I have been thinking about what I would say to the 17 year old version of myself.
With the experience and knowledge that I have now, I have been asking myself how I would use it to change my life if I could go back in time.
Everyday I am surrounded by students who are in a pivotal point in their lives. If I don’t see them face to face, I can see them on Facebook, BBM, text message, or other forms of social media. I can see the updated relationship status’, pictures from their weekend, status updates and words that reflect the condition of their heart, the songs that they identify with, their comings and goings, and it goes on, and on.
I finally realized that there is nothing I can do about the choices that I made when I was in high school, whether they were good or bad, but I can take the wisdom that they brought, and pass it on.
If I could sit down with the 17 year old version of myself here is what I would say:
We are all on a journey, with hurts and disappointments, so go easy on people.
Sacrifice is one of life’s greatest rewards... if not right now, some day down the road.
God is real.
One day you will marry a youth pastor... I know, crazy, especially because you aren’t a Christian.
You should save some money for college, and not spend it on clothes that won’t fit you when you gain the freshman 15.
Just because you believe that you may be in love with someone, you may not be ready to be in love with them.
When you mess up, that doesn’t mean you have to exclude yourself from God.
Nothing good happens after 12am.
Your grades matter.
It’s never too late to make things right with people, and God.
Being a Christian is hard, but it’s worth it.
Guard your heart.
What you think, you will speak. What is in your heart, will show in your actions.
Get to the root of your bitterness, nobody likes a 17 year old with attitude.
Your parents are amazing people, who love you, and want the best for you. Stop behaving like a spoiled brat.
Life’s not fair. It gets harder the older you get, and moves quicker, and quicker as the days go by.
Not everyone will believe what you believe.
Your hurt is real, even if people tell you that you haven’t had enough life experience to know what pain is.
Stop fighting with your brother. Love him for who he is, and be nice!
Being mean to people is just a sign of insecurity. Love yourself, so you can love others.
One day ICQ will not be cool, and people won’t know what you are talking about when you bring it up.
If you love money, you will never have enough.
Britney Spears probably isn’t the best role model.
In the big picture, popularity in high school probably isn’t a “must”. Geeks will rule the world... wait until you see an iPod!
Hurt people...hurt people.
One day you are going to move to Saskatoon... yes, it’s cold, and the winters are long- but you will love it.
One day your dream of being a dental hygienist will actually come true.
One encounter with God will change your life forever.
If you are always searching for the next thing to make your life better... you will never be content.
You won’t be able to eat all that candy and get away with it once you turn 20.
There is a difference between happiness and joy.
Reading your bible and talking to God actually effect your life.
God wants to fulfill the desires of your heart, so start dreaming big.
Even though you want to get out of your town, you will miss it one day.
Don’t let your pride and fear of others hold you back from your destiny.
You are never too young to worship God.
Christianity is only complicated when we make it that way.
Take some chances.
The eyes of the Lord are searching the world looking for one who's heart is completely devoted to him, so do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.
My grade 12 picture, 17 years old!