A few days ago, while talking to a friend, I mentioned how I wish I could go back and tell twelve year old me (who struggled with feelings of awkwardness and insecurity, and always felt a little different from everyone else) that she was going to be ok.
It was a passing comment.
One I laughed while saying.
Yet the words began to swirl around my mind like dandelion seeds caught in a breeze.
Then days later, while sitting outside in the cool of the morning, I felt a stirring from deep within.
An awareness of the twelve year old girl who still dwells inside my heart—and who often still finds herself feeling less than, different, scared, and unsure of her place in this world.
“Hi,” my grown-up voice whispered. “It’s been a long time.”
Tears pooled in my eyes as I envisioned myself sitting next to twelve-year old me—my arm around younger shoulders.
“Hi,” a child-like inner voice whispered back.
I sat back in my chair, took a sip of coffee, and began to talk to a much younger me.
Telling her all the things I wished we had known back then.
Things like it’s ok to feel a little awkward and different—to some extent, everyone does, and to a greater extent, it was those feelings which drove us to find our identity and hope in Jesus.
That different is simply a synonym for special and unique—words which define the calling God has for each of His children. Not a calling to walk another’s journey, or to do things just like someone else, but to walk a unique journey hand in hand with the God who loves us more than we can fathom—the God who hand-crafts journeys and callings for each one of us.
And I reminded the girl within that she was and is far braver than she knows.
That true bravery is found in the simple act of showing up, of trying, and in refusing to quit—even when it’s done in quiet unassuming ways.
My heart and mind grew quiet for a moment, as little girl merged with grown woman. As dreams collided with reality. And as insecurities were exposed to light and truth.
“You’re gonna be ok,” a voice whispered to my heart.
Yet, I wasn’t sure whose voice had spoken the words.
Perhaps both had spoken at once. Each needing to hear the other say those words.
Words I pray you also hear right now.
I know it feels so hard—I know it is so hard—but you are going to be ok. For you are stronger than you feel, braver than you know, and loved more than you can fathom.
Maybe take a moment today to quiet your heart and mind and spend some time talking to twelve year old you. Reminding your younger self of just how far you’ve come, and then allowing your younger self to talk to you.
They may be just the words you need to hear.