage self about all the wonderful things that God has planned for her, but for now, don’t change a thing. Without all the pain, tears and struggles, I would not have become the woman, wife and mommy I am today. My past isn’t pretty, but God will use it to HIS glory and will hopefully help another struggling woman.

    Such a beautiful letter! My life is so very much different from how I pictured it at 16, and I praise God for that everyday!

  • Such a beautiful post, Kat!

    I would tell my teenage self that clinging to God and following Him is truly worth it. He bring beauty from pain.
    Jessica

  • Thank you Kat for sharing this wonderful post with us all. I found your blog through Emily’s and I am just so enjoying these letters to your younger selves.

    Here’ what I would tell my younger self: “Listen to your mom about needing to have a full time job and starting at the bottom of a known company, but follow your heart to lead you to what gets you out of bed each morning with a smile on your face.”

    It took me a long time to follow my ow advice but I eventually did it and I’ve never looked back!

    Also, if I had children, which I do not, I would collect as many of these letters as I could to print them up in a book format at Staples or some similar place, and give them to your teenaged daughters or sons with no other expectation than they have them if they want to read them now or in the future. Just a thought πŸ™‚

    Thanks again.

    Lyle

  • Avatar D says:

    Truly the Lord has never failed people who trust Him by seeking His will. My teenage life was then usually lived in a solitary confinement. Friends were few. I had wished that I attended summer camps, fellowshipping with other believers, and being in the music ministry, singing like my favorite Christian artist, Amy Grant. But mom wont allow as she didnt approve of my newly-found faith. And so, the radio was my constant companion after school. I was always hooked up to a Christian station that helped me nurture my relationship with Him. This life went on until I landed on a job, the only time when mom allowed to finally go on with what I wanted to do with my my spiritual life. Right now, as I looked back, such teenage experience ingrained in me this deep spiritual truth I found in Isaiah 26:3-4
    “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.” Now I have been 13 years married to a loving husband who also knew the Lord and have a son whom I currently homeschooled. Through out this time the Lord has been gracious to me. Though life could have rough edges, the Lord will always sees us through, refining our character so we will be like gems, radiating God’s goodness in us. To Him be the glory

  • Avatar Katie says:

    I would tell myself not to worry about how quickly I think anything should happen, that God has a much better timeframe in mind for my life.

  • Avatar Sharon says:

    I’d tell my teenage self not to get so tied up in all the boy drama, or even friend drama. Emotions run high when you are a teen, but eventually they settle down. There’s no reason to get all worked up about things that won’t matter a bit later on in life.

  • Avatar Mary Hurst says:

    I would tell my teenage self that I am good enough just the way I am. Be silly, quirky, witty, intelligent, and humble. I would tell myself to experience joy daily… If it doesn’t come to you, make it happen. Wash, rinse, and repeat…ha!

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    I would tell myself to be prepared to be blessed. That the boy you believe you will marry, you do!!…no matter how many people think you are crazy because you are only 15. you become his wife.
    That not being popular in high school will mean nothing. You will find church friends later that you would never trade a hundred teenage life times for.

  • Avatar Emma says:

    I would tell my teenage self that being yourself isn’t a bad thing. You will find friends no matter where you go if you embrace who you are and love yourself. Don’t change who you are to please others.

  • Avatar Kelly says:

    Listen to your granny, she is smarter than you think.

  • Avatar H says:

    Teenage self:
    It is ok to NOT have a boyfriend…enjoy friendships, things change quickly, press on and seek God through it all!

  • Avatar JudyH says:

    I would tell my teenage self to stand firm, don’t be pressured, and to be more open with my parents.

  • Avatar Lori Ford says:

    I would tell myself that your earthly daddy didn’t run from you, he ran from himself, and the reminder of all the hurt he’d caused. But God does Redeem and Heal, and HE will hold you regardless, every day, all the time. And someday, your daddy will hold you tight in his arms again with tears rolling down his face because he’s grateful for grace, and humbled that his family still wants him, and he will be so incredibly proud of who you’ve become that he will brag to anyone who will listen.

  • Avatar Teresa says:

    I would tell myself that trying to please others will only end up in disappointment. Instead relish what you have as the gifts they are and live a balanced life.

  • Avatar Kelli says:

    I wish I could tell my teenage self to be UNcommon. That nothing really matters except for the life I live for Christ. That’s it. Nothing else.

  • Avatar Sahar says:

    I wish I could tell my teenage self that the teen years are such a short small part of my life overall. I know the emotions are rough and the hardships seem like the end of the world. But you will survive and one day you’ll be grown up looking back at a small piece of your life.

  • Avatar Linda H says:

    I wish I could tell my teenage self about this amazing guy called Jesus, God in human form, who took the punishment for our sins. I’d tell my teenage self to trust in him, not in the opinion of her peers and the media.

  • Avatar Andrea F says:

    I would tell my teenage self that you are beautiful. You are perfect. God created you because he needs you to show Christ to the world. Search for his will and don’t be afraid to follow. You will find a wonderful husband and after 21 years you will still get mushy when he kisses you. You will not be lonely.

  • Avatar Gina says:

    Awesome letter – thanks so much!

    What I would tell my teenage self……to follow Jesus, not to be afraid

  • Avatar Amanda says:

    LOVE your letter (found it through Emily’s tweets) i had a long letter of things to say to myself πŸ˜€ i would love to win a copy of her book!!

    http://purposefullychosen.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-letter-to-my-teenage-self.html

  • Avatar Melissa says:

    I would tell my teenage self that there is lots of time to grow up. Even though it seems like time is passing so slowly now, it is really like the blink of an eye, and you will have many, many years to have responsibilities; not so many years to be carefree. Also, it’s really OK to just be you. You are an original, and those that can’t accept that really don’t matter.

  • dear self – the decision you made to follow Christ will enhance your life, God is not holding out on you! You will not miss out!!

  • Avatar Trisha says:

    Thanks Kat.
    That was precious. Tears still rolling down my cheeks. So thankful that the Lord did grab your heart when you were young…’cause now so many of us are inspired to be great moms for our kids and show them the Father.
    PS I love/ed Amy too πŸ™‚

  • Teenage self, my, you’re a good daughter! Don’t worry about the not fitting in stuff, soon you will find great friends, and still have time to read good books too, and write poetry. There are times you’ll feel depressed, but Jesus will walk through it with you. And when you are ready he will lead you out to dance. He loves to redeem things, wait for it! Keep trusting him. All. The. Way. Home.

  • Avatar Jenny P. says:

    Dear Teenage Jenny, I know you feel stuck and controlled but you will live your own life soon enough. Hang in there. Try not to get too frustrated by always being the “good girl”…you won’t regret it! And know that someone is out there specially created by Him for you and he is an AMAZING man. So relax and hold strong – you will soon come into your own and it will be well with your soul.

  • Avatar Barkley Franklin says:

    Wow…that was a powerful read! If I could tell anything to my teenage self it would be to not give up because that outcome of all the wrongs, produced so many rights πŸ˜‰ I’m not sure I would change much of my past, no matter how bad or rough, because it would change my future.

  • Avatar Jill says:

    I would tell my self to stop wasting so much time and energy on boys!

  • Avatar Jen Bowman says:

    Thank you Kat!
    It IS amazing what we feel is so important in each stage of our lives. My oldest is in her first year of college and slowly, ever so slowly growing up!! My next is in Kindergarten!! So much time to learn, so many hours of crying to go!! And my last is 2… oh pray for me!!

  • I wish I could tell my teenage self that living with my dad would so not be worth it in the long run. That he’s not really who you think he is.

  • Avatar robin says:

    I would tell my teenage self that you are worthy and you don’t have look for that love and acceptance anywhere but Jesus. Now that I have three girls myself I have tried to make sure they know their loved and how much Jesus loves them.

  • Avatar Joyce M says:

    I would tell my teenage self that it is okay to try new things even if you’re not good at it.

  • Avatar Lisa M says:

    I would tell my teenage self that “It’s gonna be a hard road at times, but it will be worth it!”

  • Avatar Twila Kulp says:

    I would tell my teenage self that teenagerhood is NOT forever, and to live and walk in the Truth every day!

  • Avatar julie says:

    so many things. but mainly, you CAN do the hard things. please stop selling yourself short.

  • Avatar Dawn says:

    My teenage self was a contradiction …I was confident in almost all areas, but fell victim to the wrong messages about boys, sex etc…I would tell my teenage self that the myth was that everyone does it and it is no big deal. It is a big deal and you need to wait…there is so much more growing up needing to be done before that should ever come into play. My parents were great, don’t get me wrong, they didn’t send me mixed messages, they just didn’t send the message at all. I have made sure my children know what we and God expect of them regarding relationships. Trust in yourself and God, let the other messages fall on deaf ears.

  • […] a new book asked people to write letters to their teenage selves. Some of my favorites are here, here and […]

  • Avatar JENNIE says:

    I really liked the idea of writing yourself a letter. I would certainly tell myself that God loves me. That everything is going to be ok and I can rest and trust in Him. I would tell myself to be thankful for God’s blessings in my life. I would tell myself to practice patience and smile more often πŸ™‚

  • Avatar Kim says:

    Thank you for sharing that beautiful letter! I would tell myself to not “stir up or awaken love until it pleases.”

  • Avatar Janet says:

    My teen years were a little crazy and I didn’t become a believer until I was in College. I would tell my teenage self to hold on because it gets better. I would say to try really hard to choose the light instead of the darkness. And I would say to be kind to yourself and others because one day you will see kindness that blows your mind and saves your very soul. And you’ll finally know you are loved – and you always were.

  • Avatar Jenn Dodd says:

    If I had the chance to tell my teenage self something it would be to slow down, in life, in relationships, in growing up. I didn’t give myself much opportunity to enjoy life as I was living it. I was always looking to the next thing. I would also tell myself – don’t just know that God exists, know God personally and intimately.

  • Avatar Christie says:

    Kat- did you ever announce the winners of the book giveaway? I have the book sitting in my amazon cart but wanted to wait to see who won first πŸ™‚