Dear 13 year-old me.
First, the good news. There is an adult you and she’s doing ok. You will survive your exams. You live in a world without social media. In a few years, you won’t care so much about what everyone else thinks about you – but there’s some work for God to do first.
You have a daughter AND a lovely husband. (NB: when the ‘love of your life’ dumps you, don’t panic. He’s not the One). You still love reading. You wrote a book, (but not the one you thought. I can’t tell you more, because you’ll get stressed).
The God you’ve started learning about is better and more amazing than you can imagine. He’s here now; and He’s been here all along; though you won’t always feel it. Listen; you don’t have to do things for Him to love you; He already does. And you ARE special; but not because you try hard. In fact, you need to stop trying so hard. You are not invincible and you do not have the answers.
The next few years are going to be tough. There’ll be some dark bits and at times you’ll be very scared and very sad. Do not trust your feelings and do NOT trust your brain. It can break, just like a leg – but it can be mended too. Keep going, keep telling yourself God’s truth and remember that in His hands, even the hard bits can become sort-of good. Don’t panic – suffering is part of following Jesus and you’re not on your own, even though it might feel that way.
Try for a baby early. But keep praying, whatever happens. Don’t smoke. Forget about a career in marketing. Stop after one glass. Lean on others – and talk about your feelings instead of keeping them in. Stop reading women’s magazines. Keep using an SPF.
Above and beyond all of this, build your life on Jesus. Spend time, working out who He is and where He fits. Talk to Him and keep talking. Ask questions. Go to a church that teaches the Bible (and that comes recommended by trusted friends). Don’t join one just because you’re invited, (it will turn out to be a cult). Seek out older Christian women who can show you how to live.
Do things you’re scared of – but not too many, and not all at once. Don’t perm your hair. Serve at your local church. Make friends with people who aren’t like you. Don’t assume that because someone is a Christian or in leadership, that they’re perfect. And don’t confuse working for God with working for others.
Follow Jesus; not your heart. Fail boldly. Love others and believe that the gospel is true for you as well.
Love from your older, slightly wiser self.