Dear twentysomething woman leaving Target, 

I have to tell you something. I promise there’s more. 

I saw you and your friend coming out of Target today. We passed right at the exit. Your hair was straight as a stick, your make-up flawless, and your clothes were stylishly pressed and fit for a fashion magazine. Even your snazzy loafers matched your perfect, expensive pocketbook. You were both so put together with your Starbucks in one hand, a dainty set of keys in the other. You looked so young and fresh.

At first, I was kind of taken aback. Then, I immediately felt a sort of sense of embarrassment. My pants are held together with a hair tie because I’m too cheap to buy maternity clothes. My purse is a diaper bag. My hair is frazzled, and there might be some dried vomit up in there from my morning sickness earlier. I didn’t drive up in a cute car as you did. My beat-up SUV (which we’re probably trading for a used minivan here soon) smells like a teenager’s sneakers. Really bad teenager sneakers.

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You looked beyond me and my tired eyes and pregnant belly and walked with the poise and focus of a runway model.

Soon after my self-conscious embarrassment faded, I realized I wanted to tell you so much . . . that there’s so much more ahead. As you get older and find yourself, or find love and begin a family, you’ll discover that looking glamorous or having it all is not what will fulfill you. I sure wish I had understood that—it’s so easy to get caught up in comparisons, at any age. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to have cute clothes, and it’s definitely a boost of confidence when you look put together. But what you will find the most happiness in is discovering God’s will for your life and pursuing that with reckless abandon.

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It may mean motherhood. I promise the snot stains on your shoulder, the stretch marks on your belly, and the dark circles under your eyes will all be worth it.

It might mean you’re called to do hard things, where you end up sweaty and dirty and definitely not glamorous.

It might look like a lot of things you’d never expect. 

I’ll be honest, those loafers you were rocking made me a tad jealous. You looked fabulous. But it didn’t take me long to remember fabulous can look a lot of different ways, including the hot-mess-mom look I’m currently sporting. I hope you know that. 

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I headed over to the dollar spot (because isn’t that your favorite place, too?) and whispered a prayer for you that you’ll find your worth and value in more than looks and wealth. I prayed that perhaps you know these things already. And then I thanked God for sending you my way to remind me that my own fulfillment doesn’t come from the things I wear or stuff I own. 

All His best to you,
The thirtysomething mom on the way in

Briana Bradley Wilson

 I'm a  30-year-old wife and mom with a crazy journey to motherhood. My husband and I are both educators. We adopted a 7 year old little girl who is now a thriving, beautiful 13-year-old, and we also adopted a newborn with a heart defect who passed away in November. We went through six miscarriages as well. I am a Jesus girl, coffee enthusiast, middle school teacher, and I write about parenting, grief and loss, adoption, and faith.