Dear 13-year-old self, I know what you are thinking. You are not tall enough. You are not pretty enough. You are not smart enough. You don’t sing well enough. You don’t look old enough. You are not good enough.
It’s not true.
Unfortunately, it is going to take you a long time to figure out that you are believing a whole barrel full of lies. But one day, when you are 17 and the world feels heavy and you’ve been seeking your worth in all the wrong things you will stand up and say, “Rescue me, Jesus.”
And, from that day forward you will live to live and not to die.
10 years later after running hard and fast and doing your best to prove to yourself, to God, and to others that you are good enough you will have your first baby. She will turn your world upside down in the lovliest way. She will challenge you to look in the mirror and face your good-enoughs. She will cause you to look to your heavenly Father and for the first time understand that His love for you is just because. He doesn’t love you for anything you’ve ever done. He loves you for who you are.
2 years and one month later you will have your second child. He will turn your world upside down all over again. All the pride you collected about mothering will be shattered...thank you, Jesus. He will cause you to raise your white flag and surrender your try-hard mentality. He will cause you to learn that it is really true when Paul says, “In my weakness, He is my strength. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses...”
2 years and about one month later you will embark on something that would baffle Mrs. Simms. The “Carden Crew” would have a really hard time believing that you, of all people, would enter into such a challenge.
You will run. But this time you are not running to prove something, that you are good enough. You are running for your life and the lives of those who matter to God. It’s true. And somewhere about 6 weeks into your training and your running you will realize that all this time, for the last 31 years, you were still believing lies about yourself. The truth is that you can run. God created you with the capacity and ability to run and then He gave you a passion for compassion so you would say yes and trust Him that He will once again meet you where you might be weak.
Dear 13-year-old self, this last weekend you and your incredible husband (yes, you do “find the one,” so chill a bit...) took the kids out for a 5 mile run on the beach in Santa Barbara. You ran and he pulled them in the bike trailer, cheering you on as you had one of the best runs yet. Crazy, right?! I’m not making this up.
You see, Allison, here is the deal...
When you were 13 you thought that the world revolved around you...as most 13 year olds do...and you thought that your worth and purpose were based on what other people thought about you. These lies lead to fear...fear of what people think, fear of failure...fear of the unknown. Fear crippled you and caused you to make some pretty dumb decisions at times. However, God knew this and had an incredible plan, a great story, a real page turner, unfolding in your life.
He had a plan for you. A call. A destiny. A hope. A future. He set aside a job for you to do that on your own strength, you would fail miserably but with Him, in Him and through Him, His glory, not yours, would be shown.
With all that said, my sweet 13-year-old self, don’t lose heart. Don’t lose faith. Don’t lose hope. The journey you are on is one of rescue, redemption and restoration. It’s breathtaking in the worst and best ways and beautiful.
It’s what you were created for.