What I Wish I Knew At 13

Dear 13-year-old Hazel,

It’s been ten years, and I think it’s time we had a heart-to-heart talk. There are some things I want you to know that I wish I knew at your age. So here goes.

First of all, your grades truly aren’t everything. The reality is that the Lord is a lot more interested in your growth as a person and as His child than He is in what you can do! I know you know this, but you need to believe it! There’s one thing that you will hold on to throughout the years: do your best and never regret it. As long as you’ve given your 100 percent, then the results shouldn’t matter. Try to remember that when the stress mounts and you get discouraged!

Sometimes, when I get caught up with my studies now (yes, it still happens), I ask myself, “What would it mean to you if you graduated with straight As but accomplished nothing for God’s kingdom in the process?” It’s a scary thought. I never want to be in danger of getting so distracted from our main purpose in life!

Secondly, you desire a boyfriend. Guess what? One day, you will have one, but he will dump you (sobs). But it’s going to be OK. You will think that he is your everything, and losing him will make you feel empty and lost. What I want you to know is that you can’t put all your hopes on people, because they will always disappoint you. God is the only one who is there for you every step of the way.

It will take a while, but you’ll learn one of the most important lessons of your life — that God is waiting for you, ready to heal you, and fill you up again. He is so faithful, and the “love” you think you had with that guy is going to pale tremendously in comparison to the unconditional love God has for you. I can’t wait for you to reach that point!

Thirdly, let’s get real. You have to stop comparing yourself to your best friend. Yes, she’s pretty, and she’s popular. Sometimes, it’s tempting to try to be as outspoken or funny or sociable as her, but eventually it’s going to get really draining and demoralising to pretend to be someone else to get attention. Besides, look around you! Your friends already accept you for who you are.

One day, when you share your insecurities with them, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised that they will encourage you to be yourself, and they will embrace you, flaws and all!

LET'S GET REAL. YOU HAVE TO STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO YOUR BEST FRIEND.

These are the friends you will want to invest in, because these are the friends you will truly be able to connect with.

Oh, one last thing. You will be learning some other hard lessons along the way, but those lessons are your best teachers. Take pride in the challenges and tough situations, because they will mould you into the strong lady you’ll eventually become. Be strong, love God, and love others. We’re gonna be fine!

Love,
23-year-old Hazel

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