When I started thinking about writing to you, I started by making a list of all the things I would warn you; tell you what not to do. I thought about drinking less, not dating so and so, being kinder, or keeping up with your pelvic floor exercises. I thought I would tell you to work harder, waste less time, to change your mind about the things you think you want. But to think of you where you are right now, you are young, you are complicated, you are creative, you are funny, you are much better than you think you are.
But you know what, you’ve been told what to do enough. You’ve had equal pressure to grow up but also to stay young, it's confusing. The biggest obstacle for you is going to be allowing yourself to trust your emotions, you're going to be tempted to skip the process, you will want to move on too quickly, you will shut people off because having them in your life hurts. When you hurt, be hurt, when you want to cry, cry, and when you're happy skip into it and throw it around like confetti. Learn to trust your gut, you know more than you think. You will be taught that a good Christian uses their head, not their “weak” emotions. I can tell you the fruit is best when you trust your emotions, and when you don’t you will get sick.
You will be taught that you can be right with God by behaving, but at the same time you must not be legalistic, living between that tension is exhausting and you will not grow. I want you to know your purity is not a starting position to be maintained at any cost, but the position God puts you in, you unquestionably belong, your purity will not be taken from you for bad behaviour. You are pure. You are not a problem to the Divine. I remember all the trauma you have held. You are doing just fine. I am proud of you.
Always be willing to change your mind, certainty will not serve you. Always be willing to listen to anyone, always speak when you need to, especially when something is hurting someone and it is in your power to speak. Life is not black and white, God is in the grey. Wherever you go, you bring God with you. You are a temple. Whoever you meet LOVE them fully, whoever they are; whatever they do. Allow no one to be humiliated in your presence (I heard that on a podcast last week). But that is where you will find your joy, meeting the quiet voices, the people who feel excluded from Church, the hurting and traumatised. Love them deeply just as the Divine accepts you, never allow someone to be excluded from faith, love, peace, kindness. You will find Jesus there.
I love you little one, and you will love your 30s.