How did I get here? I look at myself and I remember the eleven-year old me … the one who planned good-bye parties for Kelsey & Kimi … who diligently delivered papers every day at 5:30am … whose greatest pleasure in life was buying American Girl doll clothes … who looked up so very much to the big girls like Kristi … who screamed and ran away from the teasing boys … that little girl is so very vivid and alive within me, it’s hard to realize that I’m all grown up now. I’m at that place that I only ever dreamed about when I was younger …
… and how strange it is to look at the ten and eleven year olds of now, and think about how I used to be them. Now I’ve gone through life experiences … I’m teaching others about what I’ve learned … I’m creating a life that once only lived in my dreams. And is it what I thought it would be? No, not at all. For somehow when I was little, I thought that when I got to these ages of 20 and 23, I would become a completely different person. Surprise, little me! I’m still you – just a little older [and – maybe? – more mature]. All of the things I loved and held dear still live within me … my dreams haven’t changed, and when I look in the mirror, I still see that freckle-faced, wide-eyed adventuresome girl who loved to explore graveyards and name her bike and imagine fairies playing amongst the flowers.
I’ll admit it. I have changed. I’ve realized more fully than ever who I actually am. God has revealed to me what my purpose truly is in life, and I’ve gained a great peace about life and my direction in it. I’ve become solidified in who I am as a person … which I possessed as a child, just unconsciously and so innocently, that it was a part of me without my realization. It was just a fight and a struggle through the emotional, insecure, wavering teen [and beyond] years to bring me full-circle back to who God has made me to be.
There are still many things that are unknown to me. Nobody knows the future, least of all me. I never would have imagined that I would be here today – being a leader, seeing dreams be fulfilled – in my life and in others’ – having dreams that I didn’t even know were possible. But that’s the beauty of walking life down God’s pathway. If you are at peace with Him and completely open to His guiding and plans – you just never know what will come your way. He’ll surprise you and delight you with the best of His blessings.
So to all you darling, wonderful ten and eleven year old girls out there – cherish it. Enjoy this moment of your childhood and don’t ever wish to grow up too fast. Delight in the wonderful things that being your age call for, and don’t ever be ashamed. You’ll only get to be that age once … and then you get to grow up to other things. Love life and love being you so much that when you get older, you’ll have beautiful memories to look back upon.
Sage advice. I should take it to heart. Because before I know it, tomorrow will come, and I will be a 40-year old mama … looking back on the “wisdom” of 23-year old me with a smile, knowing so much more than I do now. But that’s okay. I’m fine with all that I know now … can’t wait to learn even more and be surprised by God’s blessings in the future … but I’m incredibly happy at this age and all that it offers to me. Because no matter what, that little girl with the long brown braids and an affinity for her brightly colored imagination will always live within me … and carry me on adventures of the grandest sort. :]
2 thoughts on “Eleven Year Old Me”
Love it! You were (and ARE!) a one-of-kind girl. And I mean that as a highest compliment. From planning my 9 year old goodbye party, to walking dogs at the pound, to saving up paper route money to come visit me, to now being all grown up and leading young people yourself…God has blessed you with gifts of leadership and creativity. It's so neat to see God at work in your life. I love you!
Amen! Beautiful. Thanks Lydia. 🙂