Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dear 9 Year Old Me...

It’s blog month at Compassion! And I'm so excited to participate in this. Last year during the month of September, Compassion bloggers had the goal of 3,108 children they wanted to find sponsors for and they achieved that goal! This year our goal is to get 3,160 children sponsored online by 11:59 p.m September 30th.

As a part of our commitment we are given assignments throughout the month of September to reflect and respond to. The purpose of the writing assignments is “to create interesting and somewhat challenging writing prompts to get our minds energized and spark some creativity.” It also gives us the opportunity to introduce our readers to the amazing opportunity and privilege of sponsoring a child.

Our first assignment came yesterday with this simple prompt: “What Would You Say to Your Childhood Self?”.....
                                                       
Oh sweet girl....

First off, It's pretty crazy to me that I could be writing to my "childhood self." Hah, though since I'm eighteen, I suppose I am technically an adult now..

There's a lot...so many many things I want to tell you..and so many things that I don't know the answers to either.

Maybe that's what I should start with.

You won't figure everything out.

Mhm...

I know you want to be perfect, say the right things, act in the proper way, have every situation work out “just-so.” You spend hours dwelling on mistakes you've made, over-analyzing what you should have said or done instead.

But girl, perfectionism stinks.

It hurts. It's ugly. And worst of all...it can drive you to do

N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

It can scare you off from taking risks, from making mistakes, from learning....perfectionism paralyzes.

And that's not okay luv, it's not. You were made for so much more. You were made to explore and grow, to fall on your face. You won't break that easily. Trust me.

I want to go back in time and love on you, I want to reassure your trembling little heart, that it's okay to say: “I am just learning, I am just learning”. I want to tell you to listen, listen to that mama of your's who has been telling you all this for years. She's right you know. Mamas pretty much always are.

'Cause girly, they’re just mistakes. It’s not wrong to stumble in speech, have trouble learning something new, or have difficulty knowing what to say. Honestly, luv, you should expect all those things. After all, You're not God, who does exactly what He wills. Always perfect. Never changing.

Hun, when you try to perfect, (and this is tough to hear, but it's true), you're setting yourself up to be like God. Don't get me wrong, we ought to strive for Christ-likeness, absolutely, but you shouldn't imagine yourself to be mistake-free. You're going to have to tear down the mental idol you're making of yourself, that idol that causes you to expect perfection and flawlessness.

Luv, when you do that...you're taking away from the beauty of the Gospel. How it radiates through our weaknesses, our craziness, our stupidity, our mistakes...how absolutely not perfect we are.

That's such a humbling and freeing thing, actually. It'll lead you to the place of knowing you don't deserve this CRAZY LOVE AT ALL but God gives it freely.

And when you realize that He actually really REALLY enjoys us, enjoys YOU through this whole crazy learning growing process.

It'll change everything, luv, really it will.

It doesn't really matter what others think at that point.

Which brings me to another thought...don't compare yourself with someone else. Ever. K?

Whether you're obsessing over your clothes...and how you don't exactly fit in, or look like the "cool kids," or crying because your frizzy hair that can't decide if it's curly or straight is always so untameable. And you hate your freckles.And you stay up waaaaaayyy late to finish projects and study so you can somehow prove your worth by your knowledge.

Sweetie...just stop it. You're beautiful. The way you are. Truly. You're beautiful because you are fearfully and wonderfully made by the One that you resemble. In whose Image you were created. You're a masterpiece. And EXACTLY what He was dreaming of. He doesn't make mistakes. Ever. Remember? He's the only one that can claim perfection...

So don't be afraid to be who you are. Don't change for someone else...Hah. And don’t act tough, you are not tough, you are a sweet girl, stay that way.

Finally the most important thing that you should know, girlie...is that it's not about you. When you get that one figured out, let me know. I'm still working on it.

But you were made for His glory. And your privileged to be a part of His story. So step out of your comfort zone, K?...and live, live for Him, when you put Him first in your life everything else will fall in place. Trust me.

Sounds too simple, I know, it can't be that easy, right? Well it is that simple and it is that easy....but it'll also be the hardest thing you'll ever do. And oh, it won't be a one time thing. You'll have to choose it daily. And honestly, you can't even do it. Not on your own strength.

But,
   "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) 
It's all through Him....

Got it? K..

Love Always,
Your (not quite there yet) Grown-up Self
                                                                                                                                

The month of September is blog month at Compassion again and this is my first assignment. The assignment was to write a message from my grownup self to my childhood self. I'm definitely not grown up yet, but there are so many things that I needed to hear when I was nine. And if I, blessed with the amazing parents, and carefree childhood that I had. Needed to hear these things. How much more does a child that daily lives in poverty need to hear those words? Words of life and love and encouragement.

So many of the things I wrote to myself could also be written in a letter to my sponsored children. They need to hear how precious they are, and in whose image they were created.  Writing to a child can make a world of difference in their life. Oftentimes children in poverty have low self esteem and nobody to tell them how special they are and to love them.  This month our goal is to find sponsors for 3,160 children. Would you consider taking a leap of faith, and committing to changing a life?

You can find out more information about sponsoring a child by clicking the link in the sidebar or below. Or visiting Compassion International's website. And if you do decide to change a child's life, forever, for the better, would you consider letting me know? I'd love to celebrate with you. :)

Blessings,
Tessa






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