Dear 20 something year old,
I hope you will read this letter and listen (even though I wouldn't have heeded any advice when I was your age). I want to share some things I've learned along the way. I'm REALLY not that old, but I've walked some shaded paths and learned some hard lessons. I want to spare you those lessons. If you are my daughter and you read this one day, please please listen and don't think your mom is a "has been" and knows not of what she speaks. I like to think I'm cool enough to still be hip and not too old to be relevant.
First, Love yourself. But not in the new age mindset way that makes you depend on your own talents and abilities. Forget all that. Love yourself the way that God loves you. He sees you through love and acceptance. All He wants you to be is your most excellent self. Love yourself the same way. Don't trust in your own powers and abilities. Trust in HIS ability to provide you with wisdom, strength, and power to be and accomplish all you need in this lifetime.
Second, Hold fast to what it means to be a lady in an era when ladies can be hard to find. Make yourself a prize. Wear a slip under your see through skirt. Don't let your thong hang out of your jeans. When others are out wearing the skimpiest bikini on the beach, wear a tankini. You'll be glad you did. The man you marry because you did these things...will be glad you did and have the highest respect for you and your modesty.
Third, Speaking of men...don't sell yourself to every one you meet. Be choosy. If he doesn't like you "as is", let him go. If he requires you to give yourself physically as a form of "love", walk away. Look for the man that can't live without you. Don't settle. Don't marry for money or prestige. Marry for love. The kind that God gives us and the closest form to that which can be emulated by two of His creations. Know that even if you do all these things, you will still walk hard roads with this beloved. You might even fail. But God will be with you.
Fourth, Do what you love. Period. Simple as that. Don't pick a profession for money or power. Pick your profession as your life's calling. You will serve the Kingdom through your giftings. Remember, we do not store up treasures on earth anyway...so go for your sweet spot. DO. WHAT. YOU. LOVE.
Fifth, Reach out. We need each other. Women are strong. But we also fall and fall hard. Usually alone and in the shower. No need for this. Women need to hear your story and you need to hear theirs. Be transparent and open. It will all come back to you in the form of friendships, love, and life long comrades. Be community.
Sixth, and most important: All the above steps hinge on one important truth. NONE of these can be done if you do not know yourself through and with Him. Before you can accomplish the other five lessons, you must KNOW HIM. I'm 34.75 as I write this and I've just scratched the surface of God. I can tell you my greatest, most intimate moments in life have been with Him. Hands down. It's an eternal, blissful state of dwelling that cannot be mimicked with another human being. Believe me, you will try...you follow centuries of us women who have...but it won't work. God will be the best lover you've ever encountered. You'll never be ashamed to stand naked in front of Him. He'll know your heart better than you do and He'll treasure it. Trust Him. Follow Him. Give Him your everything.
So there you have it...a quick tutorial of a few things I've learned along the way. Oh! I did forget one...Never, EVER, I repeat EVER let me catch you wearing mom jeans or mullets. Unforgivable even if you've just given birth. Women must have their dignity!
I love you. I believe in you. I watch you and the load you carry. I'm proud of you and know you will accomplish more than I have to date. Keep Truckin'...
Grace n Peace,