Dear Younger Julie
I know you’re in pain. I know you feel like nobody likes you right now. I know you have hopes and aspirations that seem unreasonable. I know you feel like a nothing and a nobody and that people are telling you that you will never amount to anything because you’re a girl, you’re a Liddell, you’re a Vowell, you’re white trash, you’re not smart enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re just not enough of anything and you’ll never get anywhere in life.
But you’re going to prove them all wrong. You’re going to find the man you’re going to marry right off the bat in college and while it’s not going to be easy, you’re going to discover the love of your life. His name is Bob Whitehead and he’s waiting to meet you. He’s going to love you more than you can ever understand, more than anyone else could ever love you. Don’t worry about finding love—it will find you.
You will develop some friends that will last you a lifetime. Lorie McClure is going to be your friend forever, just like she is now. You’re going to meet others. Stefanie, Mike, Rob, Mary Jane, KT, Jesse, Marlo, Jo, Holly, Candy. They all will be your friends to the ends of the earth. They will support and be good to you in ways you can’t even imagine.
You know how you want to write for the news? You will one day. You’re going to do journalism for ten years and love every second of it. You will be published. People back home are going to read your articles and be proud to say they know you. And you’ll do more than that. You’re going to write plays, short stories, and articles that people want to read and be a part of. You’re going to win awards. You’re going to touch people’s lives with your writing in ways you can’t even imagine now. Your words are going to help people who are having a very rough time of it all over the world.
You know how you’re scared to have kids? You’re going to be a wonderful mom. You’re going to raise three girls who love God and who know how to take care of themselves. Where you can’t help them, you’ll find someone that will. You’ll be their head cheerleader, their advocate, their encourager. They’re going to be as proud of you as you are of them—because you’re going to teach them resilience and courage in the face of problems.
You’re going to do all this in spite of your vision problems, your depression, your low self-esteem. You’re going to overcome all that and make a life that people will envy. You’re going to prove that you can do anything through Christ Jesus who strengthens you. You’re going to develop a work ethic that will serve you well. You’re going to develop the ability to bounce back from rejection. You’re going to influence lives through teaching, writing, mentoring, and loving other people. You’re going to be able to talk about miracles of healing in your own life.
The only thing you will learn that you really need is God. One day you’re going to learn that he loves you so much. It will take a lot for him to get your attention, but be thankful that he does. He’s going to open doors for you that you can’t see in such a miraculous way that you will know that he’s there with you. He’s going to protect you and shelter you from yourself. You don’t need to be afraid of him. He loves you and will always be with you as he’s promised in John 16. Rest in that, not in the peace that the world gives, but in the peace he promises.
Don’t give up on life. God’s going to do all this and more. Hang in there, honey. Hope is on the way.
Julie Whitehead currently writes and blogs from Mississippi at her personal blog. She has been a university lecturer, a disability examiner, and a freelance writer. She carries a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and blogs to create awareness and help others understand the disease and its effects.