If only I had known then what I know now, my life would be radically different today.
I think we’d all say that is true about our lives, don’t you think?
Of course, looking back, I know I wasn’t at all the type to listen to others. Unlike my oldest daughter now, I was not teachable at her age. I had to learn my own lessons, the hard way. Of course, I didn’t have many people speaking truth into my life. My mom and dad did the best they could, but the fact of the matter is that I didn’t make navigating through my adolescence very easy on them or myself.
As I walk alongside my teenage daughter, I’m struck by the fact that while our experiences are different our struggles are often the same. As I listen to her process life out loud, I remember exactly how it felt to be her age. Right down to the butterflies overtaking my stomach and the nervous, chatty energy that marked each new opportunity. Nearly every teen girl struggles with friendships, boys, parents, pressures to perform, fears, doubts, and searching after God, to some degree or another. They desperately want answers on matters that are so incredibly important to them, but are often too afraid to ask, for fear of embarrassment, criticism, or even rejection.
I suppose the reason I’ve taken the time to write down, 100 Things I Want to Tell Teen Girls, is that I don’t want them to feel alone, lost, or unsure any longer. I know each person needs to live out their own story, fresh with their unique experiences of successes and failures. I’d be foolish to think for one moment that this list could prevent any crisis or promise a happy ending. However, I do believe these 100 Things could possibly offer a word of hope to a girl seeking answers, a word of comfort for a mom uncertain of what to say as she listens to her daughter, and a word of challenge to women who need to step into significant mentoring roles. Ultimately, the best gift we can offer this generation of teen girls is a listening ear and a huge dose of love poured out on them right where they are at today.
- We were made to be loved, by God first and foremost. Nothing else will ever compare to God’s love for you.
- Your worth can not be determined by what others say about you, nor can it be based on your performance or accomplishments.
- Define your beauty by how you live in the skin you’re in instead of how you look.
- You won’t always understand others, especially when what people say they believe doesn’t line up with how they live. Choose to give grace and respond with compassion in the face of this sort of frustration.
- Anything you ingest will become a part of you. In the same way that junk food will lead to unwanted pounds and health issues, movies, TV shows, magazines, the internet, and music will affect your heart, mind, body, and soul. Choose wisely. Remember, everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.
- Be a woman of your word. Do what you say you will do, especially when others are counting on you.
- Emotions are good, but they have their place (and this said from the queen of emotions). Learn to be self-controlled in your emotions and express your feelings in healthy ways with people you can trust. Don’t use your emotions to manipulate people, get attention, or hurt others when you are hurting. Doing so will only cause a ripple effect of pain, starting with you.
- Friendships are difficult, no matter what. But there are ways to do them well. Take the time to learn how to conquer conflict and establish healthy boundaries.
- Be thankful. A wise woman said that thanksgiving precedes the blessing.
- God’s shows His incredible love for you in a way that may not make sense at this point in your life, but as you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will show you the blessing that comes with being a child of God. Watch this message to understand why being a Christian is really so amazing!
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