a word of encouragement - to myself

Do you ever go through situations and think, "a few years ago, there's no way I would've survived this", or " last year I would've never thought I'd be where I am today."? I do, like all the time. I think of how silly young me was and thought it would be fun to have a little creative writing lesson, and maybe (hopefully) provide a little encouragement or inspiration for you.

Dear 15 year old self, 

it's me (you) eight years from the future! Weirds right?? Yes, you say weirds now. I just wanted to say hi and let you in on a few tips. There's a lot of lessons up ahead that are soon to be learned. You're going to go through a wide variety of craziness, but overall, you turn out okay. In moments of weakness, trust that you are indeed stronger than you think. When you face difficult decisions, trust your instincts, and don't be easily swayed by others. Believe in yourself; start to dream bigger and wilder than you ever have before! When you fail, and yes, no matter how much you fight it, you will, get back up and try again; perseverance and endurance will become your best friends. Patience truly is a virtue and don't ever pray for it because God will hear it and you will find yourself in "waiting situations" a lot! But I suppose it's okay because He always follows through, so no worries. In moments of confusion, don't overthink it, you'll get stressed out and get migraines and make situations 100 times more complicated, just trust that God is in control and you don't always have to have a plan. No matter how dim your past or present may seem, your future is bright. Continue to value yourself, don't settle for anything less than the best and learn to love who you are. 

I know that's a lot to take in, but truth is, there isn't enough time or room to teach you all you need to know. The best part is, is that I don't have to. Even though it's hard, confusing and overwhelming, every situtation, every obstacle, every problem,,, it has a solution, it has an answer and it holds an opportunity for growth. You may not feel this way now, but one day you'll be proud of who you are, you'll feel less insecure, you'll be okay with standing out and won't constantly want to fit in, you'll have girls looking up to you and because of what you've faced, you'll be able to teach them and help them through similar situations. If there's one thing I want you to know; that one thing I wish I'd known from the start... it's that life is rarely what you plan, but for some reason it comes out so much better.

You and Elisha are still together (hooray!), you lose some friends, hold on to others and make new ones. You get to visit lots of fun places, learn more than you ever thought possible, learn to play an instrument (thanks to hundreds of hours in the practice room), you get a degree, you get your credentials,  you take lots of photos, get to hold lots of puppies (but unfortunately still not own one) and best of all, you're happy. Life isn't always peaches, but you are happy and content; it's really all you've ever wanted. I know there's moments I wish I could relive, people I miss and things I wish I hadn't taken for granted. Enjoy everyday.


ps: the winners of the sponsor spot giveaway have been emailed! Thanks so much to all who participated!!