Nuggets of Wisdom Learned the Hard Way. Maybe You Won’t Have to Learn the Hard Way.

Dear Younger Me,

You are loved. You are loved by your family. You are loved by God. You are loved by your friends. You are loved just for being you, not because you are useful, helpful, or easy to get along with. You are loved even when you make mistakes. You are loved even when you don’t know the right thing to do or say.

If someone hurts you, you can talk to them about it. You can forgive them and move on.

If you hurt someone, you can talk to them about it. You can apologize and move on.

You don’t need a boyfriend until you’re like, 35. (See first paragraph. You ARE loved.)

You don’t need friends that are exactly like you, but you do need friends that truly love you and care about you.

Working hard is good. Having fun is also good. Find a balance.

Put God first. Not your friends, not your family, not your goals, not the expectations of yourself, others, or the world.

Speaking of boyfriends and God, you don’t even have to look for a boyfriend. You do need to look for God. Trust God to bring you the right boy at the right time.

You don’t have to save anyone. Not yourself, not anyone else. That’s what Jesus does.

Compare yourself only to your former self.

Hang out with old people as much as you can.

Figure out how to enjoy time alone and what you like to do for fun.

Don’t be so agreeable that you have no opinions.

Don’t be so opinionated that you have no friends.

Don’t try to be cool, try to be authentic.

Say what you need to say, and nothing more or less.

If anyone pressures you to do anything you’re uncomfortable with, they’re not healthy for you. Find someone else to hang out with. Or date. (But remember you don’t need a boyfriend till you’re 35. See above.)

You don’t have to try so hard.

There’s not always a “right” thing to do, but there is usually a “right” thing to do for you. And you get to decide what that is.

Some people will dislike you because they think you’re better than them. Some people will dislike you because they think they’re better than you. Some people will dislike you because you’re different than them. Some people will just dislike you because they can. This is their problem, not yours.

Be the kind of person you want to be, regardless of the situation. Others’ bad choices don’t justify your bad choices.

You’re not the only person who’s NOT getting drunk, high, or sleeping around. (Even though it seems like it.)

Don’t wait for people to invite you. Invite them to come do something with you!

Remember God’s promises: He created you, He loves you, He forgives you, He has a plan for you, He is always with you. He can take anything bad and turn it into something good. He can help you use your struggles to help others. He has already conquered the world, so you don’t have to.

Hilary Mungle is a Christian artist (the feature image is one of her pieces) and writer, a Navy wife, and a homeschool mom. Her mission is to share God’s love through truth and beauty. You can find more of her writing and art at www.awakemysoulart.com.