A Letter to My Sixteen-year-old Self
Dear Sixteen-year-old Brooke,
I have wanted to write you for a while because I know this summer has been hard for you. You've made lots of new friends, but you feel like you have to try hard to fit in with them. You want to be cool, but you are also feeling bad about doing things you know you shouldn't and then having to keep them a secret. It's hard. I know. I've been there, literally.
But I want to let you know your life is about to change for the better. At the beginning of your Junior year you are going to ask Jesus into your heart. I know what you're thinking, "I already know Jesus." But just hear me out...
The morning after you ask Jesus into your heart you will be completely different. All that anger you feel, it will be gone. You will be full of joy. You won't have to fake that smile anymore. You will feel fully accepted as you are. Your anxiety will be gone and peace will be your constant. You will feel complete, pure love; a love you don't have to earn. All that bitterness you feel right now will slowly but surely be replaced with love for all who have hurt you. You will begin to trust others and let them in. I know this sounds terrifying, but just keep reading.
I know you think you've never been good enough for anyone, but with God you don't have to try to be good enough. You are enough. Just your existence is enough. You are everything God wants. God has made you new now. He has wiped your slate clean. You are pure. The defilement you feel from things that happened to you that you didn't choose, to the ones you did will all be wiped away. They are completely gone.
You will finally be able to sleep. The anxiety attacks will be over. You will finally be able to eat three meals a day without feeling sick. You will be filled with peace. Oh Brooke, you have no idea how good peace feels. There are days you will just sit and soak in it. This is your favorite feeling besides feeling the loving embrace of your Father.
All the spaces you have filled with bitterness will be turned to love. I know you are terrified to open yourself up and allow yourself to be vulnerable, but it is so worth it! You will learn to not only love all the people you've claimed to hate, you even love yourself. You won't see yourself as ugly and fat anymore. You will see yourself as beautiful. You are not prideful; you are understanding. You understand God made you. He formed you with His own hands. You realize how beautiful your outsides are, but most importantly you also realize how breathtakingly beautiful your insides are.
I know you like always having guys chasing you and wanting to date you. I know it makes you feel good and affirms you, but once you get saved you will stop dating for a few years. I know this sounds crazy, but you will dig into Jesus and allow Him to give you the acceptance you always sought in your boyfriends. I know boys have hurt you and used you, but there are good ones out there I promise! Keep waiting and don't settle for those boys who pursue you now because you will find a man better than your wildest dreams. (I'm going to spoil something for you real quick. You get married to him when you're 22. The age you've always wanted to get married.)
I know you feel like you can't trust anyone. That you can't let anyone in. I know your heart is hard and calloused from the attacks upon it from others. I know your walls are built up high. I know you are terrified to let anyone in because they may hurt you, but soon you will no longer be scared to open up to others. You will be proud of who you are. You will start to not care when those girls whisper behind your back or when people don't get your witty humor...
I know what you're thinking, "This sounds dangerous. I would never let anyone that close. God is bound to fail me and hurt me." It seems like it, since that is all you know. And I'm so sorry that so many have failed you. Hurt you. Abused you. And tossed you aside. But here I am eight years later and I can say He has never let me down. He has never hurt me. He has never for a single day not loved me. He has never left me, ever. He is good. So don't give up. I know things seem rough right now but the light at the end of the tunnel is near. Soon you will be made new. Do not lose heart. Your best years are coming.