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Dear 16-year-old Jessie,
I’ve been trying to write this letter for days, and I hadn’t, because I knew I would boo-hoo through the whole thing. Yes, you are still an emotional wreck – sorry! Good: in college, you will discover clinical depression and antidepressants. Bad: you are pregnant with your third child and not taking them. Don’t be too scared about that three kids thing, OK?
But I guess it’s safe to say your fear of never meeting your true love, of never getting married (or GASP it not happening until you’re like TWENTY EIGHT) was unnecessary. You have an awesome, loving husband. I’m not going to tell you where you meet him, though, because that’s half the fun.
But seriously, lay off the worrying about boys. I do realize you’re 16 and never been kissed, and you know what? Good for you. You’re going to date someone before too long, and then the rest of your life wish it had never happened. You’re going to have to learn where your morals really lie, and that’s not as easy as it sounds. Please TRY to remember in the future that just because a boy might be interested in you doesn’t mean you are interested in him.
I know you spend a lot of time feeling fat and ugly, and trust me, YOU ARE NEITHER. Exercise a little more and feel good about your body. Don’t worry one-tenth as much about what people think about you. Guess what? They aren’t thinking about you nearly as much as you think they are.
Cling to the good friends and most of all, keep holding onto Jesus with a death grip. There are some hard times ahead. You’ll feel abandoned and unloved, but Jesus is going to hold you in His hand. Choose the narrow way and you won’t regret it for a second.
I wish I could tell you that things will be easy, but they won’t be. I can tell you you’re going to have a heck of a lot of fun in college, make lifelong friends, meet your husband, and go on to have an amazing life, obstacles and all.
So stop being so shy, embrace how lovely you are to others and to God, and enjoy life a little bit more.
Your 30-year-old self
In honor of her new book for teens, Graceful, Emily Freeman is doing a link-up tomorrow 9/14 of letters to your teenaged self. So go get a little weepy, share some embarrassing pictures, and join in at Chatting at the Sky.