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  • Elizabeth R Billingsley

A Letter to My Younger Self





Hello everyone! Before beginning my letter, I have to admit my inspiration for this letter is not

mine alone. I was perusing my favorite music app (YouTube Music) and came across a song by Nichole Nordeman entitled Dear Me. As I listened to this song, it struck me that my younger self would have benefited from such an open, honest letter. She had no idea what she was in forand how life's pain would hurt and ultimately strengthen her. That being said, I wanted to sharemy letter to my younger self with you.

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Dear Elizabeth,


Hello beautiful. I know you don't know me. Believe me, this is a tad awkward. I know you maynot be ready for all I'm going tell you but I will tell you none the less. What do I notice first about you? You are a joyful, free spirit; and I love that about you. This will be both loved and hated by others so be prepared for that to come. Your joyful, free-spirited way of life will stay with you; even when life throws you some nasty curves. You will always see the sun shining somewhere. People will marvel at your ability to do this, you will marvel at your ability to do this. Trouble will come to you, yet you will be the most resilient woman the people around you have ever known.


You won't give up on people, even when you should. You won't give up on love or hope in the

middle of life's darkness. You will surprise even yourself. Baby girl, it is not our hurt that gets to

defines us; and as you will learn, it is what we do with that hurt that will be the defining moment in our lives.


Sweet young one, life won't be all roses, romance, and happily ever-after; but your love for people and for Jesus will not change. You will be broken and made whole again. You will be torn down and built back up. You will make mistakes with your money, your body, and your

time; however you will know how faithful and good Jesus is to you. You will come to know who you are, Whose you are, and how much you are loved and accepted. You will cease both

looking for people to sign your self-worth checks and using their acceptance to determine how loved you are in this life. I'm heartbroken to say, you are doing these things now. Young one,

how much pain this will cause you to come. Yet, this pain will be replaced with joy, resilience

and hope that only He can give you. If only I could have spoken to you before now, I might have spared you this pain.


Sweet girl, don't listen to them when they tell you that you “can't” or “shouldn't”. “Shouldn't” is

one of the most manipulative words in the English language. “Can't” is for those who are afraid. Don't let these words be a part of your vocabulary nor the “can't” or “shoulds” of others

determine you course in this life. There is nothing you can't do! Remember that! You are a

leader! You are light! Don't let insecure men and women dim your shine. Their insecurity is their

own problem. Do you and keep shining!


Seek Jesus, not the hype, rules, or politics of the American church. You will follow and seek

these things for sometime without knowing it – they are sneaky creatures capable of killing your

purpose and your light. Love who they tell you not to. Stand with those they tell you not to give a second thought to. Call them out when they aren't following the Gospel, but their aspirations of power. Be prepared to rock the boat. Be prepared for people to not understand you. Be

prepared for insecure men to be intimidated by you, again their issue not yours. Don't let people

tell you that you are too emotional when you are being the passionate women God created you

to be. Some of what the American church told you will set you up for abusive relationships.

Never fear, Jesus is going to set you free from those men, and the theological balls and chain

that got you there too. Be responsible for no one but yourself. Be prepared for your joy to make people uncomfortable, and be prepared for your joy to draw people too. You will not live your parent's spiritual life or legacy, you will live your own. They will love you anyway, even when

they don't understand what you are choosing to do or say.


No one has the final say in your happiness except you, Elizabeth. Don't let others dictate to

you how to think, what to say, or how much money you should make before you are happy.


Manage your money well or it will manage you, trust me, we're on the other side of that now.


Sweet girl, don't stop loving, ever. You will have the opportunity to be bitter and close your heart

to love. Don't do it! Jesus will show you all He has for you. Trust, yet don't trust too quickly, let

people show you who they are first. Trust me (I'm you after all), they will if given enough time.

Know that some friends will come and go. There will be a handful who will be your tribe – they will love you in the good and bad times. Hold onto them. Add to that tribe carefully, not everyone deserves a seat at your table much less a place in our life. My beautiful social butterfly, you do not need the 25 close friends you think you need right now. You will see why in time. Let people go when it is time and don't chase them, pray for them – those who leave will come back to you if they are supposed to.


Jesus keeps all your tears, so cry baby girl, it's good for the soul. He is so close in our grief, and you will find this to be true in later years. Don't let the labels you are given at that time or after stop what Jesus is doing in you. You are going to wake up from a long sleep so to speak and the anti-woke crowd won't like it. They will get over it. Ask questions baby girl. The “authorities” aren't the “authorities” you think they are now. You keep plodding and pushing on in your purpose.


Your 44 year old self has lost track of time and written you almost 3 pages of hard-earned

wisdom. Please know I love the 18 year old you and you will love the 44 year old version of you

much more than you realize now. You will come to terms with her just as she has come to terms

with you – both you and her will never be the same.


Don't fear young one, it's all going to work out for your good – and you have no idea how good

that is going to be! Love and kindness will never fail you!



Love,



The Woman you become

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