01 Jul An open letter to teenagers – July 15
By Poppy Ivone
I’ve always believed that adolescence is well and truly THE most difficult season in life and that many of you are struggling to stay afloat. Add instinctual drive for freedom to raging hormones that cause a generous helping of mood swings, shocking sexual thoughts, an assortment of weird physical and biological changes PLUS the crippling weight of peer pressure, and we’ve basically got the recipe for awkward, volatile, rebellious, oft bi-polar youths with chronically low self-esteem. When I see a teenager who can centre him or herself enough to find their anchor in the Lord and be passionate about Him, it really is nothing short of extraordinary!
If you make it alive through this stage in your life, CONGRATS! Nothing you will encounter afterwards is likely to rival the sheer intensity of the teenage years. Young adulthood is infinitely kinder. Uni life? Relatively a piece of cake & is really quite enjoyable. Young professional life? Challenging in a good, non-suicidal-inducing kind of way.
I believe that the latent potential of a teenager is massive. If you could harness & maximise your capacity well in this period, there is no telling what you could achieve in the future! When you can manage to produce good fruits in drought seasons, think of what you are capable of doing in times of plenty. But remember that you can only harvest what you sow. And that much will depend on the ‘invisible’ groundwork that you are willing to put in from the start.
So don’t idle your time away! Get up and get over yourself. Don’t worry so much about what other people think of you. Chances are they are too busy worrying what others think of them! Instead, use your energy to focus on things that matter. Develop a skill, take up a new interesting hobby, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them, practice discernment – what’s useful, what’s rubbish, and most of all, hold fast onto the Lord. Get sticky with God! “He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)” even when everything else will. Store His Words in your heart for they are “a lamp” to your feet and “a light” to your path (Psalm 119:105). They will keep you from stumbling.
Young (King) David sought the Lord in his green and tender days, probably feeling in-between, insignificant and expendable, just like you. Yet he found comfort and strength from the Lord and understood that he mattered in His eyes. I pray that you will also be firmly planted in God and your roots grow deep and strong through the many seasons of life, however hard they may be.
Poppy, an Ex-Teen