So for my workshop [True Beauty: Transition to Teen Years], I wrote a letter to my middleschool self on all the things that I wish I could have known in those moments. It was fun.
Dear Middle School Julianna,
When you read this letter you'll probably still be in your pj's on a Saturday morning, around noon, because you like to sleep in. That will never change. You're in 7th grade right now and from my futuristic perspective things seem to be going pretty good for you. You have a good family. Good parents. Mom just had a baby girl and she is the light of your life. So cute and spunky and her cheeks are so chubby and full that you want to eat them like apples.
I know that in this stage of life things seems so much harder than they actually are. Be warned. Life gets harder. A LOT harder. But right now your biggest crisis is probably whether or not Emerson [the current love of your life] will ever call you back. You see, what you don't know is that you won't be marrying him. In fact, in about 4 years, your dad will actually force you two to break up. It'll be hard. You'll cry and cry and cry and cry. A LOT. But you'll soon move on and so will here. A couple years after that you'll see that he was never good for you. But you can't see that now because he's just the cute boy from across the street. He'll break your heart because he'll move right on to the next girl. It's gonna suck. But it's not the end of the world. I promise. A much much much better man will take his place. I promise.
Another crisis you're beginning to face is acne. Oh goodness. It starts slow and then right smack in the middle of your sophomore year will be the worst it gets. But you'll be looking through a warped mirror. Every morning you'll wake up and say, "Why is this happening to me?" You'll feel hideous. You'll feel embarrassed. There will be days when you'll never want to walk outside again because there are just too many pimples consuming your face. You'll feel unpretty, unwanted, unpopular and so, just so blah. But don't freak out. It gets better. It will take a while to get there but you learn the most valuable lesson from it. You'll learn that people don't just like you because of how you look. You'll make friends that really like you. The real you. Well, mostly real. You're still trying to figure out who that really is but you get my drift.
You won't be the coolest kid in town but you won't be a loser either. I wish I could tell you those statuses go away when you grow up, but sadly they don't.
Your biggest crisis will be the Summer of '03. Your baby sister will be diagnosed with Leukemia. You wil lfear that she won't make it. The doctors will tell you she has a fighting chance but you won't believe them. YOu'll be angry at God for giving your helpless toddler sister the cancer instead of you. But don't worry, He knows what He's doing. You see, people will hear of her story and their faith will be firmed. Some will even want to know about Jesus because of her. You and your family will minister to hundreds of kids in that hospital and some will die right before your very eyes. They will go surrounded by love. They will go adored. It's gonna be good. Don't worry.
Eat what you want because it doesn't show yet. Have fun with your friends but don't forget your purpose. Be good to your family because they're in it for the long haul. Your friend will come and go but your family will always be there. Make an effort to make your mom and dad your best friends, they give the best advice. And 99% of the time, they're right. I know I know I didn't believe it either, but nowadays, I see that its true.
Lastly, the decisions you make WILL effect your future. Hands down, honest truth. Who you choose to become will be who you become. Who you model your middle school life after will be who you become in high school. Who you model your high school years after will be who you become in college. And who you become in college will stick. For life. Sure there's alterations here and there, but the core of who you become will remain the same.
Things aren't always as they seem. And don't ever lose sight of the grace and love of God. You won't. He'll remind you everyday.
Seminar Main Points:
1. Becoming means that you are in a constant state of change.
2. To Become someone means that there are patterns you are following, whether you know it or not [Esther 2].
3. To Become something god means that you must surround yourself with good [Philippians 4:8].