A Letter to my Ten Year Old Self

Dear ten year old Amanda,

Hey girlie. Before we get down to the serious talk, you need to know one thing right now: that curly hair you’ve been praying for? It’s coming in about four years. Do us both a favor and recognize it earlier than I did. Get yourself some frizz-ease, a diffuser, and a wide-tooth comb and you’ll be good to go. Oh, and also, strangers are going to walk right up to you and touch your hair, just try not to think where their hands have been. And you’ll hear, ‘is that natural?’ about a zillion times, just smile and give God the credit.

You know that very active imagination you have? Guard it and treasure it. Most of your friends will lose (or ignore, I’m not sure which) their imagination within the next two years or so. The stories you create, the adventures you experience, they are shaping who you will become, and let me tell you, being a dreamer is a lot of fun. And the fact that you’re going to marry a super rational, total hunk of a guy means that all those big dreams will be well-balanced and thought-out. There’s no way you’re going to appreciate this fact right now, but believe me, in twenty years you’re going to be really thankful.

A Letter to my Ten Year Old Self via A Royal Daughter

In a few years you’re going to experience a pretty big life event – and your dream of living on a farm will come true! But the move is going to be rough for you, leaving behind friends and family is never easy, especially during the tumultuous teenage years. Don’t worry about crying those tears, it doesn’t mean you’re weak – it means you feel deeply. The friends you’re going to say goodbye to, you’ll stay in touch with them for years through old-fashioned letter writing, and then, thanks to an internet site called Facebook, you’ll be able to stay in touch with them forever. And see what they eat for lunch every day, but really, that’s a small sacrifice for staying in touch with life-long friends.

What’s that? You want to know what the internet is?  The internet is ‘a computer network consisting of a worldwide network of computer networks that use the TCP/IP network protocols to facilitate data transmission and exchange.’ I just googled that, so the real answer is….in twenty years you can ask your husband and he’ll be able to explain it to you.  *wink*

So you’ve been playing the violin for about a year now, and everyone says you’re good at it. The thing is, you’re going to put it away when you’re 19 or 20 and never pick it up again. So I was wondering if you could do your future self a favor and just keep practicing, even when you’re playing the same blasted songs over and over again. Also, don’t file down your bridge so as to make fiddling easier. You’re a violinist, not a fiddler.

Little Girl Amanda with Violin

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that reading you do. Even when you stay up really late with a flashlight under the covers. (Side note: you’re a natural night owl and Mom is going to realize that in a couple of years.) Your love of reading is never going to go away, and Anne of Green Gables and Sherlock Holmes will be continue to be two of your favorite books of all time. By the time you’re in your twenties your copy of Anne of Green Gables will be falling apart, and you’ll take great pride in that.

Your love for animals will never go away. Your dream of becoming a veterinarian isn’t going to come true, but that’s okay. You’ll spend thirteen years working in veterinary medicine, and at the end of you’ll have great memories, oodles of knowledge, and no school debt. It will take a while for you to come to peace with the fact that you aren’t going to be a vet, that’s okay. It is perfectly okay to grieve unmet dreams.

So there’s this boy. You’re going to meet him when you’re fourteen. All I’m going to say is that he is not ‘the one.’ You’ll save yourself (and your parents) a lot of heartache if you could just get that in your head right now. And the man you are going to marry – well, he’s a man. At fourteen you’re not going to even recognize the distinction, but you want a man, not a boy. And if my memory serves me correctly, our mom is going to say something to that effect over and over and over again. She’s right.

So…big surprise! You’re going to be a pastor’s wife. And believe me, you do not fit the mold of the quiet, submissive, piano playing pastor’s wife. Fortunately for you your husband comes from a family with strong women, so he’s been well-prepared for you. But you might want to bug your parents a little bit more about the piano lessons, they would come in handy when you’re twenty-three. On the other hand, the voice lessons definitely pay off – you’ll get a college scholarship and travel every weekend for two years singing your little heart out. Don’t ever stop singing, okay?

Ten year old Amanda, I want you to know this: life is good, but life is also hard. You’re going to face disappointments and heartache. Your faith will be shaken, your heart will be bruised. But God is faithful, and you will be reminded of that time and again as life turns out how you least expect it. You will learn to be dependent on Him, and believe me, He is rock solid and can handle your wrestling and deeply rooted need for Him.

In twenty years you will look back on your life and realize you have very few regrets. That is the grace of God, really, and the result hundreds of prayers by dozens of people who have been praying for you since you were a wee babe. You do owe them a debt of gratitude. The regrets you do have are superficial, nothing that would drastically change who you’re going to become.

And one last thing, before we go. Go easy on your mom in about five years. Her hormones will be raging (for a different reason) at the exact same time yours are raging because of puberty. What no one is going to tell you is that there is a battle of hormones being waged, and it’s going to be brutal. Teenage angst isn’t becoming on anyone, and your mom is going to show you a lot more grace than you’ll realize. So if you could tone it down a bit, stifle some of the drama, and take a Midol, you both will thank me.

Keep dreaming, keep singing, and keep the faith.

Love,

Thirty-one year old Amanda

I’m writing for Compassion International  as we strive to get 3,160 children across the globe the sponsors they so desperately need.  Click HERE to view information on children awaiting sponsors.  You can literally change someone’s life!

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Comments

  1. THAT is the most sweet, precious and heartfelt/warming letter written to one’s self I have ever read…. how sweet! Thoughtful, mind blowing and RAW! I am going to write one like this and hopefully it explains a lot as well so I can gain some thankfulness, perspective and people can see me the way I truly am!
    Thanks for sharing Amanda~ Have a great night!

  2. Joanne Viola says:

    This is a beautiful post! Not sure which is my favorite part as it is all that good :) So thankful that He can handle our wrestling & fills our deep need for Him. So glad that you shared this. And you are so right, having curly hair myself…..but it is most difficult not to think about where those hands have been :)
    Blessings,
    Joanne

  3. kristy says:

    So Sweet! Thanks For Sharing!

  4. Emily H. says:

    Love this!

  5. Mom says:

    Ahahaha! Well said.. .. I clearly recognize both of you! Well put – - – and very true.

    I too, wish you had kept with the violin. You WERE good and your playing soothed me at the end of a stressful day. . . of Battle of the Hormones!

  6. Victoria says:

    Beautiful as always! More than a few tears were shed as I read these words and thought back to 10 y/o Amanda… and 10 y/o Victoria. I’m so glad to have you in my life, sweet friend!

    Even if we do have a terribly embarrassing karate video floating around out there ;-)

    • Mom says:

      Oh Lordy, Victoria! I forgot about that karate video! It’s not floating around out there. . . it’s here! I might have to bring it out at the next family gathering! ;)

  7. Love this post. But I love the picture the most. And I too have books so worn with love. I too take a sense of pride in that. What a great letter.

  8. colleen says:

    This is great, I wrote a letter to my 15 year old self in my journal a few weeks ago, and wow… it was raw and eye-opening. I love that you share your heart so freely… I am inspired by you more than just on Thursdays! :)

  9. Janet says:

    Amanda,
    This is one of those priceless posts. Wonderful! I may have to try it, but I’m afraid my 54 years have a LOT of memories – guess I’ll just have to sort through them. What a GREAT way to realize your strengths and boo-boo’s. Thank you!
    Janet

  10. kelli says:

    This is perfect. Wish I’d known about Midol too. :)
    Love ya!

  11. Kassie says:

    This made me tear up. Especially the part about being 14. I wish that time in my life had turned out differently….would have saved me and many lots of heartache. Thanks for writing and sharing!

  12. Miranda says:

    I found your blog post via Twitter, and I enjoyed reading your letter to yourself! I too am a Compassion blogger, and I struggled with this blogging assignment. One thing I enjoyed about your letter is how much you enjoy and have a passion for music. I sing and play the piano, although I wish I had taken everyone’s advice when I was younger and taken piano lessons. I didn’t back then, but I just started this week in order to fix my fingerings and such. I also love animals, and cats are my favorite. :) Thanks for your post, and have a blessed week!

  13. sarah beth says:

    I LOVE THIS! I’m probably going to link up…like, way later on. Ha. I’m in the middle of a few projects at my blog, but you have really inspired me. I’m so glad Twitter recommended I follow you! (I’m not joking. I’m here because of Twitter. Ha!)

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