Dear Sweet Sixteen,
Dear Sweet Sixteen,
You gave your everything to that boy. Your heart was so full, so ripe and ready, and it opened like a flower to the first sunlight that fell on it. He was there and willing, and you held nothing back of your whole, shining soul. But he didn’t know the value of the gift offered, and he was like a small boy playing mud pie with gold dust. And when he tired of the new game, he walked away.
He walked away with all that gold dust still clinging to his fingers—bits of your heart and your thoughts and your affections, and your old soul. What to do now?
The temptation will be to walk in fear. The temptation will be to grasp like a life-preserver onto anything that might give you worth to salve the wounds. Another boy, another relationship, anything to make you feel better about yourself. You still care about the first boy. (He’s not your enemy, and you know that.) Your heart is play-doh fresh out of the can. You still hope he will change his mind.
I want you to change yours instead, dear one. I want you to decide that you won’t waste another minute in a relationship with someone who doesn’t see your worth. You have an old soul in a sixteen year old body, and it just doesn’t sit well, and you want to reconcile the differences. You want to shave away the internal discord by compromising your standards and accepting the lesser options before you.
Someday there will be a man, not a boy. And he will be enthralled with your beauty, outer and inner. He will see your soul and that glimpse will leave him breathless and desperate to see more. The road will be rocky because relationships are always rocky and always worth it. But the pattern will be this: he will respect you and desire you and you will respect him and desire him, too. And while you may not always be on the same page, you will know that he believes you’re worth it. And you’ll know he is worth it.
This man will be whole. He will have flaws, but he will be the same person in public as he is in private. He will have sweet words for you in secret, but he will also treat you with respect in public. He will never call you fat, not even in jest because he knows that will hurt you. He will encourage your passions and your friendships, because he cares about the state of your soul-soil, and he knows these things enrich it.
Dear one, you haven’t had a father in your life to show you that it’s not too much to ask for in a man. That’s why I am writing to tell you—it’s not too much to ask for. Ask for it (from God who gives all good gifts and delights to do so). Wait for it. Expect it. Demand it.
And when you don’t. When you settle for less, forgive yourself. Cry your tears, dry your tears, start over. You are still learning how to care-take this precious soul you’ve been given.