I am a woman with a good memory. With every replay of ‘I Don’t Wanna’ Wait’ (yep. I’m of the Dawson’s Creek era.), all those crazy teenager-ish days come rushing back to me…the mixed emotions, the pressure of preparing for The Rest of My Life, the desire for love and friendship and fun, the fear that I wouldn’t get everything I wanted, the fear that I wouldn’t get ANYthing I wanted, the wondering if there was some purpose for my life…and all this while I was hoping my ears weren’t sticking out through my hair and praying for some miracle to help me pass pre-cal. There was all of that and, as you know, more. And because I remember all that, and because I know that the world is even scarier and more confusing now than it was then, I am writing this blog. If you are a girl and you are in the middle of texting and studying and thinking about a million things at once…if behind all of that busy-ness, you feel afraid that you can’t measure up, afraid that no one will ever love you for just being you, afraid that tomorrow won’t ever be better than today…then I’m writing this so that you will know that you ARE loved. You ARE special, in all of your imperfection. I am not a preacher or any sort of expert in a theological field…but I know what I have lived and felt and seen. And that is this: God is real. His love for you goes beyond what your mind can even begin to imagine. He can take the thing that you feel most ashamed of — the thing that makes you think no one would love you if they knew about it — and He can bring something good from it. He sees the real you — and He thinks you are beautiful, wonderful. He wants you to have peace and true happiness and hope that’ll last forever…He wants a relationship with you. I know all of this because He did it for me. I’m not perfect — I’m still learning and screwing up and sometimes making a mess of things — but when I feel alone and anxious, He is always there. He forgives and helps me to do better the next time around…and I’m hoping that as I share whatever I’m studying and going through, you’ll get to know Him better. If you relate to anything (or everything) I’ve mentioned, please stick around. I don’t know, exactly, how this will all play out…but I’m going to do my best to pass along this message: you are His beloved.