A friend of mine is turning 18 tomorrow and her older sister thought it would be a great idea to put together a book for her with letters from friends and people who care about her and where she's going in her life. I got the idea from Nicole to put it on here because I would write something similar to myself at that age. But it says that...you'll see.
I'm really humbled by being able to write a letter to you for your 18th birthday. I have often wished I could write a letter to myself at 18. There's so much I would say and what exactly I would say has changed over time. For instance the lectures I would have given myself about being good have gone and have been replaced with a sigh about the the amount of grace I've been shown and how in my life there was ample room for it. I think about how much you are like I was when I was that age and so here is some advice that has not changed over the years and has only grown in importance to me. And when I say that you are so much like me, don't worry, that doesn't necessarily mean that you will be married with five children ten years from now when you're my age;)
When I first met you I remember thinking that you were strikingly beautiful! And you didn't seem to know it. I hope you'll realize how beautiful you are someday and also realize how lovely you are inside. That's where it counts you know. I know you know that:) You are amazingly smart and your writing shows your ability to see the world around you, and beyond. I have loved hearing your fantasy stories and can't wait to see how you pursue that. Your poetry has also amazed me and I have to tell you it's like nothing else I've heard. I still remember how your poem about best friends made me *almost* cry. Okay, so my whole point is that you're an a-m-a-z-i-n-g and talented woman! Don't settle for less than God has for you. And about that, my hope is that you'll use your writing to seek truth. There is unshakable truth in this world we live in and you will find it when you seek it. I suspect that you know all this or at least have a feeling about it deep down. In addition to truth, seek love. Not superficial gone in the morning love, but real love. Love that's sacrificial. Love that wants something better and brings something better than what was there before. Not the opposite. And learn to receive. Receive advice from people who love you. Receive praise and honor for your accomplishments and for how you've grown. Receive grace when you make mistakes. Your mistakes aren't you! Receive compliments for your looks and above all receive God's love for you. Even if you don't fully understand it or feel like you deserve it. Then give and give wisely because you have a lot to give. Look for ways to give and people to give to because that's the best way to be filled with joy.
I look forward to being a part of your life, seeing where it goes and what you do. And hearing your stories. Happy Birthday!
Much love your friend,