You are 9 and 11 years old, and every day I’m in awe of the young women you’re becoming. Still walking the halls of your elementary school, but soon, you’ll be turning locker combinations, changing classes, battling rollercoaster hormones, and adjusting to middle school life. Even just to write that overwhelms me because it feels like yesterday I was pushing you in your black Britax double stroller.
I want you to know the girls you encounter are not your competition even when it can feel like that sometimes. Standing on the outside of the circle and desperately wanting to be in the inner ring can be a completely intimidating experience especially when their actions can make you feel excluded.
There may be girls who are mean-spirited or jealous of you. There will be girls who are difficult and annoying. You may not even know the reason. But still, you’re not striving to outdo their actions, words, slender frame, Instagram account, or the neighborhood they live in.
Aim to be on a whole different level.
Try not to focus too much on yourself, but look for practical ways to bless others. Think about the kind of young woman you want to be. Don’t get tangled up in trivial issues. When your body feels yucky, your nose feels too big, and you think your face looks ugly, just keep being who God made you because He made you so beautiful and gifted.
Some girls thrive on a contest, gossip, drama, back-biting, and so on. But you don’t have to participate. You can choose the better way. Truth is, it doesn’t matter if you’re on the inside or outside of a peer group, you can cheer others on from wherever you stand.
Some girls will need your voice, smile, and invitations because they’re lonely and need a good friend.
Shining your light matters.
Seek to use your words to build up, your creativity and passions to serve, and enjoy this awkward time of growth and change. Be the kind of friend you desire to have. Choose friends who’ll influence you positively and encourage you in kindness always.
And never forget, you’re a difference-maker, not a crowd-pleaser.
I can’t believe how much you’re maturing and changing. I can’t stop the clock. I’m praying for you every day and always think about you when you’re away.
I love you,