Dear sister,

If I could give you anything right now, it would simply be a hug. There are so many things I wish you knew about yourself and about life. So many things that would make such a huge difference in the person that you are.

I wish you knew that it’s OK to let go of things that hurt you and let yourself be happy. But at the same time, I wish you knew that it’s OK not to be OK, as well. When you need help or strength, ask for it. Sometimes you try so hard to stay strong that you forget that you have so many people in your life who would help lift and carry your burdens if you just reached out to them. You don’t realize how loved you are. You have so many people who love you for who you are. Just the way you are. You just have a hard time believing it, that people could love truly love you for you.

Speaking of love, I wish you loved yourself a little more. You’ve never been able to do that, and that makes me really sad. I see you stare at your reflection in the mirror with a certain sadness in your eyes. I see you constantly comparing yourself to the girls and women around you, and you feel so inferior standing next to someone that you think is prettier than you. With all of the name calling and negative criticism I’m constantly feeding you, I haven’t really made loving yourself very easy. I’m sorry for that.

I wish you could see yourself the way that God sees you. I know how hard that is for you, especially when you lose sight of how valuable you are to Him. If only you could look at yourself through His eyes and see just how beautiful you are. To yourself, you’re just another girl. Nothing special. To Christ, you are so much more than that. When He looks at you, He doesn’t see those other people that you compare yourself to. He sees you for the beautiful and rare jewel that you are. You’re a diamond in His eyes and I hope that you’ll realize this and truly believe it as you grow older.

About growing older, I know it's been a roller coaster ride. I know, at times, you've felt discouraged and burnt out, but don't let those moments when you've felt like giving up ever make you throw the towel in for good. I see the way you get scared when things start getting out of control and you begin to lose your grip on the things you're trying to hold onto. Life will keep throwing you curve balls and things you weren't expecting. Remember when things start to get hard and everything around you begins to crumble, remember to lean on the Lord and the people in your life that He gave you for those exact moments. You have a hard time reaching out at times, but use those people He gave you to your advantage.

Another thing, don't be ashamed and afraid to admit you're struggling. Don't be afraid to admit that when you say you're tired, you're really just sad. Don't be afraid to admit that when you say you're OK, you really just need a hug. Don't be afraid to admit that when you say you're fine, you're probably not. You don't have to be strong all of the time. Human emotions and the human heart are beautiful things. Be real with God and be real with people. When you're hurting, don't be so guarded. Encouragement from those you love is often at the best cure for a heavy heart and soul. The people that love you when you're happy will also love you when you're sad and it's important to know that.


Be kind to yourself these next few years, dear sister. Work on the things you struggle with. Don’t be scared about the future. Trust God. Let go of the low self worth and low self esteem. See yourself the way that God sees you and know that you are loved. Love yourself. So I guess I had more to say to you than simply giving you a hug and maybe a few tears. Hang in there sweet girl. Everything will all be okay.

Love,

A girl who's been there.