Publisher’s Corner – What Would You Say to Your Teen Self?

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By Sandy Jones 

Do you ever feel that life is just plain confusing? 

Yep. Me too! 

For instance I’m scrolling through social media; it’s the first of the month, and people have bills due so they seem to be selling everything. I scroll past a pair of super cute jeans. The description says “size 26.” I openly admit that I’m a grandma, and am rather old-school, although I do try to keep up on current trends so I don’t embarrass my kids and grandkids too badly, but trust me these jeans are tiny – they don’t look like a “size 26” from my era. 

Scrolling further I find a cute pair of shoes. You know, the kind nurses and hair dressers wear.  Practical, and yet still stylin’ it. Size 32; another similar pair size 41. Wait…what? I’m confused.  I’m a 6½ wide. How does that translate? 

I scroll a bit further and see a meme our friend Gary posted. It said, “What would you like to tell your teenage self?” 

For some reason that stuck with me, and as I scrolled on, then went about my day, I thought about it more and more. What would I like to tell my teenage self? 

Without whining about my own personal insecurities let’s just say I’ll admit to having some. I think we all do, just in different areas. Some of mine often cause me to doubt my self-worth. It’s an area I believe we all suffer with in one form or another, if we’re honest about it, so it’s an easy area for the enemy to attack. 

He tells us we’re all alone, we’re unworthy, nobody cares. The list goes on and on. 

So as I spent time reflecting on the question of what would I like to tell my teenage self, I also recalled many adults who fed great words of wisdom into my life, much of which I totally ignored, telling myself I was different or they just didn’t get it, that they didn’t understand. 

Keeping this in mind, I knew that whatever I would tell my teenage self it had to be something I could relate to and would carry into the future. Something that would impact my whole life, and yet something I wouldn’t blow off. 

The youngest of six kids, I was perhaps an “oops” – I mean, who has five kids in a 12-year timespan and then has No. 6 five years later? TMI? Perhaps. Please forgive me if it is, but I share this to explain that although I had wonderful parents and a beautiful, very large family, I struggled with a fear of abandonment. Our mother was ill when I was born, so my older siblings were great to pitch in and help with their baby sister. Mom got better; however, the imprint was already there – I viewed my siblings as my caretakers, and as they got married and moved away one by one, my child-brain registered it as abandonment. 

I remember as a child worrying that my mom might actually leave me too. Silly I know, but a true childhood concern nonetheless. 

Back to the question, and ultimately my answer. I know we all have our childhood scars; they’re just different. When my mother passed away 14 years ago, she was one of my best friends and we were blessed to have her and Dad living right next door. 

What would teenage Sandy listen to? I mean really listen to? What could or would change the course of her life? And then it came to me… 

‘That God in heaven really does see you. That He really does care about you. That He really does hear your prayers, and actually wants to hear from you. That He has a future calling for your life – something bigger than you might ever imagine – and that He would give you the right gifts at the perfect time. All with the reassurance that even when He appears to be quiet, never forget that He’s right there; and that if you feel far away from Him, it’s you that moved, not Him. He will never leave you or forsake you.’ 

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 NIV 

 

“…God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” – Hebrews 13:5b 

 

I know I can’t go back and talk to my teenage self; I’ll just have to start today so that I never forget and live out the rest of my days knowing, really knowing, and believing that no matter what the future brings, He holds tomorrow and His plan is already in place. He is and always will be on the Throne and is bigger than anything life can throw at me. 

Now it’s your turn: What would you like to tell your teenage self? 

Until next time… 

God Bless! 

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