Dear Younger Me.

 

Dear thirteen-year-old Alex,

Congratulations on entering the wonderful, confusing, and chaotic world of being a teenager! Its gonna be grand! Its gonna be wild! Its gonna be everything you wish it will be!

Actually, sweetie, I am completely lying to you. You are at the bottom of the teenage totem pole and what other people think of you is the main subject on your mind and for that I am so sorry. I wish I could say that that concern will one day completely go away, but unfortunately that day hasn’t come for us yet — though as you have grown up some of those concerns have actually faded away.

Okay, so where do I begin with you…ah, yes, boys. As long as you’ve been alive boys have existed and though you have already begun to understand the power of a crush you never experienced the bombardment of worries and insecurities that take root when it comes to boys and being a thirteen year old girl. Tip #1: THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Please stop obsessing with the attention (be it good or bad) that boys will give.  Your worth and beauty does NOT depend on boys being attracted to you. Don’t think you have to dress or sway your hips a certain way for a boy to like you. THAT IS A LIE. Boys are cool. Learn how to be friends with them. Learn how to be goofy and yourself around them (hint: this will definitely be important for when you meet your husband. This I promise.) Just don’t change for them.

Now, on to self-image! Yay!

You are beautiful. Your middle-school chubbiness, always red-cheeks, and your “don’t look like everyone else” features are awesome! You were not made to look like the typical white girl. For one…you’re not white and even if you were you would still be unique! Eventually, you will embrace your curly hair and that your body doesn’t resemble a stick anymore. Also you are not supposed to look like a Victoria Secret model at thirteen and honestly the majority of people do not look like VS models. All in all, please learn to love yourself.

Thirteen-year-old me, you are going to experience so many awesome things. You are going to leave Public School and start the best school year of your life at Liberty. That year is going to be filled with laughter, joy, and some amazing stories and you’re going to make new friendships that will actually last a lifetime. You are going to make the best decision of your life by giving your life to Christ! You’ll start your journey from being a quiet grump to being an active member in the youth group. And best of all God is going to repair your broken heart and teach you that those pains in life will one day bring comfort to someone else. Don’t be distracted by what the world and social media says is attractive and important. Trust me its not.

Last but not least, enjoy being thirteen. Make it an effort to enjoy every age you will be no matter how awesome the next age sounds.

Love,

Twenty-Year-Old Alex

 

 

 

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Letting Go.

There are so many times that I’ve let fear stop me from pursuing the things I’ve wanted in my life. I’ve let the fear of failure and the fear of what other people think be a barricade between me and the plans God has for me. I love to worship and I’ve let fear stifle the full expression of worship I desire. I love words and I love to read and create them, but I’ve let fear back me into a corner and believe that the words I want and sometimes have to say are needless or laughable.

This fear of failure has kept me from learning, growing, and trying new things that I actually want to try. It has suffocated the talents and gifts God has placed in me and I am finally tired of it. I can’t ask God to take me deeper if I’m not actually willing to move. 2 Timothy 1:7 states, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” The Message puts it this way, “God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts,but bold and loving and sensible.”

So, I will no longer be letting fear control me. I will no longer be shy with the gifts God has given me. I will no longer be embarrassed or afraid of the desires God has placed in my heart or the plan he has asked me to follow. I want to be a worship leader and I have no idea when God will ask me to chase after that goal, but in the meantime I will chase after Him. I’m slowly but surely working on getting my degree in English Literary Studies because God told me to and I have absolutely no idea what he wants me to do with that degree, but in the meantime I’m going to listen to Him. It is because I know God’s goodness and that He is for me not against me (Romans 8:31)  that I trust Him.

This blog is my first step of letting go of this fear. Even as I type this post I feel the strong urge to turn back and remain in my comfort zone, but I’m not going to do it. Amanda Cook’s album, Brave New World, set a fire upon my heart when I first heard it so I’ll end this with some lyrics from her song Voyage :

” Set your sights, sailing far beyond familiar

In the rising tide you’ll find the rhythm of your heart

And lift your head, now the wind and waves don’t matter.”