You are so young, so tiny, so new still to the world, to this life. Oh, and the world? It will attempt, many times with great success, to beat you up and drag you down. Please, please find this scripture and cling to it with all that you are:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Seriously. Get. This. In. Your. Soul - wanting to be like others, have what they have, do what they do- it's not only a waste of time, it's a sinful struggle you will deal with for many years. Sometimes others will not understand why you believe the way you do. Follow Him anyway and pray for them. He's worth whatever they may think of you. His paths are clear to those who truly care to follow them. Remember that.
More than that even, write this Word on your heart because when you do what it says, you'll find peace and purpose and you'll know what you MUST fight for each day:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
And for good measure, add in this one, because your understanding lacks so, so much:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
Oh, please little me, LEAN NOT upon yourself. Learn now, soon, letting it sink into your very bones - there's so little you understand, so little you can control. This will be hard for you and you will learn it time and again the hard way. When that happens, remember to trust Him anyway.
You are so sad that you are turning "sweet sixteen" having never been kissed. Hold tight, you'll soon have that first kiss. One day he'll give you a ring, ask you a question, you'll say yes. You'll marry that first kiss, enter into covenant with him, and he will be the father of your children. It will be a gift to you that you never kissed another - I promise.
Go easy on your mom. One day you will learn just how wonderful and beautiful and ugly and terrifying and sin-revealing motherhood is. I can't adequately prepare you for it, it's just so hard and so worth it. Having your heart walk around in four different people, other than in yourself, is pretty tough. Your heart will break many, many times. But other times it will swell so full you'll think it may pop. You'll see. Ask God to teach you how to really love. But for now, go hug your mom and say thank you.
Give your dad a chance. I know he's a goofy goober. I know he likes hugging you too much and you like an extreme amount of personal space. But please, please - just hug him and hold on tight. Ask him to take you on dates, surprise him by showing up at his office for lunch. Let him give suggestions. Ask him questions. Trust in his love for you - it's bigger than you realize. Hear me on this - because one day you'll take care of him in his last, very sick days. You'll be taking turns with your brother all through his last night putting drops of morphine in his mouth, to usher him Home with love as your heart breaks. You'll watch him leave this life. It will hurt so bad you'll feel unable to breathe. You'll find out you needed him more than you knew, so much more. You will miss him so much it hurts. So, please, go give him a hug. You'll miss those hugs all too soon. Talk to him and listen and remember what he says. You'll miss his voice, too.
Love the Word now and more with each day. One day you'll find it can put your broken pieces back together, time and again. Find Psalm 119:105 and see that it says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Twenty years from now this will be your favorite Psalm (after you hear Beth Moore teach from it!). The light of the word lights the next few steps - it's not a strobe light. He wants you to put your total trust in Him, so He won't light the path too far in the future. He wants to be the one you depend on.
Learn to pray. Really pray. One day you will see a prayer answered so beautifully, so faithfully, so perfectly after three years of waiting, wondering. Before your eyes, God will move a spiritual mountain and you will cry tears of joy and thankfulness. So, go hug your brother, because your prayers for him will matter one day. Let God show Himself faithful as He answers your prayers. Then be grateful, whatever the answer and however long the wait. The Lord is always right and He is always on time.
Be full of joy and be full of gratitude in all things. Hard times will come and there will be joy overflowing and sorrow so large it will feel overwhelming. Keep trusting Him, keep following Him. He makes paths straight, He allows you to enter the Most Holy Place, He loves you more than you know (and more than you'll know in twenty years still). But the Lord Who redeemed you can be fully trusted to complete His good work in you. And one sweet day, He'll come for you to take you Home. Keep your eyes on Him and love Him back through obedience, gratitude, praise and living for Him and not for the world. His grace is amazing and was purchased at a high price by your biggest Brother and the way you live reveals your true love for Him and gives Him glory. Love Him well then with your life. He is so worth it.
All is grace (one day you'll believe that it is. ALL is grace.),
Me at just under thirty-six
*This dear me letter was inspired by Emily at www.chattingatthesky.com as part of the release of her new book Graceful aimed at teenaged girls. Visit the link for other dear me letters and to learn more about the book.