The blogosphere has been full of letters to our teenage selves this past week, in celebration of Emily Freeman’s new book Graceful (For Young Women): Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life. And it was quite a trip down memory lane for some of the writers here at YLCF who decided to join in.  We’ve collected some excerpts for you to enjoy — make sure to follow the links at the end to read each letter in full.  Because our heart here at YLCF is for those teenage girls we used to be — and we wrote our letters not only for our former teenage selves, but for each of you.

And, sweet girl, don’t dream small and think it’s “holy content”. There’s a thing called holy DIScontent and sometimes God will use that to shake your heart out of “comfortable” and into “daring”.
Elisabeth Allen

So many of those fears that you’ve struggled with in the last years, the Father will gently bring to light and will continually be working in your heart.   You’ll discover the details as you walk along this journey, but the main lessons seem to be trust and grace. They’ll show up again and again and again, and you’ll still be learning them all the more ten years from now.
Jessica 

[Heartache and pain] are going to teach you to hold on to God in ways you couldn’t have known to without the hurting. It won’t always make sense, but it will teach you to trust. Some days you’ll look back and get a little glimpse now and then into how God has led, and how He has used even the broken things of your life to make something beautiful.
Chantel

You know how you knew it all and had all the answers when you were seventeen? I’m afraid to tell you, kid, that all that dries up. By the time you hit mid-twenties, you’ll be starting to realise that things are less black and white than you’d once thought. Pat answers don’t actually satisfy. Also, life sometimes punches you in the stomach — hard — and this may dent your breezy seventeen-year-old demeanour.
Danielle

When you fail, get back up. You’ll have several moments when you want to lie down and call “game over” but don’t forget — Jesus is always working on you. He’s not finished yet.
Everly

To read the full text of the letters, just follow the links below.  And be sure to add Emily P. Freeman’s book Graceful to your to-read list!

{graphics by Natasha Metzler}

7 Comments

  1. Loved this! And I completely agree with Katie. Absolutely awesome!

  2. Awesome, everyone. Letters to treasure…I’d already been thinking about this when the Chatting at the Sky thing came across every one of my social networks and it makes me smile. I haven’t written my own yet, but perhaps I will soon. 🙂 I’ve never done that before, even though I have done the opposite (there’s a letter awaiting newly twenty-one-year-old me that I wrote when I was 14 or so…can’t wait to wake up at midnight next June and laugh and cry about that one!).

    Thanks for sharing, all.

  3. This makes me laugh and cry. God has been faithful to us all in so many wonderful ways. <3

  4. I think the thing I could tell my teenage self the most is this: “You don’t have it all figured out even if you think you do… life is more complex than that. 🙂 and you’ll thank your parents’ later… trust them.”

  5. I think this is my favorite post! It amazes me to see what God can do with the girls we were to the ladies we are – and best part? He’s not done with ANY of us yet!

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