To the struggling teenage girl:
I see you. I know you. I WAS you 25 years ago. Developing quickly from little girl to full grown woman with body parts expanding and ballooning and me just trying to figure it all out.
My classmates were prettier than me. Smarter than me. Richer than me. Almost any of them were more athletic than me. They had incredible sense of style and an amazing wit. And I always wondered how I measured up. Truthfully, I cried myself to sleep most nights at boarding school so I totally get and remember how painful growing up can be.
I know what it’s like to try and catch a boy’s eye and I know it’s hard to walk the line of what to wear. I know you have friends that let everything hang out and it almost becomes a dare to see who can get away with wearing less. Trust me, I wore silky lingerie tops with tight jeans and high heels long before Forever 21 made that cool.
And if I could tell you anything, I’d like to tell you this:
Darling, you were created in the image of an Almighty, powerful, loving Heavenly Father. He made you exactly the way you should be. He’s the artist who created the Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, the Great Barrier Reef, and every sunrise and sunset since the dawn of time. He knows what beautiful is, and He made you wonderfully.
Your every strand of brown curly, stick straight blond, or wirey black hair is numbered on the top of your head. Your shape– long and lean, curvy and round, or portly and pleasantly plump is just how He saw you. He knows the color of your eyes and He loves the smile that lights them up. He created you while you were in your mother’s womb and he knows the exact number the days of your life will contain. He is intimately involved in every aspect of your life and He has only good plans for you. He packaged your soul into this body of yours and you are made perfectly to accomplish the good works He has ahead of you.
So hold your head up. YOU are a daughter of the Most High King. You walk in dignity, you are clothed in strength. You have favor and blessing and honor. Speak befitting of royalty. Dress like the princess you are. Become all that God has for you and even now, when you look in the mirror, realize that you are looking at an unfinished masterpiece that God is shaping into an incredible artwork.
Don’t ever let anyone who sees you as anything less waste a moment of your time or take a piece of your heart. I know you won’t always get things right and you’ll make mistakes as you walk into womanhood, but that’s OK. You are not defined by your worst mistakes or even what others think of you. You are defined by the blood of Jesus who calls you righteous and cancels out your every sin.
You are a precious treasure in His sight and far more valuable than you realize.
So don’t waste another minute listening to the awful things you think about yourself. Begin creating a new narrative in your mind that lines up with what God says about you.
Let His voice be the one you hear encouraging you into becoming the woman He created you to be.
And even if no one ever says it to you, or if you’ve been picked on and put down and judged wrongly and misunderstood…I get it. I was you. And I lived to tell about it and thrived because of the strength it grew into me. The lessons were hard then and the hurt was so real but now I can see that the Lord was using a lot of that to make me strong enough to handle my life now. God was good even then and He has proved that the struggle was worth it.
Hang in there, babe.