I am linking up with Chatting at the Sky for this post. I found the link up through Blue-Eyed Bride when she wrote her letter (which totally made me cry, by the way). I instantly wanted to write a letter of my own. No, scratch that. I think I needed to write a letter of my own. This was very cathartic and I hope you’ll choose to write one too.
Dear 16-year-old self,
You’re in the middle of your first mental breakdown. One that will shape your life in more ways than you can count. You have no idea what is going on. You feel alone, hurt and hopeless much of the time. You spend a lot of your time at home in a dark basement, writing angst-filled poetry by candlelight because it’s the only thing that takes the pain away.
Can I just tell you how much I want to go to you. How much I want to sit with you and let you cry on my 33-year-old shoulder. I’m so sorry you had to go through the pain of a terrible break-up at such a young age. I’m so sorry that it rocked your belief in a good world. Because the world is ultimately good. You’ll see true goodness in your sons’ eyes someday.
Those friends you have. The three girls who make you laugh harder than you ever have in your life. Treasure them. In three years you will lose them to a fight you never should have fought. It was your pride and stubbornness that ended a beautiful bond. Hug Amy and tell her you love her about a thousand times more than you did. Because in seven years she won’t be here anymore and you will miss your chance at reconciliation. It will be the first time in your life that you realize sometimes you don’t get a second chance. You will learn not to hold grudges against people because tomorrow is not promised to us and the resentment is not worth the energy. You will finally feel the weight of forgiveness and understand its meaning.
That boy? The one you cried thousands of tears over? It will take you a long time to realize he wasn’t worth a damn. Someday you will learn that true love doesn’t include sexual, emotional and verbal abuse. Love isn’t about manipulation and games. It is so much more than that. He wasn’t capable of showing you that. If I could just tell little 16-year-old you to hold on. Your prince charming lives in a town north of you. And he will save your life when you meet him.
College is going to be hard on you. You will miss your parents, sisters and friends more than you ever thought possible. I know you said you were ready to leave. But you aren’t. By the end of your first year, you will come very close to ending your life. But the important thing is, you don’t.
When you’re 22 you will meet the love of your life. He will accept you for exactly who you are. A flawed human being with a lot of love to give. He will make you laugh and cry tears of joy. One day you will sit on the back porch of your college apartment. You will look up at the sky and you will whisper, “Thank you, God, for finally bringing him into my life.”
Eleven years from now, that wonderful man will get down on one knee and pledge his undying love for you. He will hold out a ring to symbolize forever and ask you to be his wife. I’ll just cut to the chase. You say yes. It’s the best decision you’ll ever make. A year later you will vow to love each other all the days of your life.
And two years later, the most earth-shaking, life-changing moment of your life will happen. You will give birth to a son. And he will give you the second chance at happiness that, right now, you think you don’t deserve. And if you’re listening to this thinking, “There’s no way I will ever be a mother!” Well, surprise! God will give you another son and you will feel more complete with two beautiful children to love.
If there’s one thing I can tell you . . . look you straight in the eye and tell you . . . you’re worthy of happiness and most importantly, you’re worthy of God’s love.
You will lose your faith in Him more than I care to tell you. But He will always love you no matter how many mistakes you make.
When you’re the age I am now, you will finally cast your doubts aside and learn to fully trust in the Lord. It will feel so good to know He is on your side. That you don’t have to live this life in fear and anxiety. Although you will struggle at certain times in your life He is faithful to bring you back to happiness every time. You will lose friends, lose jobs and at times, lose hope. But you are so strong and always come out on the other side with a smile on your face.
Oh, 16-year-old Molly. You are so vulnerable, gullible and sensitive. In a sense, you will always stay that way. It is part of what makes you who you are. Keep writing. Keep trying. Keep believing that you’ll make it through another day.
I’m here to tell you that you do. And all the pain you feel now is worth it to make it to the here and now.