To the weary young Christian,

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 okay 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 okay not to be okay 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 others. With all of the name calling and negative criticism you're constantly feeding yourself, you 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 person. 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. 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 that you're struggling. Don't be afraid to admit that your heart is growing a little weary. 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 okay, 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.

I also want you to know that God sees everything you hold in your heart. Sometimes you let yourself become so heavy hearted that it breaks you into pieces. He knows that sometimes you struggle with the thought of Him. He knows that even though you’ve already a Christian, sometimes you feel a little lost. You want to invest your whole heart into Him but there’s something holding you back. You’re not really sure of what that “something” is, but He does. He’ll reveal it to you over time. He knows that you compare yourself to other Christians and that you sometimes feel insecure when you’re around people that are stronger in their faith than you. Try not to compare yourself to other Christians. When you focus on them, you lose focus on Him. Just know that it’s okay to struggle. God loves you for who you are, including what you’re struggling with.

Be kind to yourself these next few years, young Christian. 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. Work on the things you struggle with. Don’t be scared about the future. Trust God and know that He's got you. Hang in there, dear friend. Everything will all be okay.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9