Once upon a time I wrote this letter to my sister. As I’m preparing to teach this awkward age, I was reminded of it and went back and read it.
Honestly, I wish every 13 year old girl in the world could read it.
But this is probably what I would’ve told myself 10 years ago. I’ve added a few more brutally honest comments to what I would tell myself, instead of just my sister. Because I can handle it! *fights back teenage girl tears*
Dear (Courtney) –
It’s crazy to think you’re almost a teenager. I know this might seem weird, but there are so many things I wish I wouldn’t have done – things I wish I would’ve known – when I was entering the teenage years.
So here’s my list of things I wish I would’ve known and done differently –
#1. People are human. Girls will talk badly about you. Boys won’t always be nice. Don’t be a starter of the drama that will definitely happen without your input. Sometimes silence (even when you have something awesome to say) is the best answer. I learned this the hard way.
#2. What people say about you does NOT determine what you are worth or even who you are. The only things you are are the things God calls you. The Bible is FULL of names and identities God wants to call you. Start believing it now.
#3. Having a daily quiet time with Jesus really does make a difference. Start doing that now too.
#4. You can actually hear God’s voice. Ask Him a question. Whatever answer first comes to mind, that you know you wouldn’t normally tell yourself, that is consistent with the kindness and goodness of God…that’s normally Him.
#5. Living life with Jesus means that my life should actually look VERY different from people who don’t know Jesus. If people start making fun of you for it, you’re probably on the right track. If you ever don’t know what to do in a situation, stop and ask Jesus. Being cool is actually overrated. You’re cool because you’re cool because you’re cool because Jesus says so. You just are.
#6. I wish someone would’ve told me I didn’t have to kiss boys. Some day you will date someone. And someday you will want to kiss him. The more you kiss, the more you’ll want more. (Yes, I’m going there.) And it might seem like harmless fun, but it affects you when you’re older and hurts your heart. You might not be able to tell in the moment, but I promise you will tell later. It’s not worth it.
#7. You are WORTH being pursued. Any guy that you have to text, call, email, skype…whatever you do….first, is NOT worth it. Hold out for being pursued. But don’t be a flirt. Flirting also is not worth it and so overrated. Just don’t. It’s a nasty trap.
#8. Your beauty is your own. No one looks like you so enjoy that! No one CAN look like you. Comparing yourself to others and what they have that you don’t will always make you sad. And I promise this awkward stage of life will end. I promise it gets better. And I promise you’ll finally start understanding how to make your hair and makeup look good. Give it time.
#9. When you want to yell or say something smart to Mom or Dad, take a deep breath, count to 10, and reconsider. Just…reconsider it.
#10. Your brain is not fully developed enough to think I’m actually right about the majority of this stuff. You might even think this is stupid. Whatever, Courtney. Just try. I’m 10 years older than you and I love you.