To my Girls,
I know this is coming from someone who is never experienced what you have experienced in the past and are experiencing now. I do not claim to know anything about what it means to be in a relationship except for what I have seen and heard from people, both good and bad. This is not meant to be a stay pure talk nor is it me trying to say what is right and what is wrong to do, or not to do. It is not my place to put myself on a pedestal and claim I know anything, but for a moment I would like to stand on my soap box and share some things that I think should be said as you journey through this chaotic time in life.
Being a teenager is a messy time, no matter what you are into, what group you belong to, or what groups you don’t belong to. It is scary, fun, and filled with so many things. I have been there, recently ;) and I know the things I did and I observed many other things from my peers. I saw people meet the One that they eventually married and I have seen people hurt so deeply that they were never the same again.
You! Yes You! No matter where you come from or where you have been are worthy of respect from everyone, which is why i am attempting to compose this letter to you as an adult. You have seen and experienced more things in your life than anyone should ever have to. Some things are deep inside you that others will never know and some are so deep that you are not even aware of them, it is true for all of us. We hide what we choose not to face, and our subconscious (the level of understanding so deep inside that we are not aware of its thoughts) hide the things we cannot face, because they would be to difficult to unearth. This is where actions like cutting, suicidal thoughts and poems, self-hatred, over eating, under-eating, drug abuse, sexual addictions, come from. They are not games or no big deal; they come from feelings so strong that we are not aware of them.
Sometimes even relationships are born out of our feelings of unworthiness, we are beings created to love and to be loved and we seek out ways to connect to others on a meaningful level. And even sometimes when we do not feel that the love we receive is adequate we seek out relationships with others.
Respect does not just mean treating someone as an equal, or not treating someone like trash. Respect is being able to see the creator inside of the creation. It goes beyond the Sunday school answer of “for God so loved the world” or “Jesus loves me” The Lord is a God who deeply cares for his creation more than we can even imagine. He loves us so much that he gave us the sun rising, the stars, a baby’s laughter, friends, and yes even relationships with significant others. He loves us so much he gives us the choice of responding to him out of free-will to make our own choices about how to pursue finding the One. Remember there is no separation between life and spiritual life, they are all connected.
Respect is never feeling pressured to do what makes that still small voice inside your heart tremble. I am saying all this so that you will know that I am praying for you and that I deeply care about you as not only my XXXXXXXXXXX but as young women whom I love for the unique and wonderful people that you are. Never ever be afraid to seek assistance when you need it, to tell someone no, or even to tell someone yes when the time is right. Remember I am always, always here for you to listen non-judgmentally, to offer help, or to just sit with you hold you and to cry. We are constantly learning throughout our journeys; that is one thing that will never change. And ladies, remember this, because even when I am “all grown up” I will still be there for you and my door will always be open no matter what! (but please keep 3am house visits to a minimum lol)
You are my heart and my heroes! You have come so far from those scared little scrawny kids that showed up at the door of my heart all those years ago. I don’t know if you remember those first few months, but I do. I still have the necklace that M gave me one night, before you were in foster care, or how cute and also sad it was how K was so concerned about R in the beginning, or how heartbreaking E's little face was as she struggled to fight back tears when D, K and I had to drop her and R back at her foster home until we could get you for keeps. You are my inspiration and my heroes because of who you were back then and you have become since then. My eyes fill with tears of joy as I write this because I love you so much. I thank my God that you are in my life and pray that we will always be close. My kids need some super aunts someday, and I need great friends who are courageous, beautiful, and amazing women of God.
With all my heart,