Dear 19 year-old Adrienne –
You will be faced with one of the greatest physical and emotional challenges in your 20s. But you will also experience great amounts of growth through your trials. Your character will be tested, but you will prevail. In fact, you will get to the other side as a stronger, wiser and more motivated woman.
Nevertheless, there will be many times that you want to give-up – throw the towel in so-to-speak – but you don’t… and deep down you know you can handle the fight. You are a fighter. You will discover that you can get through even your darkest hours. You will have to dig deep into your soul and lean on your prayers, but you will find the strength to grasp on to your “hope”, even by the skin of your teeth.
You will also learn that God has a purpose for your life… a purpose greater than your dreams. You will question His wisdom, but you will also find yourself helplessly leaning on His love, His purpose and His guidance. Lean on Him. He will help you. He wants to help you. Lean on Him with all your weight. He will carry you, if you allow Him.
Life isn’t easy nor do you want it to be – if it were easy it wouldn’t be worth it. You will learn that through the brokenness it is easier to see the light.
The challenges of your 20s will set you on the course to change the world. It is the exact “character building” you need in order to grow thick skin and a work ethic that is stronger than even you thought possible. So when the sun disappears from your soul, look around and understand your surroundings because one day you will have the opportunity to be the light in another person’s midst of despair.
Remember: God will not give you more than you can handle… and He is going to hand you a handful… He must think highly of you.
When you need to cry… cry.
When you get to celebrate… celebrate.
Remember there are only 24 hours in a day. You will discover the blessing that those mere 24 hours are. Many people around you will complain about “not enough time in the day” but you will be grateful that there are only 24 hours in the day. Time doesn’t stand still, which means you are continuously healing. And with a new sunrise comes new hope.
In the midst of your growth you will have much to celebrate: you will learn to walk again, you will stand on the stage of Miss America, you will meet your husband, you will become a grandma, you will break barriers in the advancement of medicine… but that is all I will tell you…
Now go, and live… and remember, when the going gets tough the tough kick ass…
And always let your prayers guide your steps.
Your older and wiser self