Dear Sixteen-Year-Old Me

This month, I'm going to be writing letters to myself at various stages in my life. Below is the third installment, for my sixteen-year-old self. Check back next week for the next letter! Dear sixteen-year-old me,

I know responsibility is beginning to creep into your wonderful life, and it will come in many forms. Resist the temptation to say yes to every opportunity to get involved with the things that vie for your attention. Remember what's most important, and make sure you set aside time for those things above all else.

I know it hurts when you say goodbye to friends, and making new ones isn't always easy for you. But one day you'll look back and see that these experiences and relationships paved the way for much fuller ones later on. Seek out people who will bring out the best in you, challenge you to continually grow, and never stop encouraging you. Those are the real keepers in life, the friendships that will be worth fighting for when distance comes between you.

I know you're starting to stress about your future, especially life beyond high school. Not knowing what you want to do with your life seems really daunting, and people don't seem to stop asking. Relax and rest in the knowledge that you don't have to pick your lifelong career at sixteen. Spend time discovering what it is that makes you feel most alive, and do that for now. Don't worry about whether you'll still like it in ten years. You can always change your mind later. Do what you love, and do it to the glory of God.

Choose joy, my dear. Every day, choose joy. Choose life, love, and peace. Wake up every day with the determination to shine for your God wherever you go, bringing desperately needed light to those around you.

Praise Him always. In the good and in the bad, in the light and in the dark, worship God in His infinite goodness. He never changes. There is always a reason to praise Him. And guess what? When you're focusing on His goodness and holiness, the obstacles of life suddenly grow far smaller and less significant in light of how great your God is.

All my love,