Sweet Sixteen

After reading this bold and painfully honest post a woman wrote to her former self, I pondered what words I might have for sixteen year old me. Would we be friends? Would she even hear what I have to say?

To that 16-year-old girl, forever trying to prove herself, seeking acceptance, and standing at a fork in the road that her young eyes fail to recognize, I say: There’s hope Sweet Sixteen.

You’re going to take the wrong road. A road that will lead you to a day two years later where you weepingly confess to the Lord your wandering heart. A road that changes everything. A road that causes your dad to say, “Honey, it may seem like the end of the world, but it gets better.”

Sweet Sixteen. Dad is right. It gets better.

God in an act of marvelous grace will bring you back to that fork, and this time you will choose differently. God will redeem those lost years wasted on your own strength, on your own wisdom, forging your own way.

It will be ten years before some scars heal. More for others. It will be nearly fifteen years before you settle into yourself and really move forward. But Dad is right. It gets better.

Your sister really is the best friend you’ll ever have. Your brothers of few words are deep thinkers who love completely. Your parents are your biggest cheerleaders and family matters.

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All things your young eyes sometimes fail to see.

You’ll marry the most wonderful man and wonder if you’ll ever have children with him. You’ll move away, and come home again. You’ll embrace life, even when it shatters you.

You’ll get back up.

Your mother heart will come to appreciate your Mother’s heart, and all that she quietly did for you. And you’ll do it all for your children -quietly.

You’ll learn life, even your own life, is not really about you. It is so much bigger than that. The thought will both scare you and comfort you in a strange and intimate dance.

You’ll wish you could go back and do things differently, but you eventually accept your past as a piece of you, making you who you are. That drives you to your knees interceding for the three tiny souls entrusted to your care.

Sweet Sixteen. Dad was right. It got better. And the unconditional love he gave you paves a way of acceptance of  unconditional love from your heavenly Father.

You don’t know Him as well now as you one day will. Like so many things, you won’t fully appreciate Him when the path is easy, but you will when the path gets hard. And it gets hard.

Sweet Sixteen. Your black and white world will accept some grey -in some things – but not others. You’ll come full circle and discover some things really are black and white after all.

When you come full circle, you’ll embrace the dance, Sweet Sixteen.

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