Your advice for this blog was so wise, miraculous, full of wonder and beauty; I was inspired to create my own. I’m continually amazed to be part of a community of such strong and shameless women (and a few shameless men, too). 

What I Wish I Could Tell My 17-Year-Old Self About Prom, Dating, and the Mirror
1) Wear a freaking princess dress to prom — full on hoop-skirt, tiara, gloves. Or a 60’s hippie swirling Morticia Addams dress. Be silly. It’s not a serious night, and you don’t have to be uncomfortable.

2) Be thankful if your prom date is purely platonic. He might be your brother-in-law someday.

3) One day, you’ll look back at photos of first heartbreaks. The ones you spent days pining over.You’ll find that they don’t have permission to speak into your life anymore. You’ll find that it’s a good thing it’s over. It’s okay to cry, but move on. Don’t leave your identity there. 
4) Be brave. I mean go for it. Do you wanna travel through Europe? Do it. If the teacher asks if you if want the lead in the school play, take it. Get friends together to start something. Seek justice for and show compassion to for those who can’t speak up for themselves.
5) Begin a life of health now. Not to be skinny, but because you’ll feel strong and rested if you jog or take a yoga class a few times a week. But don’t obsess. People obsessed with fitness are not fun to listen to. Exercise for enjoyment’s sake. Obsess over nothing.
6) You are not sexy. You are cute and worthy of love. But sexiness comes later. It is designed by God for later– it’s wasted on you now. Save it for the nighttime with your husband; for the time when you begin to understand your body’s life-giving power.
7) You are not fat you are not fat you are not fat you are not fat. You and your girlfriends will be tempted to look into the mirror and tear apart hair color, hair type, skin, arms, waist, legs, toes, even gums. Forbid yourself to have those thoughts. If you have them–by all means DON’T SPEAK THEM ALOUD. You are only adding to the madness, and projecting onto your future children a lie about beauty. Stop the vicious cycle. Choose words that are strong words- I AM JUST HOW GOD CREATED ME. Speak those words aloud, whisper them into your ears and your friends’ ears. Otherwise, you will believe that you aren’t enough. That lie is loud. Your voice is louder.
8) Discover what you love and want to be in life—by working for it. Don’t assume a magic fairy will drop things in your lap. If you want to write, read writing books by good authors and work on writing. If you want to do something else, find women you admire in that field and ask them to mentor you. Some gifts will find you later in life. That’s okay, it doesn’t mean God isn’t building something in you now. 
9) Listen to your mother when she says, One of the old hymns said, “Count your blessings. Name them one by one. See what God has done.” That’s not always easy, but it IS a discipline that will ALWAYS lead you to thankfulness and peace. God alone is your portion. The art of thankfulness will remind you how good He is and how good you have it. 
10) You will face some ugly and, frankly, awful moments. Remember, please remember, precious girl, that God turns ashes into beauty. He will turn the darkness into something remarkable and life-giving. I promise. Now, go get that tiara.  

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