Dear sweet broken-hearted girl,
You are so smart and talented and brave. And above all else you are beautiful. You are a beautiful soul. No one has ever told you that. But if they did, you probably wouldn’t accept it.
You spend all your days avoiding mirrors just tearing yourself apart. Your not as petite, or as light-skinned or as “soft” as your sisters or cousins. You hate your huge forehead, big bright eyes, your plump cheeks and thick thighs – the very same attributes you’ll grow to love the most about yourself – later.
You’re naturally shy and inherently introverted. But left unchecked, it will turn into isolation.
You’ll shut yourself off from everyone. You’ll tell yourself you prefer to be alone because it’s just better that way. What you won’t admit or probably haven’t even realized is that you’re scared. See, you’d been taught that love is painful – that nothing’s sure and no one stays – so early on you decided you’re better off without it. You’ll have few friends and a vivid imagination. This will work for and against you because here you’ll discover your gift but you’ll miss out on authentic connections.
You’ll shut yourself off for so long you’ll think no one loves you. That love is something created for other people just not for you. You’re ok with never being in love. You’re ok with never being happy. In fact, you’ve decided you don’t need either and that you’re safer in “the hole” – the place in your mind you’ve created for refuge.
Soon the hole will start to suffocate you.
No one will be able get to you, and you won’t be able to find your way out. You’ll get lost in the hole and you’ll accept it as life.
You’ll make many bad decisions living in that hole. You’ll push all the right people away but beg the bad ones to stay. You’ll accept abuse and call it love. You’ll accept lies and call it truth. You’ll accept anything just to kill the loneliness inside and you’ll sell yourself short many times over for some company and a good time.
You’ll give up on your hopes and dreams. You’ll break every promise you’ve ever made to you and you will betray yourself. You’ll lose yourself. You’ll forget who you are and whose you are. You’ll accept the angry, hateful, bitter you, as the real you.
And there will be consequences. Consequences you will suffer for years to come.
In the midst of all that chaos, you’ll have a child thinking – “well maybe now someone will love me.” It will be the best bad decision you’ll ever make because one day after all the running and hiding and numbing, you’ll look in the eyes of the little life you have created and you’ll say, “No. This is not it.”
You’ll look at his innocent little face, yearning for your love and you’ll decide, “this is where I draw the line.”
So here’s the thing. You’ll get out of the hole. Oh yes, you will.
And all the dysfunctional people you latched on to looking for validation, one day they’ll leave and you’ll have the courage to let them go. You’ll let them go and find the strength to be broken.
With determination you will stand in your brokenness, call on your grandmother’s Jesus and say, “I messed up. Please. Come.”
And He’ll come.
He’ll come and remind you who you are. He’ll even tell you he’d been watching over you all along, that he never left you and all your days are written in his book. He’ll show you instances where his grace protected you. He tell you that before he formed you, he knew you and gave you your name (Job 42:14). He’ll call you “beautiful” (Song of Songs 4:7). He’ll call you “chosen (John 15:16).” He call you “mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
He’ll take the mess you made and show you how to put all the pieces back together like new. It will be tough – not the kind of tough you’ve been used to, but the kind of tough that challenges and builds you. This time, you will not run. This time, you will not quit.
You’ll pray, you’ll cry, you’ll kick, you’ll scream and you’ll pray some more.
But you’ll stay because of His grace. And brick by brick you will rebuild your whole life.
You’ll find joy. True joy. You’ll find peace, true peace. You will be free. Free indeed.
You will finally accept that you’re beautiful and loved and you’ll make choices that reflect that – for you and your son. (He’s a smart, funny, inquisitive and overly extroverted child. Buckle up! You will be pushed to the limits 🙂 .)
My dear lost 20 year-old me, don’t you worry. Some people will count you out.
But one day you’ll have the courage to forgive them.
And best of all you’ll find the courage to forgive yourself.
So, fear not. It’s a tough road you must walk. But God sent me ahead to tell you: it is already written.
It will all be alright in the end.