You are stupid! You will amount to nothing! You don’t deserve to be loved! How could you be so stupid? I don’t belong. I’m lost. Maybe, he loves me. Maybe he loves me not. How could you not know? You should know this by now!
Dear younger me,
Should you? Be patient with yourself, my love. Remember when you were 8 or 9, and you were so scrawny and skinny? You thought to yourself that you must be sick because everyone your age had developed well but you. Do you remember? You even thought you had aids because you looked way too skinny. Do you remember? News flash! You weighed 150 pounds your second year in college. Guess what? You complained about that too. You went on a diet that got you down to 130 pounds, but you felt so empty and light headed. Ha-ha. Now, you’ve managed to keep your weight steady at 140-ish. Good, because you feel more like yourself. Oh, and fun fact, you don’t have aids by the way. The doctors never issued that verdict. Jeremiah 29:11 says, I know the plans I have for you, plans of good and not of evil, to bring you to an expected end. You worry too much, God’s got you. He has a plan for you, CHILL.
Be loving to yourself. Do you remember when you were obsessed with marriage? When you were obsessed with boys? You would daydream about them all day, and pretend you were married to them. Well, that still hasn’t stopped. It’s a daily struggle. But, it’s not your fault. As humans, we have a natural desire for sex, food, pleasure, etc. Don’t blame yourself, if you body desires these things. However, own up to it. Ask God for forgiveness and move on if you cave into these desires in an unhealthy way! God never intended for his daughters (yes, that means you!) to live in guilt. Love yourself enough to not live in guilt. Romans 8:1 says there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. You know who “those” are? That’s you, honey!
To love well is to be, sometimes, heart-broken. I mean that! With every heart break I experienced, I experienced even more. I am still not afraid to love though—to fall in-love again. I’ve got smarter on how to go about loving, but I still love helplessly. You know why? Because we have a Father who loves us with an everlasting love, Jeremiah 31:3. His love is deep. His love is wide, and it covers us. His love is fierce. His love is strong, it is furious. His love is sweet. His love is wild, and it’s waking hearts to life (Song by Jeremy Riddle). Love yourself well, so you know how to love your neighbor as yourself, Matthew 22:39. Love yourself anyways because God first loved you, 1 John 4:19
Be content, my love. Godliness with contentment is great gain, 1 Timothy 6:6. That statement has never been truer now than it was before. When I tell you, Jesus is all you need, I mean Jesus is all you need. Remember in high school, when you said to yourself that you will work hard in life so you can be rich and never have to be dependent on anyone? I know growing up with seven other siblings was hard, especially, when it came to splitting resources (food, money, clothes, etc.), but you had to, love. Didn’t your parents love you well? Oh yes, they did their best!
I’ve got to be honest. For a true Christian, you will always be dependent on someone. Matter of fact, that’s a blessing! First, we are to be dependent on God whole-heartedly, Proverbs 3:5-6. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves now. Tell me how the clay can make decisions without consulting with the potter? Honey, that clay ain’t got no life without that potter! Just read Jeremiah 18:1-10. You will get the picture. Stick to a life dependent on God, there’s so much fulfillment and contentment in that I tell you.
Then, there is dependency on your inner circle. These are your “go to” people; your confidants. You have 4 solid ones, they know themselves, and boy are they full of the word of God. They slap you into shape and are there to cry with you when you’re down. You need people, my love. Funny enough, they need you too. Iron sharpens iron, Proverbs 27:17.
One more thing about contentment. Nothing else satisfies, but God! I know you’ve been thinking, “when I get out of my parent’s house, and finally have my own tv and cable, then, I will live a comfortable life.” Sure, you did get that, but you were miserable still. You know why? You didn’t set boundaries. You let every show on the planet (exaggerating, but you get the point) capture your attention and mind. Girl, now you know your mom and dad would have placed a leash on that! They knew better. They were just trying to protect your mind, when they set boundaries on the shows/movies you could watch, and the length of time you could watch them. Because you didn’t set boundaries, your mind became polluted. It took the work of the holy spirit to erase that stinking thinking you picked up from TV. Now, TV isn’t bad, but everything in moderation, please! Renew your mind with the word of God, not the world, Romans 12:1-2. It pays off daily—you will be surprised at the clarity of your decision-making.
Moving on, let’s talk about education and studying hard! You graduated with a 3.999 in Accounting. You still felt empty. Remember when you laid out all your achievements on your bedroom floor in Louisiana, and just balled your eyes out? Do you remember? You thought your degrees and accolades would fulfill you. You didn’t even have much of a social life through your first degree. The library was your home, all that was missing was bed and breakfast. Now, I’m not saying do bad in school, but you could have done better at balancing your social and study life. Psalms 37:4 says to delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. When was the last time you delighted over God’s promises, my love?
Oh, and lastly, you are still not rich, by the standards you set for yourself. However, you were and are rich in Christ. Your inheritance is in Him, Ephesians 1:14. You still work hard, but smarter. You are now very dependent on God. Hey, you are even making time for friends, family, and the body of Christ.
Don’t beat yourself up! You are not stupid. You are as sharp as a serpent, but harmless as a dove, Matthew 10:16. You are fully known and yet fully loved by God, Jeremiah31:3. I love you!
Ngozi Ugwuegbu is a group leader for Harvest Orange County’s women’s ministry, Virtue, and works as a CPA in a biomedical engineering firm. Her motto is “love God, love people.” Ng loves writing poems and letters to friends, and enjoys watching clean Korean dramas.