Letter to my 13-year-old self

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
My daughter is 13 today. Thirteen years ago on Easter morning (at sunrise to be exact) God changed my life completely. I never knew love at first sight the way I did that morning. My daughter was perfect in every way ... so I kept her! Fast-forward to today and I am so humbled and thankful for the woman that she is growing up to be. She has wisdom beyond her years and a blossoming faith in Christ.

In honor of this momentous birthday, I'm offering the wisdom I would give to myself at 13 if I could sit down and talk with Linda back in winter of 1993...

Dear Linda,

You are 13 today. While you are busy planning your birthday bash, your mom is panicking in the other room. You don't really understand why but you will one day. This is the year you make a commitment to Jesus. Your heart will be open to the gospel and you will receive Christ into your heart as your personal Lord and savior. But don't let me spoil the fun....Instead, here are some words of wisdom for the journey ahead:

Remember that life is complicated and simple all at the same time. You will understand deeply profound truths about the world and be completely confounded by the simplest act of faith.

You are a really good writer. Learn to love the red marks your teachers put on your papers. They are tools to make you better at what you love. See them as a challenge and a blessing.

You are an intellectual. God made you that way. It's good...it's His will... You will be the champ at every game night. Just don't let your brain get in the way of your heart. Allow God's love to touch the deepest part of you and love Jesus with reckless abandonment.

You don't have to try so hard. God loves you the way you are and he delights over you with singing. Drop the extracurricular activities, sit at his feet and let him minister to your heart. It's all that is needed.

Ride a roller coaster. Seriously! Don't be scared! What's the worst that can happen...whiplash? Do it!

You may find this hard to believe but you will grow up to be a morning person. Seek God in the morning before doing anything else. Read the words of the Bible as you would a love letter... It's personal and it's relevant. (Oh...and drink coffee. Without coffee you're actually a non-morning person).

People will say to you that "tough circumstances make you stronger" and "God will never give you more than you can handle." This will annoy you... and it should. Trials are not about making us "stronger"... they are about making us see just how weak we are and how much we need Jesus. He brings us through difficult times to show others how awesome he can be in the life of a believer who is totally sold out and surrendered to him. Be that girl that let's Christ shine through in the tough times.

You are not the sum total of your mistakes. You were bought at a price. Do not waste the grace that God has given you. Rest in his mercies that are new each morning but don't waste your life! You can do big things for Jesus, especially when you are young.

Your walk with God is only beginning but you will have to learn to trust in God's timing. He is slow and fast at the same time. He is gentle and unexpected all at once.

Satan will try to steal your joy daily. Don't let him! He is stupid. (enough said)

Mostly, remember that you are beautiful. You are so beautiful that God named you Linda. Pimples and frizzy hair will fade but the beauty that Christ has declared in you will never fade. Seek to be a woman of conviction who is gentle and firm and kind and uncompromising all at the same time.

Have fun and I pray a lot!

- Linda


Elizabeth Smith said...

Awesome post! So much wisdom and truth. Many women - young and old - can benefit from these precious nuggets of wisdom that God has shown you over the years.

Radiant Joy said...

Thank you my friend!

Rhonda Castagna said...

Love this! My favorite part was about the trials making us stronger. That annoys me too! :)

Oh, and you forgot to add...."Love your friends who tell you to write more! They are good friends."

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