A letter to Teen Me {+ a Graceful book giveaway}

I’m happy to be a part of Emily Freeman’s tour for her latest book, Graceful. It’s for teen girls, helping them realize the beauty of God’s grace. You don’t have to be all, do all, appear all. All you need is Jesus, and this book is a gentle reminder to teen girls to rest-rest-rest in Jesus’ love and affection for them.

Here’s a pic of her books. Congrats Emily:

Here’s Emily. Isn’t she cute?

Here’s me in high school. I know. I know. The pink taffeta poof that is my dress is atrocious. Don’t throw stones!

It is what it is. The 80s weren’t a kind era. And yes, I was wearing lace gloves. Thanks Madonna.

Emily asked me to write a letter to my teenage self, which is a lot harder than you might think. Why? Because I was such a mess back then. If I could sit myself down and talk some sense into me, this is what I’d say.

Dear Teen Girl Mary,

Insecurity doesn’t become you. So please don’t become it. Don’t let it woo you, making you think that you are only whole when a boy notices. Your summation of worth doesn’t come from a sideways glance, but from a heavenward look. Jesus defines your worth. 

You’ll spend a lot of time trying to fill the Daddy hole in your heart. It gapes and bleeds now, just a few years past your father’s untimely death. You’ll gussy yourself up for his glance, cleverly disguised in the looks of teen boys, their advances, their woo-worthy words. 

You’ll wrongly believe that God can’t love you because He won’t give you the one thing you pine for: a boyfriend. You’ll rail at Him for not. one. boy. asking you to homecoming. You’ll cry into your pillow, demanding something from God that He won’t give you because He loves you far too much. He knows your frame. He knows that if a boy swooped in on you, he’d become your god. And God’s too jealous for your heart.

Trust me, you’ll thank God for this later, one thousand upon one thousand times. It was His kindness, not His spoil-sport-ways, that led Him to protect you from them, from yourself.

Concentrate on Jesus. He will fill you all the way up. He will give you worth. He’ll be your security. He will cover you when you’re afraid. He will prepare your heart for a husband someday. And He will bless you beyond your wildest dreams. Not merely for a husband and family, but for a whole, healed heart.

This is your time to press into Jesus, share your wounds, and ask Him for healing. Don’t shortchange the process. It will be long and hard and arduous, but it will absolutely be worth it. 

Settle your soul before God. And believe that He absolutely loves you. And He is enough. He is everything.

Hugs,

An older, wiser, more settled & healed Mary

Emily has graciously agreed to give one of you amazing folks a copy of Graceful. To win, simply comment in the comment section. Special robots will choose the winner by Friday. Here’s your question:

What advice would you give teenager you? Make it real!

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