Skip to main content
graceful for young women

Dear Me at 16,

First, take a deep breath and try to relax. You're not receiving this letter because you are bad or in trouble.

To the contrary, I'm writing to you because I care about you and I know that it's hard for you to let others be caring toward you. You feel exposed and vulnerable, wondering if the person will stumble across all those imperfections that you work so hard to hide. You feel afraid of how they might judge you if they knew how needy, fragile and broken you actually are behind your put-together facade.

I want to let you know that it's not your fault that you are this way. At least, it's not entirely your fault. Your desire to encourage and help other people is a wonderful, God-given part of your personality that influences you to put yourself in the position of helper. And this is an important part of how God has made you because it relates to the high calling that He has placed on your life to partner with Him in restoring people. Being the oldest of five children and always being complimented on your helpfulness to your mom and your maturity and responsibility have also contributed to your idea that you have to be helpful. You think that this is all people want from you and you fear that they will reject you if you don't provide it. In this way, how you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God has been used against you by the enemy and this broken, sinful world.

Jody, there is much more to you than just being able to meet everyone's needs all the time. You have a really tender heart, a great sense of humor, a natural enthusiasm and a creative mind, just to name a few other qualities. I encourage you to try sharing your real self with people more often. Your friends will actually feel closer to you when you do this. Their hearts will be moved with compassion if you tell them how much you really struggle with asking for help, feeling afraid and pressure to be perfect. It will be easier for them to accept you because they will actually have a chance to know you and you will feel such powerful affirmation of who you are in letting yourself be known.

When you feel discouraged, weary and alone, let God and other people love on you. Confide in them that you have these feelings and allow them to care for you. This will feel scary at first because it will mean that you are at the center of the conversation and you receive prayer and encouragement and it's possible that other people will resent you for having needs and asking for them to be met. It's more likely that God will actually comfort your heart in such a way that the painful feelings lose their sharpness and hope can take root again. When you encounter all of your imperfect parts, don't hide them away. Bring them to God and bring them into community so that they can soak up grace and love and be healed. Start thinking of yourself as a really precious person who is worthy of care, attention and love from God and others. Don't be ashamed that you want and need it and don't be afraid to ask for it.

Remember that sanctification is a process based on relationship. As you grow in relationship with God, He will change you and make you more like Him. He will not finish this work until the day that Christ Jesus returns for you, so please be patient and gentle with yourself when you encounter the unfinished parts. Enjoy friendship with God and the deep peace and joy that come from being chosen and accepted by Him. Let Him do the transformation work that is needed and remember that this is a work He really, really enjoys. You are not a burden to Him, but a great delight.

You have a wonderful future ahead of you and God's going to bring you into a wonderful, spacious place of freedom from fear and perfectionism. Just lean into Him, be still and know that He really is God and He will do the work you need.

I love you with the love that He has lavished on me,

Me at 31

Thank you Emily P. Freeman for this wonderful exercise!


Popular posts from this blog

Heart Revival

Hey you guys,

It's been almost two years since my last post. What?!

I know some of you probably forgot that I even used to do this, but I hope that you're as excited as I am that I'm coming back to blogging. It's a new season and God has been stirring up lots of creativity and courage in me recently. I'm happy to tell you all about it.

In case you missed it, I became a mom to sweet Elias last summer. In fact, he is about to turn 1 year old on Monday and I can't believe it! Guys, he is absolutely the sweetest, calmest and most delightful baby you can ever imagine and I still tear up sometimes in gratitude when I remember that he is my little boy.

One of my life dreams to be a stay-at-home mama has been partially fulfilled in that I only work three days a week during the school year. I work 2 1/2 days at RCS Elementary School and it is an amazing place. Shortly after I got there, they put me in charge of the two chapel services that happen each week. Guess what? …

What do I fix my eyes on?

Do you ever notice themes popping up in your daily life and wonder if God is saying something?

You read something that stands out to you and then you hear a song reinforcing the same message. You find this topic coming up in conversations throughout the day. Maybe you even see it appearing in your newsfeed on social media. Your heart moves a little bit every time you see or hear this theme.

This has been happening to me this week. The theme is actually a question: What are your eyes fixed on?

I'm preparing to lead See You At The Pole at my school tomorrow and the theme is Fix Your Eyes. It comes from Hebrews 12:2 which encourages us to fix our eyes on Jesus and follow his example in how we handle difficulties and suffering.

Then, I read this amazing blog post this morning by Sharon Hodde Miller about how being a people-pleaser and addicted to approval ultimately causes you to become completely self-focused. (Check out When the Self-Help Gospel Isn't Helping You Anymore on www…

My Arbonne Story - A journey of discovery

You guys, drum roll, please... I have become an Independent Consultant with Arbonne!

This is a big change for me and I am SO, so excited for this opportunity. But, no one seems to be as surprised as I am by this development. Most of the people that I have told have said something like, "That makes sense." Or, "I can see you doing that."This has gotten me reflecting on what has been emerging in me that is facilitating this transition. And, how does what seems like such a discovery to me seem so logical to everyone else?!

I have been an Arbonne groupie for several years now. I absolutely love their product! Every time they come out with something new and I get to try it, I end up wanting it. I have hosted several parties and I have thoroughly enjoyed introducing other people to all of the amazing products that I have been enjoying, but I never considered becoming a consultant.
Recently, something shifted for me. I was at a party and I felt really stirred when Nikki …