Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dear 19-Year-Old Me,

Way to go. You learned a lot this time around. 
This was the year you first experienced the death of someone close to you. It hurt, a lot. It still does. You weren’t sure how to act, how to feel. But somehow, in the midst of the pain and confusion, you learned to cling to God more closely. Most of the time, He was the one pulling you closer to Himself.
You recognized the value of true friendship. You’ve been praying for years for friendships that are rooted in Christ. Those prayers have been answered. They are still being answered. God is continually bringing people into your life to impact you in profound ways. Love these people. Walk with them through their painful seasons and the joyful ones. Allow them to do the same for you. Ask God to use you as a vessel to pour out His love to those around you.
You learned to love yourself more fully. You are a daughter of God. You are aware of where you fall short but have been made even more aware of God’s deep and unchanging love for you despite your shortcomings. Each day, you remind yourself that your identity is rooted in Christ, and apart from Him, you are nothing. Keep reminding yourself. You are slowly learning to love your quirks, your tendency to be (just the right amount of) awkward, and are beginning to discover the gifts that you have been given.
You saw God open doors, after closing quite a few first. It was difficult, without a doubt. But in doing so, He taught you the importance of trusting Him wholeheartedly and without reservation in every area of your life. 
There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. It is possible to be content with aloneness. In fact, being alone sometimes is necessary. But there is a difference between spending some time alone and completely isolating yourself. You need consistent community and fellowship.
It’s okay not to have your whole life figured out just yet. Don’t worry about it too much. Focus on loving God and loving others, and seek to glorify Him in your decision making. Use wisdom and discernment, and see where He leads you. Don’t let yourself be so consumed with thoughts of the future that you miss out on what’s right in front of you now. 
Now, you’re twenty. Do you realize that doesn’t have “-teen” at the end of it anymore? If you’re being honest, that scares you a little. How does it feel being halfway to 40? I'm kidding… you’re not that old, okay? Relax. :)

Live this next year with joy, purpose, and for the glory of your Maker. Go get ‘em, girl.

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