The blogging world is teaming with “Dear Me…” letters this week. Letters that bloggers write to their teenage self in hopes of promoting Emily Freeman’s new book, Graceful.. and imparting some hard learned wisdom, as if it would make a difference in someone else’s life. Emily even graciously opened up a link for any blogger to join in. Here’s the deal, I wanted to write a letter to myself and join Emily’s linky party ‘cuz it looks like fun, you know. It looks like all the cool kids are doing it and I want to be part of that group. I wanted to do it because maybe someone really awesome would notice me.
Here it is, your 9th birthday, and I’m rambling on about myself and wanting to be noticed… wanting to hang out in the super cool group. Kinda weird to hear from your 43 year old mom, huh? Yep, it’s true. I still, after all these years, want people to notice me and think I’m so cool. That’s kind of ridiculous, huh? I’m still learning the lesson that I am who I am because God made me this way. He made me perfectly suited to be your mom. He made me… me!
Guess what, Chickadee? You might struggle with this too. Right now, you’re bouncing around here all thrilled that you are finally 9 like Annie and Jenna. You are excited to go to Jenna’s tonight and spend your birthday with your cousin before she leaves for the DR. Your only worry today is that someone will eat your frozen custard before you get home. I’m amazed that in your life, now, you are not at all concerned with who is cool or not so cool. I’m confident this will change, just as you are changing.
As you grow and change and become more like Jesus, you also are growing and changing and become a young woman. Somehow in all those changes, you may start to doubt who you are. You may think your ears are too small and your little toes are too big. You might struggle with your hair being too long, too short, too curly, or too straight. You might not like your eyes but love the way someone else’s eyes look. You may start comparing yourself to everyone you see and you might start feeling like everyone else is better than you.
Ellen, you are the most beautiful 9 year old girl I know (Annie and Jenna are close, tho…). Next year you will be the most beautiful 10 year old. And the next, the most beautiful 11 year old… You are also the most beautiful Ellen I know, named after another beautiful Ellen I once knew. More than all of that, you are the most beautiful you that ever will be… no one else can even come close. Know this. I’m no the only one who believes this. God created you to perfectly fit the life He has for Ellen Mercy. He has a plan and a purpose for your life and you are the only one who can fulfill it!
So, as you grow and change and struggle, don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t think that they are better than you because they have…. (you get to fill in that blank). Don’t listen to the lies that say you have to have things to be someone. Don’t perceive others to be cooler than you because, usually, they are just as insecure. Don’t let Satan whisper lies to your heart that say that your ears are too small or your little toes are too big… or whatever the lie is that he will try on you.
Most of all… keep this confidence you have now. This confidence that sings “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so!”
I could have written a “dear me” letter today and joined in Emily’s party but I seriously wonder what it would change? I can’t change the past and I know the teenage me wouldn’t have listened to any advice, anyway. It might have gotten a few laughs (especially if I uploaded a picture of me from the ’80s… you know back in the OLD days) but a letter now doesn’t change then. Instead, I can write to you… now… and hope that you won’t make the same mistakes I did and struggle with the same issues I struggle with. I pray for your heart every day! I pray that you will hear truth and not believe the lies… every day!!
Happy birthday Chickie! I am so grateful to be your Mom and to have a front row seat to watch you grow and change and become a young woman of God. I’m also grateful for the lessons you continue to teach this Mama’s heart.