Answer: I would tell her to take some deep breaths in and out! Knowing what I know now about my life it’s hard to imagine what I would tell a younger version of myself. Many have asked me if I knew how my life was going to turn out would I still make the same decisions? The answer is a resounding YES! Everything I have walked through has brought me to where I am today and I would not change any of the choices I’ve made, well…. except for maybe some unfortunate fashion choices in the mid-90’s.
In all seriousness, while there’s nothing I would change there is more information I wished I knew as a young girl. Here is my top three.
-You are enough! I wish I could tell younger Sarah a million things. Be true to yourself. Stop caring about what others think. Leave boys alone until you are old enough for a real relationship; the list goes on and on. I was a very wounded, insecure and scared little girl all the way until I reached my 20’s when I finally came into my own. I look back on who I was and feel sorry for that precious girl. As I have grown into adulthood I have embraced the wisdom, perspective and freedom that has come with age. I wish I could go back and tell the girl, who was so insecure, that she is a work in progress and as time goes on she will continue to bloom.
-Stop thinking about what you are “called to do” and instead do what makes your heart soar. Oh the elusive “calling on your life” phrase. If you have ever been in any kind of church or youth group setting you probably heard endlessly about it. I cannot tell you how much of my life I wasted trying to BE exactly where I needed to be in order for God to “use” my life and achieve my “calling”. I wasted many hours, and put WAY too much pressure on myself to get it right. Then, by happenstance, I started writing as a release to the incredible pressures I was enduring in my life. I loved it. It never felt like a job or something I had to do so I continued on. Through simply doing what I loved I eventually stepped into where I was supposed to be. It never felt difficult, forced, or from a place of striving. I wish I could have known at 14 years old that as long as I pursued what my heart loved (which I believe what was placed inside of me for a reason) I would eventually get to where I needed to be.
-Love is worth it. The saying is true “it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.” Even knowing what I know about the ending, I would have never changed Joel and my beginning. I would have never run away from him even knowing I would lose him. What came from our love is an incredible story, beautiful children, and my life’s most special moments. I hate that I didn’t get him in my life for longer but I still treasure the time we had. Too many times in my life I tried to self-protect to the point where I had nothing to show for it. When I met my husband I fell hard and quickly. I opened myself up to possibility and have not, for one moment, ever wished I could take it back. Open up your heart to others. Take risks. It’s worth it.
Thanks for your question Jamie!