This letter was written by a high school senior. Her AP English teacher had given the assignment of writing a letter to a future teenage daughter, giving her advice about life. I’m amazed at the maturity and clarity with which this 17 year old wrote.
To my daughter,
My greatest wish is for you to have the most fulfilling life that is possible. There are many things a young lady your age needs to know. And I, as your mother and your friend, want to be the one to share these with you.
Always put God first in your life, no matter what. Trust in Him and let Him lead your way. No matter what the situation, God is with you. Be submissive to His will and strive to be like Him in everything you do. Place your life into His hands and He will lead and guide you. He has so many things in store for you. When everyone else fails you, when your world seems to crumble, and all hope is gone, He will be there. Jesus will ALWAYS be there, He will never leave you or forsake you. You are the reason He died and He loves you.
Your identity is the most important asset that you have. Don’t be ashamed of who you are and what you stand for. Be PROUD of who you are and what you stand for. Never conform to the world, even when your friends are pressuring you from every direction. Be an individual and stand boldly and strongly in your convictions. Always be yourself, never pretend to be someone that you are not. People will like you for who you really are, not someone fake or superficial.
Respect yourself at all times. Don’t let people walk all over you. When dating, respect yourself enough not to give away your innocence and purity to every young man you fall in “love” with. We, in ourselves, as mortal human beings with wild hormones and extremely strong emotions, do not always have the strength to resist temptation. If you fall, you can be forgiven, never lose hope. But, remaining chaste until marriage is a wonderful thing. Giving yourself to ONE man and he to you,uniting as one flesh, is the most sacred and holy experience. Intimacy is best within the sanctity of a strong and happy marriage. If it happens before, emotional scars may be left and the pain unbearable if you lose him.
When you DO get married, you should be marrying not only your lover, but your best friend. Share you innermost thoughts with your mate and you will draw closer to each other. Finding that special someone is very important, so make sure he is THE one or you could lead an unhappy life. Once again, seek God for direction.
Concerning friendships, hold on to those true, best friends. Don’t gossip or tear your friends down, don’t “stab them in the back.” Be faithful to them, treat them as you would want to be treated. A good friend will stick by you through thick and thin.
Be kind and patient with others and tolerate the seemingly intolerable. Sensitivity could be helpful to you as well. Being sensitive to others will let them see that there is something different about you. Let your uniqueness be a tool for letting your light shine for Him. Remember, you have a mission to tell others about Jesus Christ-never forget it. There are so many hurting and broken people who God can touch through you. Let them see His love in you.
With God as the center of your life, leading you all the way, you will not be a failure. Listen to wise counsel on things you are unsure of and always stand strong. Stay on the straight and narrow path and you will make it all right.
I love you,
The student received an “A” for this paper, as well as “Nicely written and directive!” She attended a public school and was not afraid to state her beliefs.
The year was 1996.
The student was Susie Matlick………..that’d be me.
I have 2 reasons for sharing this.
1. Young ladies-Don’t be ashamed of what you believe in or afraid to share it. Trust me…the world needs to hear it. And God DOES speak to you and give you insight and wisdom about some stuff. Don’t doubt yourself or let people look down on you because you are young! I knew a lot of things about myself and life in general even when I was 17, but I allowed boyfriends, parents, teachers, friends and insecurities to change my mind about those things that I was passionate about. Don’t let that happen to you. Listen to your Creator when He whispers those special things to your heart. Follow and listen to THAT voice.
2. Older people-What were you good at when you were a teenager or child? Or what did you love to do when you were young and carefree, without any worries or bills or kids or jobs? Go back to that. That’s what God wants you to be doing. That is what He has gifted you with. As a 35 year old woman, I am returning to my “first loves.” Writing, instructing, teaching, etc. How I ended up in a technology-based career for 15 years, I’ll never know. Better late than never! It’s never too late to use your God-given gifts and talents! If He has called you and gifted you, even if it was 20 years ago, it is still good. His gifts and callings never expire!
Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
What a special blessing it was for me to find this letter as I cleaned out my closet today! A sweet reminder of God’s gifts to me. What have you been hiding that you can bring out and dust off?
This lost and dying world needs you to be YOU and use the gifts that only YOU have been given!