Dear Teenage Violet,
I want to write this letter to you today to reflect on who you've become but what I wish I could tell you were I able to sit beside you right now.
I wish I could tell you that now that your older self has her future all sorted out and neatly packaged. It might come as a surprise where your older self is, and that the reality is she doesn't but her life is still exciting while unexpected! At the moment, you might be both sure you have your future sorted out, and be excited at what is in store, and yet at the same time terrified at not knowing entirely what's around the corner! Well, I have news for you . . . that doesn't stop once you become an adult! If anything plans change, you change, and everything becomes even more uncertian! But don't be anxious - focus on the Lord and make Him your priority and trust Him that everything will work out for your good even if it isn't always easy. Realize that all of life is an adventure in learning to trust the Lord and that He's got you and so focus on one step at a time and trust Him with the rest.
Consider carefully once you finish your schooling what you want to do. Don't go to university and get in debt only because everyone else is, or because that's what you are being told to do by society or others. Recognise that your actions will have future consequences but at the same time don't over-think it but again trust that the Lord will help you each step of the way. Persevere with your schooling knowing that it will feel like forever but will really be over in the blink of an eye.
Don't be so focussed on finding your future spouse. Trust God with that part of your life! That day will come eventually if the Lord wills it, and while I know at the moment being of an "eligible" age feels miles away, trust me when I say that it goes so, so fast and before you know it you will be watching friends your age or even younger getting engaged, married and having babies. Rather, invest in the wonderful people the Lord has already placed in your life and take the time to develop life-long friendships.
Trust that the Lord will bring your man along at the right time and in the right way without you needing to force it to happen. Don't obsess over how your love story will play out or the "right" way to date or court, or be so quick to judge the way you see other people date/court, rather have a humble, teachable spirit especially as you have never been there yet. Be slow to create presumptions as to how you feel this should be done and don't create unrealistic standards for a guy to meet. Expect a best friend who is perfectly imperfect, someone who is a sinner like you but whom the Lord can use to teach you so much about Himself, but recognize that this may not always look like what you expect and be prepared to let the Lord suprise you in this area! Yes, do start to think about your personal standards, as that is so, so, so important, but don't let it stand in the way of being open to let God be at work in your life in new and unexpected ways.
Focus more on grace than legalism. Remember that Christ has saved you and extend the same joy and love you have through this fact to others. Do spend time with the Lord, and allow Him to sanctify you but don't look so critically at everyone else in the process. Trust that He is with you even though He doesn't "feel" near. You've got some rough days ahead but also bright sunshiney ones, so realize that what is most important is not your circumstances but rather your relationship with the Lord. Find your ultimate fulfillment in Him, not in anything or anyone else as only He can ultimately satisfy you, you were made for a relationship with Him, so make your life all about that.
Read as many theological/Christian living/Christian autobiography books as you can now! They will have a big impact on your faith as you grow up and you will never regret it!
Sometimes its okay for you to stop trying so hard to achieve that excellence grade or an A+. Sometimes its best to be avaliable to reach out to other people, especially those who are hurting or just need a friend. Being avaliable for the Lord to use you is far, far more important than just focussing on being the best academically or at work. But don't slack off either, realise that you need a balance of both, but ultimately invest yourself in looking out for people and their spiritual wellbeing and trust that the Lord will help you with the rest.
Try to learn important life skills already and don't be stuck-in-the-mud stubborn about it! Get your drivers licence as soon as you are able and go for it! Please, please learn how to sew and cook and clean, all while you are young. You have no idea how many headaches you may have over not knowing these basic skills one day.
Don't be so anxious that you loose the joy and peace that the Lord has given you. Never loose the joy - this doesn't always look like a smiling face, but rather that deep seated peace and trust in Him.
But more than anything else, make your life all about God and bringing Him glory no matter what you do or what choices you make. Keep spending time with Him and trust that if you have Him ahead of you, you don't need to fear but He will help you not to stray!
God bless you!
God bless you!