I want to offer this encouragement for the teenage girl who is hurting, whatever that might look like in her life. These years can be so emotional, so confusing, and so hard. Besides having a teenage girl of my own, I have worked with teens for over 30 years and I have encountered many girls who struggle with feeling vulnerable, confused, scared, and unsure of how they are going to cope with the pressures and problems they face during these challenging years.
The growing pains our teen girls endure can sometimes be too much to bear. I know.
I hope and pray these words speak into the hearts of those teenage girls who need some encouragement right now…
Dear beautiful girl,
You may be feeling so overwhelmed, full of intense emotions that seem scary, confusing, and hard to understand.
Right now you are experiencing a keen awareness of this emerging raw and vulnerable side of you that is often hidden from view. You try to guard your fragility that lies underneath the smiles, the day-to-day motions you go through while pretending you’re okay.
All the pressures and problems you face can lead you to feel unsure, insecure, and sad. It’s an agonizing place to be.
I want you to know something.
Strength and hope will come from these struggles.
Did you know that?
You see, something you may not fully understand just yet is that we are ALL unsure, insecure, and vulnerable and these are the hard places where growth takes place.
You may feel so alone, but you are not.
Even the girl who struts the halls with sheer confidence and popularity feels this way. Even the jock who seems to dominate the field has hidden hurts too. They just don’t show it, much like you…
But because of your ability to identify those difficult emotions, you are stronger. You have the ability to acknowledge you don’t feel secure in your own skin and you may not understand everything you are going through. And you know what?
That is normal.
Completely and utterly normal.
You love, are normal.
Everyone struggles. Everyone needs help. Everyone has their own issues to manage.
So if you think you’re weird, broken, insecure, and so messed up.
Listen up, okay?
This is the time in your life where emotions emerge that you have never felt before, and ideas and opinions all clash and conflict and rise with a fierceness you can’t control. You may feel weak, scared, and confused. You may not know what to do with all these feelings that circle around you like a hungry hawk, ready to dive in for the kill. There may be a bottomless dark pit that swallows you up or a twisting tornado that grips your thoughts and tightens your nerves.
You might even feel like you’re losing your mind.
You are not losing your mind.
You are submerged in the battle. The perfect storm of adolescence.
You are emerging into your womanhood and awakening to the big scary world.
You’re growing up fast, as your body is rapidly changing and you’re not even sure you like it. In fact, you might even hate it. Your hormones are surging through your body with rapid-fire flooding you with overwhelming and unpredictable shots of emotion that are foreign to you. The world as you once knew it, is opening up and sometimes you feel it’s swallowing you whole.
So where’s the strength and hope in THAT you ask?
It’s in the growing.
It’s in the exploring all you have and what you’re made of.
You are discovering who you are and often it can be a painful process, full of grand mistakes and long hard falls. But it’s in this season you are learning so very much…
These are the years you begin to realize that you have soft places that need protection and scary wounds that need attention. You are exploring all the delicate discoveries and complicated questions and unsettling emotions you have. You are becoming aware of what makes you feel all these emotions. And through each scary step, you are building strength by enduring the hard-fought battles and learning how to take care of this you, you are becoming.
And growing up will lead you toward realizing your worth, as you persevere through difficult decisions and battle boundary lines for the sake of self-protection. This is the road that will lead you to embrace who you are while claiming your strengths, your talents, your gifts. This is the most important season you will endure because you are learning about yourself, and understanding how to care for, guard, and nourish the soft spots and hard places within who you are.
It may be scary. It may be hard.
But this is your own personal road to self-discovery, self-preservation, and self-worth.
This is the journey toward honoring who you are and where you fit into this world.
Your ability to feel deeply and see clearly, that which makes you thrive or makes you hide, is the most valuable gift you have.
You are armed with knowledge and equipped with wisdom.
You have a fierce kind of purpose right now.
And you are growing through every step you take through it all.
Keep shining your light on those things that make you feel strong and reach out for help in exploring those things which make you feel weak.
This season will end and a new one will begin and you will have evolved into the beautiful woman you were meant to be.
You may not feel it now, but let me assure you dear one…
You’re going to be just fine.
The original version of this post first appeared on Grown and Flown.