Dear 13 Year Old Me,
I know things have been difficult for you lately, and you feel that there is little meaning and purpose to your life. You feel that no one would want to get to know the Real You if they found out all about you. You feel that in order to be truly loved and accepted, you would have to be reasonably thin and look like a model in the magazines and in the movies. In other words, you have to not only be perfectly sociable, you have to look the part too, if there ever was such a thing. Consequently, because you don’t measure up to these standards, you think that is why you don’t have any friends—or any confidence in who you are and what you are becoming.
You have a lot of other stressors too. You just moved to a new house, and will move to a new school soon. The old house hasn’t sold yet, so your parents are busy with that and have less time for you. You also feel the need to keep your grades up because you don’t want your parents to get upset at you and you want to be able to compete with the intelligence of your very smart younger brother.
You want to give up, or at least wish all these problems away. You want to run away from them because life is becoming increasingly unbearable for you. Even in the midst of all the stress and anguish that you are facing, let me tell you, there is still hope for you. Don’t you give up on life! I know it is very tough right now, but things WILL get better. I promise.
In fact, three years later, you will meet the Greatest Friend there is—Jesus Christ! He won’t give a care how you look like or how sociable you are. He will accept you. Just. as. you. are. He will change your life for the better. No longer will you have to worry about being loved and accepted by your peers and other people in your life, but you will be more and more secure in who you are because Jesus loves you!
You won’t have to worry about competing with your brother for grades. Heck, grades won’t even matter nine or ten years from now! You will even have a full-time job, though it will be different from what you imagine it to be, and even though it will be tough to get at first. God will make you and your brother successful in your own ways, so you won’t worry about competing with him anymore.
Moreover, you won’t have to rely on your parents alone or even your brother for affection and attention, because God will provide you with many friends. Though God will always be your Ultimate Friend, these other friends will help you see the goodness and love of God ever more clearly. Best of all, you will be able to open up about yourself more without fear of rejection or criticism because it won’t bother you anymore. God will always be with you, and He is the One that will ultimately matter the most to you.
Finally, don’t give up because God will do something great and wonderful in your life if you let Him. Your love for everyone and everything (except, of course, the devil and the evil in this world) will overflow to others. You will experience joy in your life like never before!
Keep going! God will help you through this!
Patricia (in her 30s)