Dear Daughter,

As I sat at my desk listening to a co-worker tell me stories of her children, I learned more about their personalities and character traits. I was mostly intrigued by the stories she shared of her fifteen year old daughter. As I continued listening, I thought of myself at that age… the things that concerned my heart… the things that were most important to me. Right now, if I had the chance, what would I want to say to myself at fifteen years old? Thinking on this question, here’s a letter I wrote to my-fifteen-year-old-self:

Dear Ana,

You are a beautiful person inside and out. Don’t let anyone tell you anything different. Don’t let others make you feel any differently about yourself. Understand self worth. You are worthy of respect. You are worthy of genuine love. You are worthy of time. You are worthy of dignity. Your worth is not wrapped up in what others think about you but true significance is found only through the things we can accomplish through Christ.

Set your standards but, most importantly, stick to them. Deep down inside, you already know your worth. You just don’t believe it enough to follow through with the standards you have already set. BELIEVE IT! Relationships at this age can be tricky no matter what type of relationship it is. Your peers may not “get” you. You won’t fit in. Don’t try to change… Yes, he may tell you that he loves you but the truth of the matter is that, at fifteen years old, he doesn’t fully understand the true meaning of love. So, don’t focus so much of your time, energy, and attention on “him.” Instead, cling to your own father (heavenly and earthly) to confidently distinguish who you are and what you represent.

Everyone won’t understand you. Everyone won’t get your point of view, but that’s ok. It’s impossible to please everybody… just be you. That’s all you can do and that’s all anyone should ask of you. Don’t conform to who you think people want you to be. Don’t give people that much power over you. People will appreciate the AUTHENTIC YOU much more than they would you attempting to impersonate someone else, or even worse conforming to who they want you to be. Be your own shade of beautiful. You are your own person standing on your own two feet. Don’t compare yourself and hold yourself to the success and status of those around you. What God has for you is FOR YOU!!!

Nurture yourself. Develop your gifts and talents. Set goals. Intentionally set out to discover your purpose. Uncover your passion. Recognize the thing you fear most. Once you have figured it out, run wholeheartedly toward that thing.


              You Are Enough

A lot to digest for a fifteen year old… I know, but these are many of the things I wish I knew and understood at that age. I have wondered how differently my life may have turned out today if only I took heed to the advice and examples set before me. Although it wouldn’t have been the most popular thing to do, I wish I took that time to fall completely in love with Christ, trusting the still, small voice I heard inside. I wish I understood that He gives joy for sadness, strength in place of weakness, and beauty for ashes. My love, never forget to give Him everything you have. He will give you everything you need.

Learn through the process,

Ana J.