Sep 9, 2015

Blog-tember day 9 // Write A Letter to Your 16 year Old Self

Dear Elena, 

First of all, you have some pretty amazing hair. Wear it down and notice how thick it is because it only goes downhill after high school. No, no, who are we kidding, you'll still have awesome hair, but you're in your golden (hair) age right now, so rock it, sista! And since you're rocking, go ahead and rock those thick-rimmed glasses because they'll be in style in a few years. People will actually wear fake glasses. They have a name for them: hipsters. But I am getting ahead of myself ...

While you're looking in the mirror in the morning, stop thinking about all the things you'd like to change. Someone's going to love those very things you want to change. He'll adore them and it'll freak you out at first, but then it'll melt your heart and help you see beyond your insecurities. 

There's a word for you, miss. It's perfectionism. It'll threaten to steal away a lot of joy in your high school years and for many years beyond.  Don't let your unrealistic expectations for yourself rob you of experiencing all the blessings God is bringing into your life right now. It's not about getting the A in English, even though we both know it felt good seeing it after rewriting that same essay three times. You know what? If you fail (which, sorry to break it to you, sister, you will), your parents will still love you and stand by you. Your close friends that know your struggles will not think you're weak or not good enough. Instead, they'll love you even stronger through those times. So, don't be afraid to let go of trying to control things and make everything work the way you think it should. Because even when you're tiptoeing close to 30 years old, you're still going to be re-learning this lesson. 

Trust that God's love for you is deep and it is personal to you. Yes, He loves the whole world, but Elena, I wish you really, really knew . . . He loves you! For all your faults and guilt, your mess-ups and your angry words you'll regret. He loves you deeper than any hurt and stronger than any fear. Stop trying to earn His love because He has already given it to you long ago at the Cross. You're going to try and try because you'll have a warped view of His love. You'll think you're not worthy of His love so you'll try to work for it so that maybe, just maybe, He'll love you too. But, Elena, His love never let you go and will never let you go

You'll go through many adventures, so get ready for the ride! You'll realize you could travel to Europe on your own, but then also realize it's so much more fun with your sisters (yeah, you'll actually want to travel with them one day. It's true. No, I am not out of my mind). You'll see places you've dreamed and read about, and on a train ride from Paris to a little provincial town, you'll catch a glimpse of how incredibly blessed you are. You'll journal about it and remember it because it'll be on your mind for a while. You'll realize that God has been leading you and has not let you go even through many changes ahead of you. And you'll have a song of praise on your lips during that train ride as you look out your window and catch one of your most memorable sunsets. 

You'll have a lot of lonely  days when you watch many of your closest friends meet their future husbands and start their families. You'll wonder if your turn will ever come. Some days you'll feel so alone and sad, but do not give up hope that a man who will love you and treasure you will come into your life. It'll take a while, but there are so many wonderful things that you'll learn and experience before then. You'll look back and treasure your singleness some day because there was a lot of growth, adventure, and friendship. You'll live on your own in Seattle (you should probably start learning to cook right now), graduate with your masters in nursing,  start to live healthier and you'll start to love running (I know, crazy, right?!)

And then, one day, you'll meet him. He'll say something sweet about your accent and you'll be rude and deny that you have an accent (we both know you do). He'll be handsome and funny and you'll really like talking to him that first day. It'll be the most natural conversation. Yes, I know you're terrified of making a fool of yourself in front of boys and you get all shy and stuff, but he'll actually like your goofiness, awkwardness, and even your shyness. I am not lying. This guy is for real. Spoiler alert: He'll ask you to marry him and you'll say yes. He'll be your best friend and your beloved. He'll love you deeper than you could imagine and be more compassionate, intentional, and forgiving than you could ever hope for. And, giiiirl, he is going to be FINE! Yes, ma'am. You're going to get yo' self a handsome mister, yes you are! 

What I want you to know most, though, is that you are loved. In every moment that passes, you are carried in a Love greater than anything written in stories on this earth. Trust in that Love and let the giver of that Love lead your days in the ways He knows is best. God is going to blow your mind with how much He loves you and cares for you. Don't forget it, Elena. Because one day, you'll be getting in a car and driving with your parents 2,000 miles away as they help you move your belongings to your future home. You'll be getting married the following month. You'll be a bit overwhelmed with all the changes because we both know you love your stability and routines. Remember you are loved even through the changes and through the unknowns. God's love is deeper and stronger. 

You got this, Elena. 

Brave Love Blog


  1. Visiting from Blogtember! I love this, your 16 year old self sounds a lot like me at 16!

  2. Ah, love this. Wouldn't it be great to go back and actually tell ourselves the things we have learned? This is a beautifully written letter.

  3. Loved this letter! Yes, many many lessons are lifelong ones. Thanks for all the grace & "beautiful hope" =) you shared!

  4. I've so loved reading these letters today. Precious, and encouraging!

  5. Your letter made me smile, Elena! I feel like I am in that period of singleness that you described. Your words were hopeful for me too, not just for your 16 year old self. ;) God has taught me so much during this time about His sovereignty, wisdom and love. I wouldn't trade these formative, single years for anything. :)

  6. If I could tell myself the same message of love at sixteen, I would, time and time again. It's not surprising to me that our teenaged selves needed to hear that message more than any other-- but how beautiful is it that the Lord used those years and the ones that have followed to etch that love into our hearts! This is beautiful, Elena!

  7. This is a beautiful letter, Elena! I love the story of your epiphany in Europe while watching the sun come down.


I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice