My Sixteen Year Old Self

Listening to the radio last week, on the way to pick up the kids from school, I heard the talk-show-host ask this question:

 "What would you tell your 16-year-old self 
now that you're older?" 

What a fantastic question. 

I gave it a nano-second of thought and here's what I came up with: 

 Sixteen-year-old Alysa, you really are going to be thankful that your mum MADE you continue on in piano. It will bring you great comfort and therapy in the coming years.

Sixteen-year-old Alysa, just because you're 16 and no boy likes you 
does NOT mean you're ugly and fat. 
Even though you think it does. 
Don't believe that lie. 
Oh, and by the way, you end up marrying an INCREDIBLE guy, 
who's super hot and super fun and the best husband a gal could ask for. 
So just hang on for a bit and remember that God is good -- 
even when it doesn't feel like it!

Sixteen-year-old Alysa, your worth isn't determined by whether the boy you've had a crush on for 4 years likes you back. 
God says you're His daughter and you're beautiful and worthy of being loved and that's really all that matters. 

Sixteen-year-old Alysa, you're gonna LOVE living in Indonesia when you're in your mid-twenties, even if it means you got your heart broken in order to get you over to the other side of the world. 
God's ways are always best, even when it feels yucky in the moment, 
even when it hurts, even when it doesn't make sense. 

Sixteen-year-old Alysa, don't make yourself lose your Canadian accent when you go away to American university just because everyone makes fun of you. 
Stay true to who you are, eh? 
Sixteen-year-old Alysa, you really do get to go to Madagascar some day, just like you vowed you would when you were in 5th grade. 
And you get to France AND Kenya on that trip, too. 
It's the trip of a lifetime! 
Never forget to dream BIG!

Sixteen-year-old Alysa, don't EVER get another curly perm. Never again.  
{All photos of me with curly perms have hopefully been burned. It was bad. Very bad.}
This might explain why no boys ever liked me. Hmmmmmmmm.

Sixteen-year-old Alysa, don't hold on to past hurts. 
Let them go. 
Move on. 
Be a big girl. 
Ask God to help you forgive. 
You're the one that ends up FREE when you choose to not be bitter. 

Sixteen-year-old Alysa, when you have to move schools this year between your 10th and 11th grade, it really isn't the end of the world. 
You'll be fine. 
Do a better job at meeting people at your new school instead of having the 
"Screw you I just want to be back in Thessalon with my true friends" attitude.

Sixteen-year-old Alysa, don't wait until you're 40 to start working on your extreme people pleasing. 
Start now. 
It's okay to disappoint people. 
Please God first.

 Sixteen-year-old Alysa. You're not fat. You're not ugly. {even though you think you} 

Sixteen-year-old Alysa. You're not fat. You're not ugly. 

Sixteen-year-old Alysa. You're not fat. You're not ugly. 

As you can tell, I had some serious self-esteem issues to face and overcome. 
To say it's been a journey is perhaps an understatement, 
but I love that God doesn't leave us in those dark places. 
He wants to see us through them, 
sometimes literally carrying us as we limp along in our own self-pity. 
{I should do a post on this some day soon. My guess is others can relate. Ya?} 

 Sixteen-year-old Alysa, you hate dogs now. 
But just you wait. 
A certain little Coco puff shall 
take your breath away!

So those thoughts truly came fast and furious and just popped out on paper.
I thought it was so telling that I could SO quickly go back to the little girl who so desperately just wanted to feel pretty and like she was worth something. I can see God's incredible patience and love and concern for me to not leave me in that state.

I would be SO curious to hear what YOU would say to your sixteen-year-old self.


Anonymous said…
I would say 16 year old Donna; even though your parents are not fit and addicted to everything they can take, it does not mean that you have to go down that same path. God will help you, He loves you, He sent His Son Jesus to carry you.

16 Year old Donna, even though you are living all by yourself with no family and friends that judge you, God does not judge you and He loves you.

16 year old Donna, even though God has given you a condition called Neurofibromatosis and your body is going to change and be ugly to others, God made you perfect in His Image.

16 Year old Donna, even though a boy looked at your open heart surgery scar and said “yuk” does not mean that all boys will say yuk. God has a plan for you and you will marry a man that loves you for who you are and thinks you are beautiful inside and out.

16 year old Donna, life is not easy for a 16 year old struggling to live in a judgmental world it is ok to feel defeated and cry. Turn to God and He will wipe away your tears.

16 Year old Donna your struggles academically does mean you are stupid or “Dippy Donna” it just means you have to work harder to achieve your goals and it is ok to ask for help to reach them.

16 Year old Donna you can not do it without Jesus so giver it to Him now and not when you are 26.

16 Year old Donna when you are 40 your Neurofibromatosis is going to appear even more ugly to you as it progresses but your husband will love you and see you as beautiful but most of all GOD will.

Alysa said…
Oh Donna, that is simply BEAUTIFUL. Crying tears for you. Your road has not been easy but it is SO evident that GOd has walked beside you the ENTIRE way. You're beautiful!
alice said…
16-year-old Alice, be kind. It's not cool or funny to be cynical or cut people down. It shows you're insecure.

16-year-old Alice, make Jesus your treasure. Learn to study the Bible while you're young. The reason you're insecure is because you're building your house on the sand.

16-year-old Alice, stop rushing through life and wishing you were older. Enjoy today. Stop thinking you have to work like an adult and instead take advantage of great things offered to teens. You're not above it all. (You're just insecure!)

16-year-old Alice, stop worrying so much about your looks. People who are happy and secure inside look naturally beautiful on the outside.

16-year-old Alice, let stuff roll off you. Don't keep a record of wrongs. Jesus loves you. So now, love others and forgive.

16-year-old Alice, map out a better plan for your life rather than just letting stuff happen to you.

16-year-old Alice, don't pretend to like stuff you don't or not be interested in things you are, just to impress some guy.

16-year-old Alice, listen to your mother more.

Thank God I don't have the same life or personality I did when I was 16 (or 18 or 25). God has been so patient with me when I was so immature and childish for so long. I honestly believe He allowed infertility into my life for 8 years because I was not ready to be a mom. Praise Him that now I can give all this advice to my children! He is so good.

Alysa said…
Dear sweet Al, LOVED your words!!!! I second your thoughts about being thankful to God that we're not the same people we were at 16, 18 or 25 ... =) Love to you!

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