Dear 14-year-old Crystal

Dear 14-year-old Crystal,

You’re going to turn out pretty cool. Seriously. At 28, your footing is steady and you’ve got a lot of things figured out.

You’ve got TWO great jobs, even though the economy totally tanked. (Oh. Ya. The economy falls off a cliff, but no worries. You’ve got enough brains and passion to pull through). You’re a writer for a candy magazine and you also lead a church youth group. Pretty fun stuff.

You’ve got a walk-in closet.  What the what?! Ya. It’s pretty awesome.

I mean, you know, your twenties aren’t all cake and pie, but you do figure a lot of things out.

Like which their/there/they’re to use when. And how to buy the perfect pair of skinny jeans (Ya, those come back in style). And that you really just look best with blond hair and bangs. (Seriously. Just stick with it).

Of course, you’ve also learned some more umm, important foundational things. Like about God and stuff. (I.E. He’s real).

I know that one of the things they always focus on in church is that THOU SHALL NOT HAVE SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE!! OR THOU WILL DIE AND GET PREGNANT AND BE WHORE!! And, ya, it’s good advice not to have sex, but not for those reasons. You should wait because you don’t need to do any of that stuff to feel love. I promise. You are already loved.

Think about that for a second. It’s true. Promise.

Also, with the God stuff.  It’s not all about the rules and the regulations and the thou shall not’s. Because, while that’s all important, I promise it will all fall into place if you just focus on loving Christ. Because, when you love Him, you’ll be filled with the fruits of the spirit and suddenly you’ll just naturally choose to listen to Christian music and read the Bible all the time and pray and live a holy life. You’ll do it because God’s your friend and it’s fun to connect with a friend.

Of, course, you won’t always succeed with that. And I want you to know something really important — it’s all right to fail. And I don’t mean in the “you learned something from this so everything is cool” sort of way. But in the “you just totally made the worst string of decisions ever in your life and everything feels like it’s going to crash down on you as punishment” sort of way. Because it happens to all of us, and because I know that sometimes, when that happens, you start to feel like life is hopeless. It’s not. There is always hope — for you and the world. And if you pray and ask for forgiveness, all will be well and peace will find you again.

Also, (and this is important), don’t fight with Bob when he calls you randomly in your dorm room that one time in the beginning of your junior year in college. Just talk with him, tell him how much you care about him, and soak up every ounce of conversation possible. Please.

I know you’re worried about the future, because you just worry about things. But I want you to know that all is well here in 2011 and you really do turn out pretty cool.

Faith+Hope+Love,

Me.

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