An Open Letter to My 12-Year-Old Self

An Open Letter to My 12-Year-Old Self

Everything will be OK, I promise.
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Dear Shannon,

Nine years later, I write to you expressing how far you've come, but how far you still have to go. You will be OK, so just try to keep that in mind.

First things first, you are not ugly. You may have a mouth full of braces and a bad haircut, but you are not ugly. You may have more boobs than the other girls around you at your age, you may have grown fast, and you may have the ugliest wire frame glasses that are too big for your face, but you are not ugly, no matter who says otherwise. People are cruel and say cruel things, but it's going to be OK.

You also are not fat. Your body is going through a lot of changes, and it's important to recognize that. You have curves in places you never did, and are still dancing and swimming 6 days a week. You are beginning puberty, but everyone will. You aren't fat just because your body is changing, and starving yourself now will only stunt your positive body image of yourself later on.

You are not unintelligent or unwanted. That math teacher who screams so loud, calls you dumb, and has pushed your classmates in chairs will soon be fired. You will realize your strengths in writing and reading can be utilized and everything will be OK.

You will be loved. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but one day. Multiple times. The boys who reject you now will soon be irrelevant and you have plenty of time. Don't rush anything. Your first kiss story will be utterly hilarious, it's worth the wait. One day you will be held like in those really cheesy Twilight books you're reading. One day can wait though, so please try and enjoy childhood.

You will go through bigger problems than not having the same UGGs and Hollister jeans as everyone else. Plus, those will be disgustingly out of style soon anyway. You will grow stronger from the mistakes you will make, your brothers will make, your friends will make, and your parents will make. You will be broken-hearted, and you will break hearts. You will leave people behind. However, I promise you will find a new path, and it will lead you on.

You will see amazing things. You will go to Mexico, Ireland, Northern Ireland, France, and England. You will travel and continue to travel. The world isn't centered in that tiny bully-centralized grade-school in Cincinnati, OH.

You will change. You will be popular, unpopular, a hipster (you'll know what that means later), preppy, a partier, and eventually, you'll just be the best you. You are made up of all of those changes and the good and bad that comes with them. Embrace each and every one.

You will learn a lot, but try and learn more. It will improve much of your life.

Shannon, you need to trust your gut. If something feels right, do it no matter how hard it is. Keep loving others. Keep making mistakes, because you have a big future in them. That's life. But in the darkest times when you want to end it all, there is hope. There is always someone there who loves you, like Mom and Dad.

You have so much ahead of you, but don't grow up yet. Just enjoy being 12. Just enjoy being a kid, because once it's gone, you'll give anything to get it back.

Cover Image Credit: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/b6/97/a2/b697a26178d61fe7ccdfaf7de35d5166.jpg

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Christian Boys Vs. Godly Men

It is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.
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Ladies, there is a huge difference between a Christian boy and a Godly man; therefore, it is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.

So many times I hear girls saying:

“Well, he’s a Christian.”

“He goes to church with me.”

“He listens to Christian music.”

“He went to church camp.”

“He has a favorite bible verse.”

SEE ALSO: What An Attractive Man Looks Like

Well, all of those things are just peachy and there is nothing wrong with doing those things. I mean, they’re all good things to do. But how is his personal relationship with God? How is his prayer life? Does he talk about his relationship with God, with you? Is he truly a follower of the one true God in all aspects of his life? These are some of the characteristics you should be looking for that makes a Godly man.

Ladies, a man will love you great when he loves God greater.

A Godly man will pursue an honest relationship with you. He will be clear of his intentions. A Godly man will worship, pray and passionately praise God with you. Whereas, a Christian boy might open the door for you, a Godly man will open his bible and explore God’s word with you so that you both may grow spiritually, together. While a Christian boy may put on an outward show, a Godly man will live out the love of Jesus daily.

So ladies, are you catching on to this ongoing trend? A Godly man does more because you deserve more.

A Godly man will be a leader. Trust me, I know that in today’s society Godly men are few and far between while Christian boys come in plenty. But you deserve a man who is after God’s heart not just a boy who goes to church. And I know that this Christian boy may seem great and have some really stellar qualities at the time but money and looks fade, whereas, an ongoing love for our savior will not.

The greatest thing a man can do for a woman is to lead her closer to God than himself. (Yes, yes, yes).

SEE ALSO: As Christians, Life Isn't Supposed To Be Hard

So I beg of you, do not settle. Do not settle just because you’re tired of being single, it’s convenient or because you want the relationship your friend has. Single does not equal available and a relationship status does not define you. God uses your season of singleness to prepare you for what is to come. And if you’re dating a Christian boy, he needs to step it up or you need to move on. Wait for a Godly man who is ready to lead you. God’s timing is always better, always. No matter the circumstance. So, do not rush God. (I mean, He is, after all, pretty good at His job). Therefore, turn your full focus to Him and He will direct your path.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Cover Image Credit: Christina Sharp

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To The High School Senior Wishing She Could Fast-Forward To Graduation, Careful What You Wish For

Don't wish this time away.

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As the last stretch of my freshman year of college stands before me, I've been thinking a lot about where I was a year ago today. I've thought about how fast the time has gone, but also how much has happened in that year.

A year ago, I decided what college I was going to and was getting ready to graduate, and honestly counting down the days until graduation. Senior year was almost over, and I couldn't wait to walk across that stage, get my diploma, and FINALLY get to start my real life. However, now that it's a year later I honestly barely remember all those little moments and it feels like literally a world ago when I was in my high school and making my Senior Board full of pictures of my childhood. And part of me wishes that I hadn't wished all that time away.

So, to my high school seniors out there — I encourage you to cherish all the memories you are making. I encourage you to spend time with your parents and savor the meals you have with them and enjoy the conversations where your mom asks all the mom questions about your day, and your dad tells a story from his childhood that you've heard a million times before. I encourage you to appreciate the friends you have, and whether or not you plan to stay friends with them after graduation, be grateful for the time with them in this season and the role that they played in your life.

I ask you to look around your high school, stop and stare at the walls that you've probably been praying to get out of for a few months now and appreciate the memories and times you've had in those buildings. Whether or not high school was a great time for you or a bad time, it was a time of growth and the place where you matured and made mistakes and succeeded.

Seniors, enjoy these last few months because before you know it you'll blink and it will be a year later and you'll be miss those days that you complained about, those teachers you rolled your eyes at, and those friends that you shared that time with.

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