Dear Younger Self,
First, let me tell you your life has been blessed! God is never going to let you down, and He’s going to perform miracles for you that you didn’t even know were possible.
Let’s start with the basics:
In middle and high school, don’t worry about who is going to be your friend — you’re actually not going to want to hang out with some of those kids after you get baptized! — and don’t pretend to be less smart just because you think you need to “fit in.” Embrace the way you were made. Your freckles are actually cute; your nose isn’t too small; and you don’t need self-tanner — you actually need sunscreen, daily! (You’ll be at peace with your glow-in-the-dark light skin soon enough.) Also, God will lead you to your career — He knows best!
In college, keep studying scripture. This is where you start to grow some spiritual roots. And take care of your church friends. Don’t give up praying for them even when they stray.
Stop worrying. Stop anticipating the what ifs. Stop thinking about all the different permutations of what might happen and instead buckle into your faith and let God drive. Nothing fruitful comes from worrying.
Listen to your Mom, the sooner the better. All those teachings turn out to be right. You might tune out good counsel in your teens, but you are going to remember and come to love those life lessons and use them like a self-help guide. Let her tell you about being confident, about not letting the opposition distract you, how to find and trust the Spirit, and why it’s OK to say “no” when you’re stretched too thin.
God can help you overcome all your challenges, but you need to “pray and then move your feet.” In other words, don’t stay stuck! Don’t allow the opposition to let you think it’s OK to stay afraid! Aren’t you a child of the King? God didn’t give you a spirit of fear; you were given courage. Imagine yourself strong in the Lord, and you will be.
A few more notes: Speak up; your words are valuable! Trust your instinct to pray when prompted — it’s going to change your day. Bring more cash to church; you always seem to forget a few dollars for collection. On that note, the ministry isn’t kidding when they encourage tithing. You are going to be repeatedly amazed at how quickly your life is blessed when you tithe consistently. Make it a habit, even when you don’t think you can. Trust.
Last, learn more about who you are and what you can do for God. Don’t miss a Sunday (or sacrament). No matter what happens, remember Grandma’s words, “The Lord never comes too soon, and he never comes too late.”
P.S. God’s going to do GREAT things! Repeat after me: God’s got this.
What Encouragement Would You Give to your younger self? Leave a comment with something positive that Younger You would’ve needed to hear.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.