Updated: Jun 16, 2020
As I was driving & listening to the song of the same name by Mercy Me,
I started to think of the valuable life lessons that I could’ve told the younger me. If you’re anything like me, you turn experience into wisdom by reflecting. Yes reflection is good for me now but how much more beneficial could my processed life lessons be to wide eyed teenagers with time on their side.
I’ll share a few pivotal lessons with the greatest impact on my life. You can fill your name in the blank or share this with other young people that might find it beneficial. As I share don’t judge me, my brain wasn’t finished developing and a host of other excuses. But honestly, I’m grateful for all the life lessons small, bad and the costly ones too. They helped develop my character, strengthen my tenacity, improved my decision making skills and ultimately grew me up. Now as a mature, compassionate, professional contributing to society, it’s all working out for my good.
Dear Younger _________________
1. Listen to & honor your parents. They may not know everything but they have age & experience on their side. And when your life comes crashing down you want to be able to go to them & not feel guilty trying to handle life alone because you didn’t.
2. Don’t take shortcuts. Do the foundational work because life is comprehensive. Life is a series of learning opportunities and tests. If you don’t learn the lesson, apply the knowledge & pass the test, it’s coming around again. and again. and again. Have integrity. Do what’s right just because it’s RIGHT.
3. Keep praying, communicating, exploring, journaling and processing life continually. Things won’t always be this easy and life will get hard. You will need a healthy & tested method to get you through the tough times, so find what works and stick with it.
4. Don’t give people equal access to you. Once trust is built & consistent character is observed over time you will know how much access to give. Guard your gifts, time, heart, mind-ideas, thoughts & plans. Everyone doesn’t need to know everything.
5. Not everyone with you is for you. People can be selfish, not to hurt you but to benefit themselves. People knowingly & unknowingly say/do things that can damage you if you don’t manage expectations. Don’t take it personally because it’s a reflection of themselves not you.
6. People & circumstances are seasonal so don’t take it personally when someone’s season ends in your life. It may not end nicely, respectfully, logically or peacefully but value what they brought to your life & keep moving. It’s not the end of the world.
7. Study abroad while in school. It’s not as scary as people make it seem. You will have invaluable experiences & it’s less expensive while you’re young.
8. Keep going to purity class even though people question & don’t value your commitment. You’re worth the wait.
9. Don’t seriously date until you discover your purpose and direction for your life. Having focus on & commitment to someone going in the opposite direction of your destination doesn’t make sense. You will be delayed or derailed from where you you need to be. "Don’t waste your pretty" says Demetria Lucas.
10. Don’t let pride keep you committed to a bad decision just because you’ve been committed to the decision. Don’t be afraid of how it looks to other people. You can change your mind & make another decision.
11. Don’t let fear keep you from your dream. You can do it afraid, but do it. Regret is harder to deal with than fear. Stay Focused & keep moving.
12. When people show you who they are, believe them & deal with them accordingly.
13. Apologize quickly. Forgive sincerely. Reflect and be accountable for your part in the situation.
14. Regularly take vacations. Take breaks for introspection & correction. Unplug for self care. People will be OK without you.
15. Agree to meet the family of the handsome Engineer whose words and actions are aligned, exhibiting love in action. Trust consistent love in action more than words.
16. Focus & complete the dual degree program. You have momentum.
17. Don’t let pride keep you from great opportunities. You are as great as you think you are but remain humble, you still have lots to learn. Mentors give you access to people you wouldn’t otherwise know and can accelerate your progress to your next level.
18. Invest equally in all areas of your life: relational, physical, spiritual, financial, mental, professional. Be intentional about being well rounded and balanced. Be challenged to be a lifelong learner.
Bonus- *Don’t get student loans & *Don’t agree to marry a person that doesn’t honor your morals or value your purpose.
Time is one commodity you will never get back. And peace is life’s greatest asset. Don’t waste your time on things that have no eternal reward or lasting impact. You won’t always get it right, but as long as you learn the lesson and do your best you’re still winning. Don’t be so hard on yourself & give yourself the same grace you give to other people.
I love you Tina LaShon. You are worthy of every good and perfect gift God has for you. Be patient to wait on the promises God has for you. It will all work out for your good and will be worth the wait. Keep moving, you’re gonna make it.
Grace & Peace