This post has been manifesting itself in my heart since the day I decided to start this blog. It has been evolving, it has been maturing, it has been hiding. The growth I have gone through in the past few months has happened so rapidly and exponentially that this post did as well, and it has finally come out of hiding. My past, the decisions I made, are what have held me back in every area of my life; motherhood, marriage, being a follower of Christ, my work, everything. I have used it as an excuse to halt the growth of the seed that God planted in my heart that has been trying to burst from me for years now.

I hope my girls can read this one day. To understand that their mother was not always the woman they know, but rather was a girl that didn’t know her worth. And they learn from that. They learn that God put them on this earth for a reason and that reason will not be determined by anyone else. They learn that no matter what, Dominic and I will love them. God will love them. That forgiveness is always going to be there. But just as any mom, I hope they do better than me.

Lauren,

Right now you feel as though you know everything, everything except yourself. You hide this fact with false confidence and low cut shirts. Deep down you know it, but it is a realization that won’t come to the surface until you are ready to learn from it. To grow. To do better. 

The decisions you are making now, feel like they won’t impact the rest of your life, but they will, in ways you can’t imagine. Good decisions, bad decisions, seemingly insignificant decisions, all of them. I know it is hard to see outside the walls of your teenage years, to think about the rest of your life, but I wish you could try. I wish you could see what you become, what you overcome. So then maybe you won’t find your worth through the eyes of a boy that doesn’t value you for anything except your body. But rather, to see your worth through the eyes of God, through the eyes of your future husband, through the eyes of your daughters. They will forgive you for the decisions you make now, but the one who will have the most trouble with the forgiveness is yourself. 

These days seem like the most important of your life, but there will be days that will stay in your heart forever. The day your best friend asks you to marry him under the lights of a Christmas tree, the day you stand before God, your family, and your friends and become one with that man, the days you do what you think you could never do and bring two beautiful girls in to this world, the time in your life when you figure out what God put you on this earth to do. The days of walking the high school hallways wondering and worrying who might be looking at you, or who might not be looking at you, the days of drinking in a pasture trying to impress a boy that won’t even remember you years later, the days of trying to prove yourself to those who truly don’t matter and will have no place in your future, those are not the days that will matter the most in the larger picture God is painting of your life.

It will take years to find your true self no matter the decisions you make now. But the one piece of advice I give you, is to follow your heart, your intuition, God’s voice in the depths of your soul. You know what to do. You are stronger than you know. 

It’s true that what I regret most is part of what shaped me into the woman I am today, but I know I could have done better. You can do better. But it is okay. Because God forgives you. Your husband forgives you. And I forgive you.

Love always,

You.