Dear 13 Year Old Me,
How’s Year 7 treating you?
Just a few things on who you are as a person, because I remember having this on my mind at your age. Let me think back…
As an eight-year-old, it seemed so obvious who I was. I’d sit mocking as I watched movies with confused teenagers saying, “Who am I?” thinking that that was the dumbest question ever. I wanted to say, “Did you lose you memory or something? Look at your birth certificate!”
If someone had have asked me at that age who I was, the answer was too easy. Well, my name’s Lil. I like to dance and read and draw. I’m a Christian, so I go to church. Give me a hard question.
But identity is more than a name because now you’re asking the very same question. Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I belong? What do I want?
When did this question become so complex?
This is the point where most people choose a source for their identity, something or someone to define them and tell them who they are. I’m sorry to say, but you choose wrong.
There are a few options that people look to to learn their identity. As kids it’s usually parents, but now that you’re 13 there are a few other prime candidates:
– (These days) the internet/social media – and the amount of likes you get
Can I strongly suggest that you don’t choose the second last option, like I know you’re about to? Of all the sub-par options, this is the worst. The reality is that if you don’t find your identity, your validation and your sense of value from Jesus (the genuine source), you will get it from another avenue (a counterfeit source). From experience, this is a let-down at best, long-term damaging at worst.
If you’re asking yourself how much of a big deal that is, ask yourself, is an orange Monopoly $500 as good as even a purple $5 note that is genuine? Which can you take to the bank? Monopoly money’s fun to play around with, but don’t expect it to get you anywhere in life.
I know it probably won’t change your 13 year old mind but I’m asking you as a friend not to do this. Please. For our sake. Does knowing you’ll spend years undoing the damage make a difference at all? Just to give you an idea, the process of Jesus healing you from all the rubbish you’re about to pick up takes 4 painful years, till you arrive at the age of 22, where I am now, nine years later.
So if you want to build your life on something, how about the only true Rock?
The bible (Matthew 7:24-27) says that building on anything other than Jesus is foolish (stupid) and will end up crashing down as soon as a big enough storm comes.
So, instead of Instagram, the arms of a really cute guy, your soccer or dance team, your friends, search God’s Word for what Jesus says about you, because He’s the only one you can always, without fail, rely on to tell you the truth.
And isn’t truth what you long for? What you desperately need.
Start with a few verses like, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” (Psalm 139:14) and “you will be a crown of splendour in the Lord’s hand” (Isaiah 62:3).
How about Galatians 3:26? “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.”
22 Year Old You xo
Images (sourced 3 April 2016)