Thursday, May 31, 2012

An open letter to my teens

write me a letter...  Photo Credit: Linda Cronin

Dear teens,

You are probably rolling your eyes right about now because this is weird, but keep reading.  I see you guys at least 3 times a week and sometimes I check up on you via Facebook.  You probably think that is stalking, but I like to know what is going through your head every so often.  Besides when you don't talk about it and you put it on Facebook, it is kind of out there for the world to see and leave me no other option.  Why would I want to do this?

Because I care about you!  I care about the stuff that makes you mad.  I care about the stuff that makes you cry, or want to cry.  I care about the stuff that makes you laugh.  More than all of that I care about the stuff that makes you feel like less of a person and the stuff that makes you feel like more of a person.

Life happens.  People say stuff (or don't).  Homework is hard.  Teachers are mean.  Friends don't act friendly.  Enemies win sometimes.  Then you forget that you are important.

You think about how big this world is and how many things are against you.  Then you forget the people that are for you.  Namely Drew, me, and GOD!

You have been in church your whole life and see the broken humanity in people.  You wonder how God could be with those people.  You think that if this is God you don't want it.  Then you forget about the love and grace and mercy at the center of God's character.

You close yourself off thinking that no one can see what is going on deep inside.  But we do see it.  We see the doubt.  We see the pain.  We see the fear.  We see the self-loathing.  You can't hide it behind your well placed barbs and false faces of contempt.  You can't hide it behind your laugh and your self styled apathy.  We see through that because we have been there.  We have felt the doubt, the pain, the fear, and the self-loathing.  We have hidden behind our talent.  We have hidden behind our silence.  We have hidden behind our words.

Not Ready
The unwanted
The unclaimed
Lost in a dark wood
No one caring
No one foreseeing
Wanting to be rescued
But wanting to stay
Not ready for the world
The world not ready for her.


Andrea Farmer 1994

We know that our hiding didn't fix anything.  We know that only letting God in fixed things.  And we want you to know.

We want you to know that...

You MATTER!
You are LOVED!
You are SEEN!

Your doubt doesn't diminish you.
Your pain doesn't trap you.
Your fear doesn't define you.
Your self-loathing doesn't determine your trajectory.

You are more than just your success.
You are more than just your talents.
You are more than just your looks.
You are more than just your vision.

Keep believing in who God is making you.  Trust Him more because he loves you enough to die for you.

In the love of Jesus,
Andrea


Creative Commons License
Not Ready by Andrea Ward is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

2 comments:

  1. Andrea, this is beautiful. It is so important that we remind teens they are children of God no matter what, and that when all else fails, they still have us...and Jesus. I hope your youth will feel this power and this encouragement. Blessings to you and Drew in all that you do in His name.

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  2. Thanks! It is easy to forget this stuff when they are having a particularly bad day/week/month. So as Drew and I were talking last night, I realized these were my real thoughts and they should be put on paper.

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