1. Everyone is special. Sometimes we get confused and think that God plays favorites because it appears that someone is prettier, richer, smarter, or whatever else. He does not. He loves us all, deeply. He formed each one of us and considered us to be His masterpiece. We are unique. We look differently, act differently and think differently for a reason. Embrace who God made you to be and never try to be anyone else. Don’t let the television, magazines, or even your friends tell you what you should look like or how you should act because they don’t know what it means to be you. Only God and show you who you are. After all, He created you.
2. Never let circumstance drive your decisions. I struggle with this one. I find that when I am desperate, I tend to make poor decisions. In one of these times, I had this revelation: Our circumstances are not the road map of life, but rather just the lodgings we stay in along the way. Don’t navigate your life based on your circumstances. You will waste valuable time going in circles. Instead, make your decisions based upon where you want to end up. It may seem impossible, but God has a way of making the impossible, possible. Set goals and go after them. Don’t let adversity rob you. If its God’s will, He will make a way. Never give up on being who God created you to be. EVER!
3. The secret to happiness isn’t found in perfection. There is no such thing as the perfect job, perfect marriage, perfect children, perfect house, perfect body, or perfect self. The will be moments of chaos (a lot of them) there will be moments of bliss (a few of them) and there will be moments of pain. The trick is to find the beauty in each one. I know it sounds cliché, but it really is true. Stop looking for perfection and enjoy what you are given. If something in your life is “unhealthy”, pray and ask God for wisdom on how to proceed, but otherwise, enjoy the moments in your life that you are given. Even a sunrise from a hospital bed is a gift to be cherished. Joy can be found anywhere. Don’t let a day go by without laughter.
4. Boys are people too. They may seem like a mystery, but they are just people. Therefore, don’t change who you are for a boy. Instead, let God bring one into your life that brings out the best in you, and try to bring out the best in them. Don’t settle for a pretty face. Let their strength of character, be the thing that matters most to you.
5. Its ok to be afraid, but don’t let fear stop you from doing what is right. This world needs people who will do the right thing, even if it isn’t convenient. People may make it hard on you, they may laugh at you, or even try to hurt you, but even those that mock you, need you to do what is right. The world is in desperate need of role models that point to Christ.
6. Be your ally, not your worst enemy.. We are all hardest on ourselves, but don’t be your own worst enemy. Don’t criticize yourself. Instead, show mercy and support your goals while still holding yourself accountable. Don’t defend yourself when you know you are wrong. Instead, admit when you make a mistake, and try to make it right. Own your victories and learn from your defeats. You will probably fail more then succeed, but let each failure teach you something and never forget the lesson.
7. Your parents will always love you. No matter what you do, and who you become, we will ALWAYS love you. ALWAYS! We may not always agree with your decisions, or handle things the way you would want us to, but that doesn’t change how much we love you. When a time comes where we don’t see eye to eye, just remember that we want what is best for you. We believe that you deserve nothing less then the best and will fight for you to get it. There will come a day, however, when you are grown (please note, this will be different from when you think you are grown), and we will no longer know what is best for you. God places that on your heart. That will be a hard transition for us, so please be gracious and we walk that path together.
8. Things are not always what they seem. Sometimes we make assumptions that can lead to broken hearts and relationships. Be brave enough to seek truth, and be open to being wrong. Never let winning an argument be your goal. Instead, let finding and walking in truth be what is most important to you. When you are wrong, admit it and change. When you are right, show grace and mercy. If you have an argument with someone you care about, take time to pray and ask the Lord to show you where you are wrong, instead of asking Him to show the other person how you are right. I have found that while God works on me, He is also working on my behalf.
Unfortunately, there will be times when God asks you to end a relationship. It is never easy to walk away from someone, but you will have to do it at some point. Please listen to your heart. Don’t form a lasting relationship with someone you know you shouldn’t. Don’t settle for fake friends, or an abusive relationships. You deserve better. Go after God’s best for you.
9. If you fall down, don’t stay there. I hope that you are able to navigate your life without pitfalls, but if you happen to get into trouble (even really BIG trouble) don’t stay there. Ask for help to get out and do the hard work it takes to be free. There is always room for redemption at the cross. God’s forgiveness is just as much for you, as it is for anyone else. Don’t let pride keep you from grace.
10. You are beautiful. I mean it, you are beautiful inside and out. Don’t tell yourself anything else. Don’t believe any of the harsh hateful criticism that seems to echo in our minds. Recognize the lie and cast it from you. To criticize yourself, is to criticize God’s craftsmanship. In the same way, never let your voice be the one that is echoing around in someone else’s head. They too are God’s creation. Be careful with your words. Choose them wisely.
I LOVE YOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER!