Browsing through my old writings circa 2006, I learnt some things from the 19 year-old me that this 25 year-old Samantha (now almost 30!) had lost along the journey of growing up. I have stopped writing for a long time, and somewhere along the way, the bright-eyed idealism & passionate convictions of my youth have mellowed considerably – adults call it “growing up”, but the younger me would’ve called it “compromise”.
Like a good friend of mine recently told me, I need to start dreaming again. To dare to dream, dare to feel, dare to live. I think that is why God has been telling me to start writing again, and I am taking a step of obedience beginning with the resurrection of this blog. I have no idea what I will be writing, so I will just obey one step at a time and see how my Lord leads.
For now, here is an article from my 19 year-old self…
“The preoccupations of teenage girls – their looks, their social life – do not change much from generation to generation. But in every generation, there seems to be a few who make other choices” – Elisabeth Elliot
Please don’t turn the page just yet. If you are not a teenage girl, give me a chance; this writing might still have something for you.
If you are a teenage girl, please hear something from this writer’s heart; the heart of a girl-not-yet-a-woman whose experience with the world thus far, and with God the Father, might shine some light into these areas of your life.
The lessons God has taught me – the experience of joy and grief – can be summed up in the four words “Set apart for God”.
Too often my heart has been broken. I am not even talking about romantic relationships here. Sure, my heart has been broken by boys before (and by the way, you don’t have to be an “official couple” to have your heart broken; it gets broken the moment you stop allowing Jesus to be the One who guards it), but there are so many other people who have broken our hearts, aren’t there?
Friends, family, leaders, countries, organizations.
Betrayal, intimidation, telling you that you must be a certain way, making you feel worthless for being you, not listening, not really seeing you, telling you that it’s not enough to just be you… where does the list end, girls?
These pressures sometimes make it difficult for me to be set apart for God. How do I reconcile the fact that if I choose to spend time with God tonight, then I’ll miss being with my friends, enjoying great fellowship with them? How do I choose between these things that are both good?
And that is why I like what Leslie Ludy says about authentic beauty. In every generation, there are a few young women that discover their true Prince. Just like the Princesses in childhood fairytales, once they meet this Prince and realize His indescribable love for them, they willingly give up everything else to follow him to the ends of the earth. They live a life with their Prince that is utterly different from the world around them.
They are radiant.
They are confident.
They are fulfilled.
They possess a truly authentic beauty that flows from within.
They are world changers.
They are set apart in complete and utter devotion to their Prince.
And they stand out from among all other young women like a lily among thorns.
Still, we cannot deny that we long to be beautiful. Not just to be seen as physically attractive, but something deeper than that. We long to be treasured, cherished, worth going after. Not just beautiful to God but also beautiful to the world.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. This is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.” 1 Peter 3:3-6
that’s why I love the Bible. It’s a beauty manual, did you know that, dear sisters?
If you look through it carefully, the Bible is chock-full of beauty tips. A complete guide on “How to be beautiful” written by the One who designed you and, therefore, would know the best methods. It’s all there in the Bible, ladies.
There is so much more I want to share, so much more my sisters need to know. But for now, this is what God has called me to, and there will be time for more in the future. I would like to end with a quote from someone very wise, a quote that has helped me no end in my relationships: “A woman should bury her heart so deep in Jesus that only a man who would go through Him can find it.”
You are special. You are precious. You are worth fighting for.
You are a Princess.
Your Prince is waiting with arms wide open.
So set yourself apart for Him.
Set yourself apart for the One Man who deserves your tears.
The One Man who would never make you cry.
The One Man who sheds tears over your lost and broken heart.
Common sense says that if you choose the higher standard, you will never find a man.
Let go of Common Sense; you aren’t called to be common.
Set yourself apart, Princess.