This post is part of a blogging link-up organised by Emily Freeman to introduce her new book for teenagers, Graceful. The idea is to write a letter to your teenage self, so that’s what I’ve done. Go read other letters here, and maybe join in yourself if you’re the blogging sort.
16, eh? I remember that year, and I’d like to tell you so many things to encourage you, and cheer you up and spur you on, but as I think about it I reckon only one thing is necessary, and it’s this: Jesus really does love you.
It’s been a year since you gave your life to Him, and frankly, things haven’t been that great. I don’t want to frighten you but the next couple of years are going to be tough too, and that isn’t the end of it. It’s going to be really, really hard, and you’re going to want to give up – but Jesus won’t give up on you. Because Jesus was the Man of Sorrows, he has borne your grief and carried your sorrow, and He really does love you.
I know that you’re sick of this small town where you live, and you’re scared of what’s outside of it too, so you think you’ll be stuck here for ever. You won’t be. You’re going to leave this small town, and eventually this small country, and you will see wonderful things, and meet wonderful people, and it will be scary, but you won’t be alone. Because Jesus is the Author of creation, and He really does love you.
A silly boy or two will appear soon, and eventually you’ll have your heart broken. For a moment one of them will become so important that you’ll forget about Jesus and try and find your hope in a man, and he’ll let you down, but even though you forget your Saviour, He will never, ever forget you. Because Jesus is your Good Shepherd, and He really does love you.
You have no idea what you want to be when you grow up, or even if you do want to grow up. But you will. 28 year old you has a job that she really, really loves, and the journey to get there has been pretty wonderful too. You still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, but that isn’t scary any more, just really exciting; and the future isn’t terrifying and unknown, but a sure and certain City. I know that at the moment you can’t see it, or imagine it, or hope for it, but it is true – trust me. Because Jesus is the Author and Perfecter of your faith, and He really does love you.
At the moment you know that Christ died for the whole world, but you’re finding it hard to believe that he really died for you. You can’t believe that someone would really die in your place, because you can’t believe that someone would love you that much. But it is true, really, really true. God made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for you, so that throught Him you might be the righteousness of God. Because Jesus is the Lamb of God, and He really does love you.
The next 12 years are going to be full of so much: joy and pain and love and loss and dreams and regrets. It is going to be hard, but it’s also going to be worth it. Keep going little me. Keep running the race, keep fighting the fight, keep keeping the faith, and keep fixing your eyes on the one who runs out to greet you, put his arms around you and welcome you home. Because Jesus is the Bridegroom, and He really does love you.
There’s more to be said, but it’s just more of the same: Jesus really does love you.
Lots of love,