Thursday, August 16, 2012

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

If I Knew Then ....

When I look back at the girl I used to be, I just shake my head.  What a bundle of fears and insecurities I was! I'm glad I can't go back and relive that life, even though it would be great to apply the things I've learned since those days.

If it were possible to give a heads-up to the teen-age Jerralea, here is what I would tell her:

1.  You are beautiful, just as you are.  I remember always feeling awkward and clumsy and worrying that I was fat.  Anyone who can fit in a size 5 skirt is not fat. Somehow, I let the images I saw daily in magazines, on TV and at the movies convince me that I was not acceptable. I would be happy now to have the body I did then!

Since those days I have learned how God sees me.  I am a masterpiece:

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians  2:10 NLT

and He rejoices over me with singing.  Just. The. Way. I. Am.

For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Zephaniah 3:17 NLT

He delights in me! Why can't I delight in myself as well?

2.  Get a degree:  I never went to college as a young person because I had no idea what I wanted to study.  I knew I wanted to be a wife and a mother. I didn't need a degree to be those things.  Now I see that was short-sighted thinking.  If I had a degree, life would have been a lot less scary when my husband became disabled.

3.  Save your money: When I think of the money I wasted in my younger years, I just shake my head.  I wish there had been a Dave Ramsey course in high school!

The Bend in the Road ...

However, you can't go back and give yourself advice.  There are no do-overs in this life, and that is okay.  My struggles and mistakes have helped shape me into the person I am today.  I'm certainly far from perfect but I am kinder, wiser, and happier than I used to be. I'm excited to see what the bend in the road ahead has in store.

Life is a gift.  Enjoy!

This post was written in response to the Writer's Workshop prompt 1.) If I could tell my teenage self... (inspired by Le Musings of Moi).  To read of others' teenage angst, visit Mama Kat at her blog, Mama's Losin' It!


~grateful said...

If not Dave Ramsey (though he is top notch) at least I wish we had more education on finances. credit, percentage repayment, types of home loans, buying a new car vs used etc etc. . Too many of these financial decisions I had to learn through failing, learning, and do-overs!
Over from mama kat's

SouthMainMuse said...

I love this. Great points. There are no do-overs but like you, I feel my mistakes made me the person I am today. Someone much wiser. Now on the parent side, it's hard watching your children have fears and make mistakes but they have to learn just like we did.

Carol said...

This was a nice, reflective post. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all know THEN what we know NOW! To be wise when young would be a virtue indeed.

Anonymous said...

All really good advise, for Jerralea or anyone else! Thanks for sharing this sweet post

mare ball said...

Great advice. If only we could go different life would be. Saving money and getting a degree are two things I did not do until later in life, and I wish I'd started sooner. Youth is wasted on the young! Who said that?!