You are beautiful. Inside and out. You are not created like anyone else. You were made by God, every part of you. He quietly knit you together in the secret place. So forget the low self esteem and love you. Believe that someone else can love you. You are not defined by the length of your legs or colour of your skin or texture of your hair. (By the way your hair is just awesome). Every part of you, every quack in your personality, he made it for his glory. Make the best out of what you have and always put your best foot forward. Project how you want to be addressed.
On schooling- go the extra mile and then another. Don’t settle for good enough just because your good enough is the best many have seen. Your potential is so much more. Push yourself out of your peer’s comfort zone. And apply for courses and funding out of your comfort zone. You just never know. Know that your grades might not determine whom you become in future. They will open up opportunities, yes, but don’t be shocked when your future deviates from what you learnt in school.
On dating- Take loving slowly. Very slowly. Dating isn’t about casually playing with people’s hearts. Your heart will get entangled deeply. Too deeply that it will scar you for many years and will take divine healing to be okay once more. Don’t give your body to anyone before marriage. Sexual relationships when single complicate life, bring heartache and have a way of reaching from your past into your present, bringing along baggage you will wish you never touched in the first place. Keep yourself for the man who is hopefully keeping himself for you. There is a lot of beauty in being innocent on your wedding night.
On personal growth. You may feel limited by your exposure, background, school, resources, family, personality. Just keep your heart open, read voraciously, embrace every opportunity that takes you out of what you already know and love change because it is here you grow. Don’t doubt yourself and don’t let your inexperience affect you attitude. Time will change everything. Give yourself grace.
On dreams. Dream as much and as high as you want. No one can put a cap on your imagination. Paint the best future you can while your heart is still unbridled and your passion yet untampered.
On loss. You will lose things you love, people you love. Don’t hold on too tightly to things, people. We are all transient. So enjoy the moments God gives you with the people, make the most of every opportunity. And if you lose things you love or money, you are alive to work for more. God does restore years the locusts have stolen.
On career. You can choose money or you can choose passion. You will be lucky if your passion pays well. But if you choose the big bucks over heart, disillusionment and stress will eventually check in. Make this a short term strategy to gain experience, make a name or make money to fund your passion. Working to pay bills is emotionally draining with each passing day if you have no larger reason for doing what you do. Find your passion, know your mission, know what you are great at and make money out of these.
On planning a wedding. Have a wedding. And invite you friends and your parent’s friends. let them witness God’s faithfulness. Plan it your way. Let the day reflect you as a person and as a couple and let it speak to you. Because your life is about to turn around and you will need to be fully awake.
On friends. Life-long friends are few and far between. But in every phase of life you will have good friends. Love them. Enjoy the gift. And when it comes time to let go, do so without burning bridges. You never know where your paths will cross again.
On work. Always give your best. Brand you is brand excellence. It’s brand I-am-putting-my-heart-and-mind-into-this. Believe in your abilities and never stop learning. Like Steve Jobs said, stay hungry, stay foolish. You have many talents, mad skills, great passion and a big heart and mind. Make them count. Touch lives. leave a mark. Your work is your gift to God and mankind. Serve God’s purposes in your generation. Always know you have a heavenly master.
On family. You will never quite understand what it means to lay your life for another until you have children of your own and you know by God you could give up your life, career, comfort, for them. Treasure motherhood, honour your marriage. I know God will bring you good man because he is a good God like that. FYI marriage and parenting will change your life, forever, in all the good ways. Embrace that. Learn kindness. And remember that in life, most of your happiness will come from good health and family. Guard those jealously.
On weaknesses. You will feel inadequate a lot of times. That is the time to lean heavily on God. Don’t settle for mediocrity; we have the help of the Holy Spirit. But understand that you will never arrive in this life; we will never be perfect. Again we are all different. You might never love early mornings. Work on what you can but focus on what you are actually good at, great at. Even your weaknesses in other contexts are strengths. Find where you can thrive.
On hard times. They don’t last forever. You wont eat plain spaghetti forever in you little bedsitter. You wont always worry about tomorrow. Broken hearts get healed. The lost get found. Even the worst hurts are forgiven. Always hope for a better day.
On unanswered prayers. They are sometimes God’s best gift to us. That boy who broke your heart was a gift from heaven. That job you never got was God’s hand at work. In all things give thanks and trust the unseen hand that moves everything.
Stay true to yourself. If your inner child loves classical music, feed it. If it loves space, travel, parties, colour, live true to you. You are unique. Do you. You are not a mistake. Don’t try to be a cheap knockoff of someone else. Don’t live in people’s moulds and expectations. It will suck your soul dry.
Do things you love even if you are not great at them. Play the piano. Sing. Dance even if you suck at it. The joy they bring and the memories cannot be quantified.
Your feelings are valid. So don’t feel bad about loving or getting angry or embarrassed. Don’t feel bad about feeling everything a little too deeply.
Not everyone will like you and that’s okay. You also don’t like everyone, everything. Forgive those who hurt you intentionally or not. Free your heart.
Don’t doubt that your parents love you. They may speak a different love language but know they always want the best for you. Honour them.
Be kind to people. Especially those who least expect it. Be a good person.
When you can’t understand the bigger picture, trust God who always connects the dots. He never wastes any experience. Its true all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Every path you walk, experience you have, play a role in the divine plan.
On God. He is a good father. He loves you more than you will ever understand. He is not vindictive. He is not out to get you. So deepen your relationship with Him. Faith in God is a solid foundation. It is all that remains when everything else is shaken. Faith. Hope. Love.