Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self

"If you could write a letter to the person you were at 16, what would you say?" This is the question that a friend asked on Facebook today. And I think it's a great question. I had some self-esteem and confidence issues at that age, and I made quite a few poor choices. This is what I would say if I could talk to my 16-year-old self (although I doubt she'd listen because she preferred to learn from her own experiences and not from other people's advice... lol):

It's really okay to just be yourself. If you like or believe something, it doesn't matter what other people think. Just be you. And it's okay to say no. You don't have to do things just because other people want you to.

Go ahead and cut your hair into that pixie cut you've been wanting. It'll save you years of frustrations with your hair, and you will love it. And while I'm giving beauty advice, you might wanna pluck your eyebrows. Otherwise you will look back at pictures and wince. It doesn't hurt that bad.

It may be hard to believe now, but you will not be a childless career woman. And you'll be okay with that.

You are worth more than you think you are. Please choose friendships and relationships with people who truly do value you. This will save you from a lot of pain and regret.

Only a handful of people you're friends with now will be lifelong friends. You already know who they are. :-)

Stop telling yourself you're fat. You aren't. You're the perfect size. Actually, you should probably eat a little more, not less.

You've believed a lot of untrue, hurtful things about yourself. Please do everything you can to get those toxic messages out of your head and try to see yourself for who you really are. You are loved.

Your value comes from God, not from your accomplishments, your talents, whether other people like you, or anything else.

God isn't who you think he is. He isn't waiting around for you to mess up so he can punish you. He isn't keeping a list of everything you do wrong. He doesn't expect you to be perfect. He isn't angry, legalistic, and punitive. That god, the god whose existence you question, doesn't exist-- but God does. And God loves you. He loves you. This bears repeating one more time: He loves you-- just as you are.


  1. I love it. <3 You're a lovely person, Jenny, and I'm glad you've made your journey this far, and that it's crossed my path. :O)

  2. That's a very sweet post. Having been there & sixteen with you, it's neat to see how we've both grown. I'm so glad we're still friends.

    My sixteen year old self could have learned a few things from me too...including the eyebrow waxing part. I also would have recommended to myself a hair straightener. My biggest lesson to myself at that age would have to have been not to take everything personally, don't worry about what others think about me, and I am worth far more than I could ever think. God's got it all worked out, and I just have to follow His lead!

  3. I loved you at 16 and I love you even more as a mature, Godly, young woman and wonderful mom. Keep pursuing HIM because as you have found - - - nothing else matters more than that.

  4. k, so I saw that pic of you at 16 and was instantly transported to the hallway near the door against the brick wall where u, me, and Amanda H would sometimes eat lunch. I also remember burping... very loudly. AND AMEN ABOUT THE EYEBROWS. And everything else. P.s. I just found like about 10,000 notes we wrote back and forth and a poem you wrote in hs doing some spring cleaning!