A Letter to Young Michelle

This is Michelle.  She's my friend who thinks a lot, learns quickly, and processes with intentionality.  She's unique because God gave her strength in boldness and wisdom in quietness.  The past few weeks I've been getting some insight from amazing women--you can read about my intentions here.  I asked Michelle to write an open letter to her young self.  Below is a charming loving letter to younger Michelle. If you've never written a letter to your younger self, I recommend taking time for that exercise.  It's a good thing.  Peace homies.

Dear Younger Michelle, 
There are so many things I have learned (and that I am still learning) that I want to share with you to speak into different stages and areas of your life – from love, relationships, and friendships, to passions, dreams and desires, to trust and respect, and most importantly, faith.

  • First of all: be kind to yourself. You are SO worthy of love and respect. You are a treasured child of our most high God! You are worthy and have great value and your identity lies in Christ – NOT in what others say or think about you.  You have a lot of offer.  He thinks you are valuable and amazing – a beautiful person that will grow to have great character and integrity.  It’s ok and cool to believe in Jesus, to love Jesus and it’s ok to pray out loud!  Read the Bible.  Listen and learn His voice for He will guide and direct you.  He loves you; He is your best friend and He is with you wherever you go – especially during the hard, dark, scary and awful times.   
  • Second don’t be in a rush to grow up – there will be plenty of time to do that.  There will be very tough hard times – but you will come through it, you will learn from it, and you will come out stronger.  It’s ok and really good to cry – it is healing and brave.  Be strong and yet vulnerable and transparent.  That takes courage!  When I was young I thought I had to be one type of person in public and another in my private life –yet both lives felt like a performance.  I thought if others saw the real me, my faults, my fears, my insecurities, my mistakes, my big ugly hairy warts they would run the other way.  Know that there is great value in being real.  When you are true and genuine and honest and authentic it opens up the door for long lasting, deep, and caring friendships. They will love you despite your flaws.   
  • Pray for WISDOM!  Pain and suffering will happen in life but God uses our sufferings for His eternal glory (Romans 8:17) and our sufferings enhance our eventual joy for our future glory in heaven.  There is a purpose and usefulness in our suffering – learn and grow from it.  You are not alone. When you struggle with something, and it feels as though we are the only one facing a particular difficulty, know that others have had their battles and come through the other side. It is immensely consoling. Please know that those people who hurt you, they do it because they, too, are suffering. It’s not your fault. They hurt others because they are hurting.  It’s okay to say “no” especially when you know you’re in a bad situation.
  • Trust your gut, instincts, morals and values – make wise choices!   
  • Learn to forgive, say you’re sorry and I love you.
  • What matters most is to love God and love others!  Serve – always serve! Realize that there is a large world out there – beyond you and your backyard.  Travel, study abroad, intern, and go on mission trips.  Pay attention to what is interesting to you and write it down to refer back to when you are an adult and trying to find your passions and desires again.  As long as you are serving God and following His will, He will use you whatever decision you make to lead you in the right direction.  Know that change will happen and that it is good and ok.
  • Welcome change!  Please know that you will be constantly changing and growing your entire life.  You will be a different person today than you were yesterday.  You will be changing to be more like Christ each and every day.
  • Never stop dreaming!  Also, it’s okay to change your mind about what you want to do. Keep trying new things until you find what fits. Don’t be afraid to try!  
  • Study hard, go to college and beyond – it does matter.  Get involved, volunteer, read, read, and read!  
  • Relationships and people matter!  Surround yourself with great people and friends.  Encourage others. Be honest, kind and compassionate, candid and respectful.  Tell the truth especially when it’s hard!  Be smart, speak up, and open up to people who care about you.  
  • Be a good friend and learn to listen well.  Listening is an act of love.  God gave you two ears and one mouth – so you can listen twice as much as you can speak.  It will take a long time for you to fully trust others, but someone will come along who will show you how to love.  
  • Don’t be afraid to love deeply and fully.  Fall in love, get married and have kids – even though you might not feel like it.  It is the closest thing to feeling unconditional love – then you can only imagine how much more Jesus loves you!
  • Seek help, counselors, mentors, and wise advice – always!  
  • Seek Joy! :) 
  • Laugh loudly and don’t take yourself too seriously –have fun!  Don’t waste the gifts God gave you – get out there!
  • You are loved beyond your wildest imagination.  Be strong and courageous!  You only have one life, this is not a dress rehearsal – so live it well – live it fully – live it for the glory of God!
Older Michelle


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