By Cheri Gregory

Notes to Teenage Me Part 1
Notes to Teenage Me Part 2
Notes to Teenage Me Part 3
Notes to Teenage Me Part 4

July 14

Dear Diary,

It’s 10:00 pm and I just got back from our first Vacation Bible School meeting. How do I begin to explain the joy and ecstasy of working with seven delightful little girls?

It was wonderful to be surrounded by seven admirers! I just know I’m going to love it!

C

To Teenage Me,

I know you were worried about whether VBS would be your “kinda thing.” Kudos for giving it a try! You have so much love to offer these little girls, and you will be amazed by how much they will teach you.

By now you know that admiration is fickle–from “delightful” little girls or BFFs or b-o-y-s. Continue serving as God leads regardless of the temporary moods of your young charges.

You’ll learn valuable leadership lessons as you discover that their reactions – you’ll hear plenty of complaints like “This is booooring!” and “But I don’t wanna!” – are about them, not you.

Luke 9:48

Love,

Your Future Self

(P.S.  Secret Tip: Don’t over-use this, but laughing at them and/or yourself often dissolves a band of bad mood girls into a giggling group that’s “all in this together.”)

 

November 2

Dear Diary,

T.G.I.F.!!!

Talking about h-e-c-t-i-c…this week has been one for the books! I’ve had four or five meetings, ranging from the Girls’ Club to church to a skit rehearsal. Then a poster to make for the International Club and a potluck this week.

Every lunch period and evening is packed — no time for any relaxation!

C

To Teenage Me,

Oh honey, you are SO headed for a crash and burn. I know you say you thrive on activity; what you don’t yet know is that you’re a Highly Sensitive Person who can’t sustain this kind of relentless schedule.

When the crash comes, and you’re wondering what on earth went wrong, here are a few answers:

1)  You need sleep. I don’t care that your friends can get away with 4 hours a night. You need more and aren’t functional without it. And don’t even think about caffeine; your brain and body can’t handle it. It’ll only make things worse.

2)  You need down time.  Yes, you’re an extravert; you gain energy by being around people. And you are overwhelmed by people.  I know that sounds like a contradiction, but it’s merely part of the paradox of being uniquely you.  So by all means, get out there and have fun.  But also schedule time to unwind after.

3)  You are overly-optimistic. You look at squares on your calendar as spaces to be filled with To Dos–in teeny tiny writing! But when the time comes, you discover you can’t possibly do it all.

It’s okay; you don’t have to “do it all.”  When you’re listening to God’s leading, you’ll only do what He asks you to.

Matthew 11:28-30

Love,

Your Future Self

 

February 23

Dear Diary,

I want to improve the world around me and make things better for others, but I don’t know how. And I don’t think anyone believes in me.

I guess you could say that the one void I feel is a great lack of support and affirmation.

C

To Teenage Me,

Ahhhh…the dream of being surrounded by people who bolster your confidence so you can finally take bold action. It’s a lovely dream. And it happens for some people.

But I can tell you right now: it’s not going to happen for you. And this is a fact, not a problem.

You can’t change or solve it.  Accept it.

If you wait until this dream of “support and affirmation” comes true before you start living out your calling to improve the world around you, you will waste decades doing nothing but waiting, wallowing in the belief that you are unworthy.

If God has called you –and He has!–answer. Take action. You will find yourself supporting others. As you do, you’ll find yourself receiving all the affirmation you need from Him.

Jeremiah 29:11

Love,

Your Future Self

 

May 2

Dear Diary,

On Thursday, I start Driver’s Training.

I’m so excitedscarednervous & dyingofanticipation!

It’ll be so cool to be able to DRIVE!!!

C

To Teenage Me,

First:  When you come home from your first lesson, do not brag to your family that you were “driving around town in a Corvette” when, in fact, the training car is a “Chevette.”  (If you do, your brother to spend the next 30 years laughing at you. Trust me on this one!)

Second:  You don’t need to swerve hard to the right to avoid possible on-coming traffic when entering a freeway onramp. Just sayin’.

Third:  Take the responsibility of commandeering a lethal weapon seriously. And put a few thousand dollars into savings ASAP.  Insurance only pays so much after accidents.

Finally:  Your world is about to get waaaaaaay bigger.  Soon, you’ll be independently traveling all over the county and then the state.  Sometimes you’ll get lost. Sometimes you’ll get stuck in scary parts of Los Angeles.

Keep in mind who’s the real Driver of your life.

Joshua 1:9

Love,

Your Future Self

 

 Your Turn!

  • What would you like to say to my “Teenage Me”?
  • What would you say to your “Teenage Me”?
  • Post a diary excerpt that shares what’s on your teenage heart!

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