Dear Younger Me,
Life is not supposed to be this hard. Your worth is not found in what other people think of you, how well you perform in sports, or how much weight you “think” you have to lose. You are beautiful. You are loved. You are cherished.
I see how hard it is for you believe that. I see the way you look at yourself in the mirror, making sure your ribs are still visible. I see how you react when you think you let the whole team down, thinking that you should have stopped that goal and did not. You carried so much stress, anxiety, and depression in your smile. You are young. Your eyes should have shone with joy, an innocence for life. You took far too many things and placed them on your shoulders. A burden you were never meant to bear.
Not listening to the lies became a chore. They were loud. You had a hard time silencing them. You did what was easier in the moment so you did not have to fight the repercussions of anxiety and self doubt going forward. You isolated yourself from friends and family when all they were doing was trying to help. Your best friend became the back of your eye lids as that was the only way you could truly escape the reality that was crushing you. You were so focused on the skeletons in your closet, that you refused to look up long enough to see the help that others were trying to offer.
Loving others came easy to you. Loving yourself, not so much. The girl in the mirror was someone different. Someone desperately wanting to climb out of this hole that was beginning to cave in around her. You were trying to control too much, when you should have been looking to the One that put you here for a distinct and unique purpose. Your life mattered. You are here for a purpose. One you might not know yet, but one that will change the world someday.
Continue to fight. Do not give up. It might be hard now, but storms do not last forever. Your world changing moment might be just around the corner, but you will not know what that is if you cave into the feelings your human nature is bombarding you with. Build your life on who God says you are, not what the world is trying to get you to believe.
• LOVED. (John 15:9)
•CHERISHED. (Ephesians 5:29)
•VALUABLE. (Matthew 10:29-31)
•WORTH IT. (Romans 5:8)
•HIS DAUGHTER. (James 1:17-18)
You are a diamond in His eye.
Hold onto those truths. Trust that the plan He has for life, far exceeds anything that you could dream up or imagine.
In those moments of pure dread and panic, look to Him. Breathe. Believe that things will get better when your eyes are solely on Him. Don’t lose sight of that. You are running the race of life. Don’t give up because you get tired. Push through and realize that when you put everything into God’s hands, then you will truly be able to rest in His arms.
Once you realize that you are so much more than just your outward appearance, or your successes in life, you will then truly be able to find joy in the little things. Like hearing the laughter of children, watching the milk make galaxies in your coffee, being convinced that the dew on the ground is actually fairy dust, or reveling in how the sky exploded with color after a thunderstorm. The beauty that comes after a storm.
Love God. Love others. And take care of yourself. You can not help others when you are not taking care of yourself. Self care is not selfish. It is important as sometimes you need to take a step back and remember that God has you here for a specific reason. It might be hard right now, and you might not know what that reason is yet, but He makes beauty from the ashes. Take a moment to yourself to breathe, to slow down, to stop. Pick up a book instead of your phone. Laugh with your family over a game that your dad refuses to play because he thinks you cheat instead of watching another brain-melting episode of your favorite TV show. Revel in the moments for what they truly are, instead of thinking there is something wrong with you and wishing your circumstances were different.
You have the ability to be strong and rise above the enemy’s attempts to drown you. Prayer is powerful and God is fighting for you, never wanting to see you reach for anything else, but Him. I pray that you are able to see yourself the way God sees you. A precious daughter of the King. When you look in the mirror, smile, lift your head, and revel in the warm arms of your Father.