At 18 going on 19, you rarely think of yourself when you use the word “teenager” partly because you’ve always been an old soul, and partly because you’re approaching your final year in University. You don’t feel like a teen, but you are, Joy, and the counsel you so passionately dispense to younger girls applies to you too.
The humility you’re learning the hard way right now is the hallmark of great leaders. In the face of your flaws and personal failings you have become increasingly aware of God’s grace. You’ve overstepped your boundaries and come before Him expecting anger and judgement, but you hear His loving voice call your name instead. Never take this for granted.
How I wish I could impress upon you the truth that doing what is wrong is not all about whether or not God is mad at you; every time you choose wrong instead of what you know to be right, that part of you that makes decisions is affected. As time goes on, this gradual chipping away will reflect in your character – in the person you are when no one is looking.
When it comes to personal discipline and self-control, there are muscles that must be exercised by repeated use. Know your truth well, and own it always. It is good that you have chosen to be a disciplined, chaste and prayerful person, and that you are emphasising the personal qualities you enjoy most in yourself; friendliness, cheerfulness and passion. It is also good to remember that if you do not pursue true beauty, purity and integrity in your life every day and in everything, you will struggle to be the person you’ve chosen to be.
Commit yourself to these qualities; they are the essence of who you are and who you are becoming. Reinforce them until they are ingrained deeply in your being. You will spare yourself much heartache this way. Compromise will weigh you down and mess you up. No half measures, girl.
Commit to taking care of yourself. Take care of your hair, your face, your skin. Your aversion to drinking water will not serve you in the long run. Pay attention to your mind; feed it, renew it. Listen to enriching and uplifting music every day.
The reading habit you’re cultivating now will prove to be of more value than you can possibly comprehend at this point. Don’t stop reading, browsing the internet, getting information, learning, and widening your horizon. It is my pleasure to tell you that every kobo you’re spending on books, magazines and generally educating yourself will prove to be worth it a hundred times over. There are absolutely no regrets ahead for you in this regard. Absolutely none!
Keep your hand in His hand, and never take it out.
Oh Joy, you think you have been forgiven much now? You will be forgiven so much more than you could ever imagine from where you are. Please, please, be the one who loves much.