A Letter To My 16 Year-Old Self
"Dear 16 year-old Cambria,
You don't need to search for your identity in the mirror. Remember when you looked in the mirror just to check if you liked your outfit? Well, that's all it's really good for. You won't find your identity, worth, or value there so stop looking. You're going to go through a dark time because of this but God will work it out for the good. He loves you and even though you made and will continue to make decisions that aren't the best for you, God will be with you through it all. Starving won't work. Cutting calories won't work. You won't find joy in succeeding to hurt your body in the name of perfection. Your search for happiness in the mirror, in the perfecting of your image, will leave you empty. I know you're struggling with binge eating but hold on because God will deliver you. Eat your dessert, it's your 16th birthday, the only one you'll ever have. Stop worrying about what you look like and just laugh, dance, and enjoy your cake today. It is in fact, your sweet 16. You will come out on the other side because you've continued to pray and stay close to Jesus through this. Hold onto Him and as you read the truth found in the scriptures you'll begin to understand where your identity is truly found. It won't be easy, you're walking a narrow path. You will have to let go of the desire to perfect your image. You'll have to let go of your obsession with dieting (I know it's your security blanket) but the only place you'll find true security is in Jesus Christ. Don't worry though, you'll figure that out. In the end all of the mess will be worth walking through because you'll come out stronger and with a deeper trust that God is the God of deliverance. He is mighty to save. And, you'll be able to cheer other girls on in their journey and show them how much God loves them and values them. You didn't do everything perfectly but God uses the weak to show His power is made perfect in weakness. So keep going. Enjoy your workouts and food and stop obsessing over the mirror - you'll soon discover that true beauty is not found there, you'll have to look inside. Love, 21 Year-Old Cambria"