In my life, I have received many gifts. Five I treasure are my husband and our four children. Recently our oldest turned 14. It’s a magical time. A time of self discovery. A time of owning our faith. A time of anticipation.
Believe it or not, I well remember those days. They are days of transition. Days of confusion. Days of wondering. So with her gift, our oldest received a card. A card that I pray was affirming and vision casting.
If I could sit down with other young women, here’s what I would tell you over a Diet Coke or Dr Pepper.
1. You are beautiful. Ignore what the world tells you. Hopefully, you’ve seen the YouTube videos which show just how Photoshopped images in print ads are. None of us look like they do…not even the models. But God created you with beauty. He planted that in your heart and in your soul. Regardless of the outside package, you are beautiful. And I bet if I could see you, I would see His beauty reflected in you. You have worth because you are created in His image. You have beauty because you are created in His image. And you have value because He created you.
2. You are creative and amazing. Don’t believe me? Just look at your space…maybe that’s a bedroom or a hideout. Maybe you prefer planting and maintaining flowerbeds or love to get the art supplies out and create with Modge Podge, paper scraps, and memorabilia. Or maybe you watch YouTube tutorials on nail art by the hour and create your own takes on the style on your or a friend’s nails. Maybe you feel journals with poetry or blogs with prose. However you do it, you are creative. And that unique creative bent is amazing. Even if you can’t see it, others do. How do I know you have it? Because you are created in the image of the most creative Creator of all. The variety you enjoy in life came from His imagination through His words into existence. That’s pretty awe-inspiring.
3. God has a plan & a purpose for your life…one that is tailor made for you. This one is a bit harder to believe. I know. I was there in my teens and there are still days I wonder what the big picture is that God is crafting in my life. Somedays it just feels like a mess. Take heart, my friend. God has a plan for you. It is beautiful, but there will be spots of pain, time of doubt, seasons of wilderness. Those are the times you get to chose whether to be desperate for God’s presence and voice or to turn aside. Cling to Him. Trust that His plan is perfect for you, because He is perfect. Trust that He sees your whole life at one time. He sees things we won’t even grasp and comprehend until heaven.
And His plan is tailor made for you. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of plan. It’s a plant that will speak life to you. To your callings. Your talents. Your giftings. He will take the tangled threads of your life and weave it into something beautiful if you let Him.
4. Enjoy the journey…and don’t forget to celebrate. Right now, all you want to do is be an adult. Believe me the time will come when you long for the relatively carefree days of being a teenager. You only get to have this stage in life once. You’ll be a full fledged adult for the rest of your life. Don’t rush through the journey. Enjoy each step (as much as you can).
What is happening in this stage or season? What experiences are you having now? What is God doing in your life? Stop to remember. And stop to celebrate. Here in America we are so quick to rush from one event, accomplishment, to-do item to the next without pausing to celebrate the milestones and accomplishments. Celebrate another semester completed. A skill attained. A service performed.
Through it all — the highs and lows, the good and bad — cling to Jesus. He is the friend who will stick closer than a brother. He’ll celebrate with you, He’ll cry with you, and He’ll offer advice. Time spent with Him is never time wasted.
Your Mom (and everyone else’s big sister),