To My 18 Year Old Self

Eighteen was the hardest year of my life. I lost someone I was very close to and grieved for the first time while hiding my pain from the world around me. Through all the pain and grief I was disappointed in myself. I just knew that I could be doing this whole thing better. This is the letter I would have written to the girl back then. P.S. Yes, that is a picture of me at 18.

Dear Moriah,

You will not look a day older at 20 but your world will be drastically different than it is now. It will scare you at first but in the end, you will find yourself soaring on wings you did not know existed. I see you know and realize that you do not know any other way of living than to open your heart to the whole world and let it in. That is beautiful, though you will also find out it is painful.

I know this has been a hard year. Maybe the hardest one you have lived through but it is going to be okay. You are okay. I am really proud of you for being such a fighter. I am proud of you for who you want to be. I know life is not easy and you are disappointed in yourself. You cannot figure out the why, when, and how. You are so young you have not yet realized how weak you are . . .  but you will. When you do, you will smile at yourself. You will even start giving yourself the grace that you so badly need right now. That is the word I want to give you - grace.

It is okay that you do not have all the answers. It is okay that you are sobbing your heart out. It is okay that this hurts so bad. It is okay that you are confused. It is okay that you cannot do this. Take a breath because it is okay. You were not meant to be perfect you were meant to be perfected. That is what this is - the work of being perfected. Yes, it is messy. Yes, it is ugly. Yes, you are imperfect but that is kind of the point.

You are surprised, though. We all are. We realize we are imperfect but we did not know we were this imperfect. Jesus is not surprised one bit, however, and He loves you more than you can imagine. I know you cannot feel it right now but one day I promise you that you will look back and see a love you did not know existed, a love much greater than the one you are grieving right now.

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