Dear 17 year old self

I love you with an everlasting love…If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. And nothing will ever separate you from my love again.”
— Father's Love Letter

Dear 17-year-old self,

Do you know that you are loved?  I don’t think you do.  In fact, I know you don’t.  You recently received a letter from your Father.  I am writing in support of this letter.  He told you that you are deeply loved beyond your wildest imagination.  I know you’ve been hurt.  I know the pain that still pierces your heart.  You have experienced things in life that no child should ever have to go through.  But you are more than these wounds.  And this love?  It will heal and restore these wounds, if you let it in.  It’s easy to be prideful and stubborn.  It’s easy to think that no one can love you.  But your heart is safe with Him.  He will never leave you.

Do you know that you are forgiven?  And not only does He forgive you, but He also wants to crown you with lovingkindness and satisfy you with good things?  I know it is difficult to wrap your mind around the reality that there is Someone who wants to not only provide for you, but also wants to bless you with an abundance.  

My dear 17-year-old self, let this penetrate your heart sooner rather than later.  Let these promises melt your heart of stone.  It will be challenging.  You will be stretched.  You will come face to face with the lies you’ve been believing.  But He is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.  He is standing at the door of your heart and knocking.  Don’t be afraid to open it and fall into His arms and rest in His embrace.  He will hold onto you always.  No one can pluck you from His hand.  He will lead you and guide you.  His love is everlasting.

Persevere, my 17-year-old-self.  Don’t give up.  I promise, you’ve come a long way.  You still have a long way to go, but He will continue to pursue you.  Let the truths that you have known in your head for so long, finally transform your heart.  Let His peace overwhelm you.  It is more than worth it.  You are more than worth it.  Because He created you and He was willing to pay the ultimate price for you.  Here is a promise for you to cling to as you continue your journey: 

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children,
heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us…
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”
Romans 8 : 15-18, 37, NASB

Your 26-year-old self