Driving to work the other day I was listening to a Christian radio show and they were playing a sort of game allowing callers to call in and share what the would tell their “high school self” if they could. I think it’s based on a country song of the same premise because I’m almost sure I’ve heard it before. Anyway, it was such an eye opening and interesting show. I dreaded having to go into work that morning and not get to hear any more. The callers had such great insights and thoughts. I thought about it all morning and thought, “man, there is SO MUCH I’d like to tell my high school self!” So, in the spirit and in thought of that show, I wrote a letter to little Jenny P (I can’t believe I let people call me that!). Something about the prospect of motherhood on the horizon has been really reflective for me. This is SO not the life I had envisioned 13+ year ago… but it is SO MUCH BETTER!

To my high school self,

There is so much in store for you. Greater things than you can even imagine. I promise. Do not give up hope. “He” is out there and he is SO worth waiting for. He is not who you think he is. Give up on that guy. He’s a waste of your time and you’re better than that. 🙂 Speaking of time, the timeline of how you think things are going to go is severely skewed. But do not despair. What God has in store is pretty awesome. And it gets better and better with each passing year. You’re just going to have a to wait a few more years than you want to for your dreams to come true. But they will.

Look at yourself in the mirror and realize how beautiful you are. You are NOT fat. You are NOT hideously ugly. That crooked-tooth smile that you hate so much will soon become what people say is your BEST feature. Believe it! Smile more. Worry less. Embrace who you are. You don’t need to be anyone but yourself. And if anyone makes you feel otherwise, they are not your friend and you should walk away from them.

Despite what people say, high school is NOT the best 4 years of your life. Yours come in your twenties and thirties (and maybe even beyond that?). Not going to Prom does not make you a giant loser. In fact, in about a decade, you won’t even care, and no one else will either. The friends you have now will not be the friends you have later. In fact, a few years into college your life will turn upside down and you will be “starting over” but it’s awesome and you’ll love what happens and who comes into your life. They will erase all the pain you ever felt through these rough years.

There are many heartbreaks and disappointments ahead. They will hurt like hell and you will feel completely hopeless. But don’t… time heals all wounds and you will become such an incredibly strong and independent woman. Keep writing. Keep creating. Take lots of photos. And for goodnessakes – DO NOT BURN YOUR JOURNALS. You will want to look back on those words someday. They are priceless.

Listen to your parents. They know what they are talking about and really do want the best for you.

Don’t give up on God and don’t give up on his people. They will disappoint you and you will feel utterly alone, but He is there, just whispering in the dark. When he calls out, follow him. You will not be disappointed in His path for your life. It will take years to heal, but you will love and trust Him and His people again. Let go and let him work in you.

Life is so beautiful. Don’t miss a thing. Don’t take yourself out of the equation because you don’t want to be embarrassed, uncool or ridiculous. You won’t always have those chances and life is meant to be lived to the fullest.

Lastly, get ready for a great adventure. Get ready to love like you’ve never felt possible. Get ready to BE loved like you never imagined. Get ready for GREATNESS. These 4 years are like a dust that will blow away. Life is just starting to get good!

Mrs. Jennifer C

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