7th Grade - Age 12
A couple of months ago while out shopping for a gift for a friend I came across a book that I couldn't resist picking up. I love to read and the older I get it's the one thing I always make time to do. For pleasure, help or guidance, in the evening hours you can always find a book of some kind in my hands.
The title of the book is "WHAT I KNOW NOW" and was edited by Ellyn Spragins. It's a compilation of letters written by extraordinary women addressed to their younger selves. Each woman picked a time (or an age) in their lives and shares the wisdom they wish they'd had when they were younger...
I was nothing less than inspired by the letters I read. Some were brutally honest, but all were filled with hope!
~WHAT I KNOW NOW~
Today I'm going to give you a peek at an edited version of a letter I wrote to myself last summer. I've addressed it to my twelve year old self. Back when I was in 7th grade and known simply as Becky.
"Dear Becky...Sweet girl...with your bucked teeth and mousy brown hair, please stop trying to please everyone! You are allowing your insecurities and fear of rejection to define you! You care so terribly much what everyone thinks and it will take you years to grow beyond this destructive behavior if you're not careful. I know you love your friends and I understand now how desperately you want to fit in. But, what those silly girls think isn't more important that what YOU think! You don't think you are smart at all, but I want you to know you are. You are!
There are so many dreams bouncing around in that head of yours and many of them are going to come true! So stop looking to everyone else for validation and approval and listen to your own beating heart. Remember, if you allow it to guide you I promise it will never lead you astray.
Today you feel ugly and stupid, right? You hate wearing the hand-me-down clothes that don't fit your tiny body and your upset with daddy because he said 'no-makeup til your 14!' (By the way...he KNOWS you cake on that blush while walking to school with Kathy!) You're in 'love' with boy #1 and sad he doesn't like you anymore. Be glad. He grows up to be a real loser. A jerk, in fact!
I want you to know you WILL survive Junior High and the taunting and bullying of the mean girls. You'll be happy to know one day your braces will come off and as shocking as it may sound in a few years you will have no need for a training bra. Your life is going to blitz by you super fast so as hard as it is today try and enjoy being twelve.
Pay attention to daddy's encouraging words and breathe in his wisdom. He's going to grow old very quickly and you will long for the days when his lectures about life bored you to death. He warns you to harness the fire inside of you for fear of burnout... You'd be wise to follow his advice.
Lastly I want to tell you this~ you will struggle with many things before you 'grow up' but you're going to be fine! Just fine. I'm proud of you for the good choices you've made so far and I encourage you to keep making them. Trust me when I say they will matter when you are older. You'll eventually find your place by accepting your limitations and focusing on the strengths God has given you.
Don't be afraid Becky Girl...don't be afraid. You are deeply, deeply loved.
PS: You are going to marry a fabulous man one day and be very, very happy!
Blessings as you allow God to heal those childhood wounds.
Love to you...