It just occurred to me this week that when I was my daughter’s age (15) I met three hugely important and influential people that would completely change my life.

My first real best friend, who is still in my life.

Her father, who is but who also very much isn’t.

And Jesus, who is more real to me now than he was over twenty-six years ago.

Here’s what I’d want her to know, if I could tell her anything about each of these pivotal relationships.

A best friend is a gift and a treasure, something that not everyone gets to have.  Growing up, I struggled so very much to find a best friend of my own and now I have more than I ever dreamed.  Never take your friends for granted.  Build into the ones that make you a better person, who share your love of God, who cry with you and make you laugh.  And be the kind of friend you are looking for…be that loyal, trustworthy, compassionate, gentle, fun person. 

Don’t be in a hurry to find your husband. Easier said than done, I know.  But don’t follow in your mom’s footsteps with this one.  I was desperate to have my future locked into place.  I ran ahead of God and I have lived to pay the price.  I wouldn’t trade your father in my life for anything in the world because I have you and your brother, but I believe God saw something different for my future than what I chose.  I selfishly hope you don’t already know your husband yet, because I want you to become who God wants you to be first.  Trust him.  I know it’s hard, but trust him to bring you who he wants for you when he wants to do so.  God’s intended gifts are infinitely better than the ones we grab for ourselves.

Jesus will never leave you.  You’ve already experienced much heartache, at your sweet young age.  And you may have felt alone, which I totally get, but you never have been.  You may feel like Jesus disappoints you from time to time, but that’s only because you’re wanting things to be a certain way that he doesn’t deem best for you.  Tough pill to swallow, but totally true.  You may not always feel him or experience his peace…these lessons surprised and devastated me, but I realized that if Jesus always performed the way I thought he should, well then, a) he was probably more a God of my imagination than the real thing, and b) if he’s not mysterious and sometimes non-understandable, how majestic of a God is that anyway?  You are blessed to have known God this long.  I know you will need to push out from the shore of my faith at some point and really make it your own – and frankly, that scares me to death – but I’m trusting that God will hold you through all of that, and I can’t wait to see the woman you become when God is really your God and not just an extension of mine. 

You’re so young, precious girl.  Fifteen is so, so young.  And though so much of your life is still ahead of you, waiting for you to experience it, you’ve already got this solid foundation --- you know that you are loved.  So hold onto that truth through whatever comes your way.

(c) Elisabeth K. Corcoran, 2012

Elisabeth is mom to Sara (15-1/2) and Jack (14).  She loves spending time with her kids, her friends, reading and writing.  She is the author of At the Corner of Broken & Love: Where God Meets Us in the Everyday; One Girl, Third World: One Woman’s Journey into Social Justice; He Is Just That Into You: Stories of a Faithful God who Pursues, Engages, and Has No Fear of Commitment; In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart; and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul.  All these books can be purchased on Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle.

Visit her website and her blog. You can follow her on Twitter at ekcorcoran or friend her on Facebook.

If you are in a difficult marriage or find yourself going through a difficult divorce, I have created two private groups on Facebook that I would like to invite you to. Simply email me at elisabethkcorcoran@gmail.com, let me know if you're interested in the married group or separated/divorced group, then send me a friend request on Facebook. If you're in need of some encouragement, I invite you to join us.

Elisabeth is a proud Member of Redbud Writer's Guild.

Publication date: November 1, 2012