How to Grow a Girl with Confidence


Photo Source

If only someone could have peeked into my heart.  If only someone could have known what I needed and planted seeds of His unconditional love and truth in my heart as a girl …

From the heart of my friend and amazing author/ministry teammate, Lynn Cowell:

All summer she’s been so free; so confident. Days of pony tails and swimsuits, my daughter wakes up each day to her carefree world. No worries about her make-up; she doesn’t wear any! No concerns about her wardrobe; gym shorts fit most every occasion.

As the first day of school approached, I watched her fight to hang on to her confident summer-self. Not wanting to go backward, she has struggled to stand in God’s love and embrace who He has created her to be. It’s been a daily fight as she counted down the days.

Confidence is a major factor in young people when it comes to how they feel about themselves and profoundly affects the decisions they make. Craving acceptance, approval, and affirmation, they’re tempted to make choices that will move them forward on the popularity scale or at least not cause them to stand out. Uncomfortable, miserable even, they don’t know they were made for more than fitting in.

I have found a major key in building confidence in my daughters: teaching them that Jesus is wild about them.

Understanding Jesus is the one who fills the love gap in their hearts, empowers them to not grasp at love from guys and girls alike. Truth that Jesus was wild for them (Psalm 45:11), He sees no flaw in them (Song of Songs 4:7) and He actually enjoys them (Zephaniah 3:17) transforms the way they see themselves. But before that transformation can start, they have to know this truth and that begins with hearing it every day.

Lasting confidence only comes from one source: knowing who they are. Only a foundation built on unconditional love stands. Do you see a girl struggling with low self-image? Can you read in her eyes, “Won’t someone love me the way I am?”

She needs to know when Jesus looks at her, He is not disappointed in her. She needs to know that love from a guy, be it a dad or a boyfriend, can never fill the love gap in our hearts…but He can. This is the truth she needs every day to combat the lies the world tells her.

________________

 ENTER TODAY’s GIVE-AWAY: What  is one thing you would tell your 14-year old self or a teenage girl growing up today about God’s Love? Lynn and I would love to know. And she’s going to give one of you a signed copy of “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year,”. To enter to win, simply click on the word “comments” right below this post and type in the white box to share with us.

Do you want to help pour this truth into the young women in your life? On her website, Lynn is offering a FREE “Faith Builder” –  seven devotions taken straight from her new book, “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year: 365 Days of Jesus’ Radical Love for You”. These devotions will build up the faith of the girl in your life, be it your daughter, niece and/or granddaughter so she can be filled with a confidence that is true and can stand the pressure of this world.

To celebrate the release of Devotions for a Revolutionary Year, Lynn is giving away over $75 in free contentwith each purchase! Simply purchase Devotions for a Revolutionary Year from September 4th – 11th and e-mail your receipt to freebies@lynncowell.com. You will receive in an email with a link to this free content on Lynn’s website at www.LynnCowell.com.

 

 

 

 And the WINNER is…. Jennifer {announced September 19, 2012} 

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I would tell her the most important truth she could ever know is how much God loves her…because everything else flows out of that knowing…that truth. Once you know you are loved…you can accept more readily who you are…how He made you…embrace the difference…your strengths but most importantly your weakness…everyone has them…but God does not make mistakes…He cherishes you no matter your intelligence, your athleticism, you art and music ability…He created you with only love in His heart…your life brings Him pleasure…so give Him the joy of seeing you enjoy…celebrate who He created you to be~

  2. I would tell her God is not your earthly father… He is everything your earthly father was supposed to be… in every way your biodad is flawed your heavenlyDad is perfect and He will never never never never leave you or forsake you and every way your earthly dad tries to put you down and make you feel shamed and oddly your heavenly Dad thinks your beauty is beyond compare

  3. I would tell a 14 year old me that God loves me and thinks I am beautiful. I would tell myself that the MOST important thing in life is to love God with all of your heart and to follow Him no matter what.

  4. I would tell her to stop searching for someone to love you as your earthly Father should have. Your heavenly Father loves you beyond all reason! It’s ok to be different, because God made you to be you and no one else. Stop trying to be someone else, you are one of a kind. You. Are. Beautiful!!! and He is proud of you!

  5. Vanessa Wynn says:

    I would tell a 14 year old girl that in order to be loved by a man, you first have to understand love and that in order to understand love, you have to know God. Until you know who you are in Him and understand what it truly means to be loved, you won’t understand what love should be. So many young people search for “love” in so many faces and bodies because they are trying to fill the empty gap that only God can fill, but they don’t realize this. It is a hard concept for young people to grasp.

  6. I would tell her that everything will be okay and to put your trust in God, that through him, all things are possible. Don’t spend your time trying to please others, focus on pleasing God. Seek a relationship with the Lord, be grateful for His many blessings and know that you are loved beyond measure, that you are precious in His sight. Make it known to others that you are a follower of Christ. Make decisions based on what would be pleasing to the Lord and stand up for what you believe even though others may challenge you.

    When I was 14, I heard all of this from family, church friends but it didn’t sink in at the time. But now that I am approaching 40, it’s like going back to my roots. I had my wild, fun years but I find comfort in the things I was taught early on and now I am in a position to offer advice and support to my daughters based on my own life experiences. It’s like completing the circle.

  7. If I could go back and talk heart-to-heart with my 14 year old self it would be to tell her it’s not about getting through high school fast and as unseen and unnoticed as possible. Alone is NOT the goal!

    It’s about realizing these four years are setting a foundation for the rest of your life. Don’t disconnect from God and do the next 15 years without Him. Life is hard now, but it is gonna get a lot harder. You NEED Him.

    Make GOOD friendships that last. I managed to come out with one that I am still friends with and we are still lifting each other up, but what could life have been if I had 5 such friends? 10? You will NEED those shoulders to cry on, arms to hold you up and smiles to lift you up. Making true friends as an adult is a lot harder than you can imagine.

    Finally, never, ever stop reading your Bible and talking to God. Even when you are mad. Even when you feel like He isn’t listening or isn’t there. Even when the world tells you to find you own power and make your own way. The best way to feel alone is to try and keep God from talking to you. But the best way to feel loved and accepted and wanted is to open your heart to God’s truth about YOU. A whole book written to YOU from a God who took on the world just for….you.

    There is a reason that I call Jesus my warrior. He goes before me to fight for me. Every step. I am NEVER alone. Huh. I needed to write this to see the truth once again for myself. At 36 I still need to remember and believe these things as much as I did when I was 16.

  8. I would tell her that God loves her so much…that he sent Jesus to die for her…and he wants the best for her..he wants to see her rejoice in him..and live her life for him!

  9. God’s love in not conditional. He made you exactly the way He wanted and you should stand confidently in this knowledge. Others may criticize, but the Creator knows His materpiece and loves it!

  10. If I could go back and give my 14 year old self any advice it would be that love is pure. I don’t have to do the things my peers around me say are cool. I don’t have to give in to the things of this world. It’s not what makes me who I am. I shouldn’t be ashamed to say no when in my heart I know it’s wrong. God is the only way to happiness and true self confidence. Be who you are called to be by your heavenly Father, not by the boy who sits next to you and tells you what you think you want to hear. You are a true princess and perfect to Him.

  11. I would tell her she’s beautiful, just as she is. But that WAAAYYY more important is the fact that she’s beautiful on the inside. A beautiful, beloved daughter of God.

  12. How appropriate. I have a 14 year old daughter! So I would tell my 14 year old self to be confident in who God has created me to be. A beautiful child of His. A confident girl who will speaks boldly to other girls her age about how wonderfully and spiritually made I am and that living confidently for Him, we can conquer all obstacles we will encounter. I would encourage my 14 year old self to be open with my mother when I am struggling and search for answers Biblically that support our morals and thoughts, so that we don’t fall short in this society with all the peer pressures of how and what girls should look and act. When we live for Him and with Him daily the outward shining of His radiance will fall fresh on those we encounter, even if only words of encouragement or acknowledgement

  13. Jamie Butler says:

    Dear 14 year old self,

    It doesn’t matter what they think. You were made to be different, there is only one of you and you were made to just be you. Don’t spend any time wasted thinking you are not normal or like the rest so something must be wrong with you. Your uniqueness is a gift from God, accept it.

    • I love that! My pastor Steven Furtick says, “You’re weird! Get used to it!”

      • Jamie Butler says:

        LOL!! I wish it wouldn’t have taken me into my 30’s to accept this, I could have just been being my “weird” self and being happy about it alot sooner!!! I am hoping I am doing a good job of helping my 11 year old daughter to accept it at a younger age than I did 🙂

  14. It’s funny that you would ask this question because my really close friend just asked me the same exact question. If I could talk to my 14 year old self, I would tell her to figure out how to love yourself and do not believe what others or the world say about you. God loves you unconditionally and you can survive, literally, on His love. Love yourself first and then you’ll be able to truly love others, parents, siblings, friends, significant others, etc. and you will be able to be the woman that God has called you to be sooner, than later in life.

  15. Kat Watkins says:

    My 7th grade daughter and the girls in the youth ministry where I lead struggle with this all the time. I try to impart to them that the love of their Father is so high, so wide, so deep and so perfect that they don’t need to look beyond His face to find true acceptance. His love is perfect and trustworthy. We all need to know (not just young girls) that the Lord’s love gives us freedom….to be who we are in Him, not in the world. Let the world worry about all the wrong things while you remain on your knees, in His word,listening for His voice and His plan for your precious life. Your identity is to be the daughter, the princess, the cherished one of the Risen King.

  16. This is for my younger sister who is actually 24. She needs to understand God’s love…..

    You will never know how deep and wide His love is for you. When your boyfriend lets you down God is rightbehind you picking up the pieces of your broken heart. He hands them to you whole again and says please let my love fill you and not that man that causes pain. He says allow me to consume your every thought. Not the man that keeps breaking you down. GOD says my love is forever, please, see me for the loving God I am. I would tell her that God has someone special for her that will not try to change her. That will love her for who she is and not only her outter beauty but also her inner beauty. I would say the manipulation you have gone through are not what God wants for you. I would tell her to turn around and embrace the Lord and His presence. I would say allow the Lord to love and show you love the way He intends.

  17. I would tell her that just as we don’t appreciate the beauty in every design or work of art made by an artist, we also don’t always appreciate the way God made us. We look around and decide what beauty is in our eyes and wish that God had made us that way. But God loves us just the way He made us, so-called flaws and all, and His design is perfect in His eyes. Our part is to pray and ask God to help us to see ourselves through His eyes.

  18. I have a 14-year-old daughter… and while we’ve had these conversations, I want to continue to tell/remind her that God’s love is unconditional and that her identity is in Christ. Her beauty shines from within – her love for Jesus will (and does) make her beautiful beyond compare. Her dad and I will mess things up as we attempt to do life together as a family because we are imperfect… God never makes mistakes and will never leave her nor forsake her!!

    To my own 14-year-old self… I would say the same things – and remind her that her Heavenly Father is not a reflection of her earthly father… there are no conditions or lists to live up to in order to be loved as a child of the King.

  19. I would tell her that unconditional love can only come from Him. People, places, things will disappoint or last for a fleeting second but He will remain. You are a masterpiece in His eyes and He is actively seeking a relationship with you. Look for all the gestures He sends you whether it is a beautiful sunrise, rainbow during a storm , or a wonderful sight of wildlife for you to enjoy! He will continue to send these love signs far longer than a person can and He will never disappoint you! You will find Him when you seek Him!

  20. I would tell her that no earthly man can ever fill every need in your heart. That the longing she has is only going to come from Jeus. Men and boys are human. They will disappoint and never be able to live up to the expectations we think they should. But Jesus, our precious Lord and Savior…He’s the healer, the provider, the companion that will always be there. He will be there in the good times and the bad times. He will whisper sweet confirmations that you are His always and forever!

  21. I would tell my 14 year old daughter:
    Your are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made in GOD’S image! That is God’s Word and His Word is True! Walk in that TRUTH!!! Do not conform to the examples of this world that tell you that you have to dress a certain way, look a certain way, or do certain things for acceptance. God created you exactly how he wanted you. You are a chosen person, a royal priesthood, a holy nation belonging to God. You are the head and not the tail and you are MORE that a Conqueror! You are a light in this dark world! Shine Bright my beautiful daughter and let the world know you are a daughter of the Most High, a daughter of the King!

  22. I would start even before 14. My seven year old daughter already is too much a follower and cares what others think. I need to start now to remind her of all she is in His eyes, to live in this world but not of it.

  23. Keep walking with Jesus. Even when it seems you are the only one. He will not fail you. Commit your way to Him!

  24. You are not alone in feeling alone. You are not the only one feeling or thinking that you are not “as” — not as thin as you should be, not as cute as the other girls, not as talented as the rest of the team, or not as popular as those girls. Ask Jesus to focus you on what you are…HIS! And ask Jesus to show you other girls who need what He has given you…love and acceptance just for you as you are right now.

  25. I would tell her that God’s love is truly unconditional and that there is nothing she can ever do to make him love her anymore or any less than he already does.. i would also tell her that God’s love is safe.. its real and its full of promises that Can be kept!!! she can read his word and believe what it says.. no matter what is going on in her life or has been done to her in she can always come back to her heavenly daddy who loves her more than any man will ever love her!

  26. I would say: There is none as faithful and true, who will stand by you- uphold you, cherish you and allow you to bloom into the beautiful girl and woman you will be-because He loves you with an everlasting love…that never fails, or grows weary. And He will carry you forever in His heart, joyfully, proudly, graciously. To the glory of God the Father.

  27. God loves you exactly the way you are. He made you beautiful, special and unique!

  28. I have told my granddaughter that God loves her no matter what. No matter what she might do in her life that might be disappointing, God still loves her unconditionally and so do I. He is ALWAYS there whenever you need Him.

  29. Funny that 14 is the cut off. My daughter is 14 and I struggle to be sure that I parent her adequately, while not quashing the spirit I see Jesus placing in her.

    If I had to tell my 14 year old self anything it would be this: “You don’t need to get straight A’s, they will love you no matter what. You don’t need to break the rules to be cool…look for other people that love you for who you are. And finally, you don’t need a boyfriend to complete a status quo or make you important and you certainly don’t need to allow him to touch you or push you to do things that you aren’t comfortable with. If a boy truly loves you, he will wait.”

    Gosh…I wish someone had told me.

  30. Rosalinda Loy says:

    I have 3 girls (23,11,9) and my son who is 16. as a new Christian I never explained what God’s love was because I didn’t know it myself but my oldest daughter who became Christian before I did taught me about being a Christian. With all the struggles I’ve faced and my children have seen I’ve come to rely on God for his strength. Now that I know about the love Jesus gives us, I’m teaching my 2 baby girls what it means to have a relationship with God, we pray every morning on the way to school which is something I would’ve never done before. I teach them what I’m learning and to me that’s what’s important right now that they grow up knowing Jesus so that they don’t have to go through struggles not knowing our savior who is right there with us all the time, We praise him through the good and bad times because he deserves our praise.

  31. Casey Smith says:

    I would tell my 14-year-old self that a boyfriend is NOT important! That God’s love is the love I should want and hold onto!
    I should be confident in myself and the plans God has for me and NOT the plans everyone around me sees fit!
    Be Unique! Be Me! Be God’s!

  32. I think I would tell her that God has an amazing man that he has set aside just for you! Wait for him!! Don’t try to rush relationships and do things on your own. God hasn’t forgotten you. Use the time before you find that someone that God has for you to grow closer to God, and to pray for that someone. God knows the person that will always think you are the most beautiful girl in the world, and will cherish and adore you. Wait for him!

  33. Oh I have been teaching bible studies to junior high students, 9-14 and self esteem and self confidence is something I wish to infuse in them especially the girls… It’s so easy to believe the lies that we are not good enough, not pretty enough… but to see ourselves as GOD sees us… makes the difference….

  34. All young girls nees to know that they are beautiful and loved for know other reason than God chose them as His own. In reading what you have written, Renee, it has slammed me right in the heart that at 51 I am struggling with the same thing. I know all the right words and I know what is truth, but after having my husband walk out on nearly 30 years of marriage, I am realizing I looked to him for much more than I should have. Now I struggle just to know who I am. I thank God for my youngest daughter who has Down Syndrome. She knows nothing but love and reminds me daily that God has to be where my everything comes from.

  35. I would tell my 14 year old self that God created me and that He was pleased with what He created. How can I not be satisfied with His creation. His opinion of me is the only one that matters.

    Karen C

  36. That assessing my self-worth by my friends is fleeting. God is the only one we can establish worth in. Friends come and go. God remains.

  37. I would tell my 14 year old self that God loves you no matter what! To look to Him for guidance and direction, to pray about EVERYTHING!

  38. I just want to say thank you for your book. I struggle with selfworth everyday, I was rejected at birth from day one from my mother. I have made it a point to instill in my daughter not only is she the apple of my eye, but of God’s eye as well. I do the best I can to make sure she feels worthy and love, unlike me who feels unworthy and unloveable due to the rejection from my parents. The reason for my thank you is the little bit you have shared with us has given me a bit of hope, that I can be worthy and lovealbe. Thank you and God Bless.

    • Lydia, I hope that “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year” and “His Revolutionary Love” can be tools you can use to teach your girl that she is worthy and lovable! If you choose to get “His Revolutionary Love”, there is a free leadership guide on my website at http://www.LynnCowell.com. Just click on “freebies”! There is a sample chapter as well under the tab “books”.

  39. So many people, of all ages, spend a great deal of time and energy placing importance on people and things in their lives that truly don’t matter. It’s easy to fall into that worldly way of thinking. It’s easy to create for themselves the constant battle with worry, with self doubt, and with the fear of not being accepted by others. Until they build a relationship with God, they’ll never grasp that concept. Building a true relationship with God is not a quick fix, however, it is a lifelong relationship designed to grow you closer to Him by knowing His word, by praising Him, and by praying. It is through this relationship that one comes to realize their true worth and their true value, what is truly important, and how to truly be happy.
    Until you build a relationship with God, you’ll never realize all of the great opportunities you have been missing! You may never experience the joy and the fulfillment you can get just by speaking a kind word to someone who so desperately needs it that day. How something as simple as a smile can brighten another’s day. You may never realize how valuable just a little bit of your time truly is to another. When you live by His word, there is no room for worry, for self doubt, or for measuring your self worth in another’s eyes. When you live by His word, you begin to see yourself through His eyes and finally recognize how precious, how valuable, and how loved you truly are!

  40. Wow! I can really relate to your post today and love reading all these comments. My heart breaks everytime I think back on bad choices and see kids today who are making the same mistakes.

    If I could go back in time and tell my 14 year-old self anything, it would be that God created me for a purpose, He loves me just the way I am and I am perfect in His sight. No matter what any human says, thinks or does toward me, I was created in God’s image and in His perfect plan, He will fulfill His Glory in my life!

    I didn’t hear these words of wisdom back then. I’m sure I had some wise adults telling me, but I was too worried about what the unwise teenagers were saying instead. It is only through lots of wrong choices, mistakes and heartbreak, that I have finally come to this realization. And this last year alone, God has been talking to me, leading me to use my experiences to reach out to today’s kids and let them know these truths.

    Having two daughters and a son of my own now, 13, 11 and 8, and I work each day to help them realize they are special and God has a plan for them. And I’m looking forward to reading more from your emails and Lynn’s blog to help me help others!

  41. April Frederick says:

    Oh if only someone had told me back then that Jesus was wild about me. Today i still stuggle with this truth. I would tell a 14 yr old everything that i didn’t hear that if i had and digested it would have changed my life

  42. Gail Norkus says:

    If you only knew how much I struggle with this and I’m 44. If I could go back and tell my 14 year old self anything….It would be that God Loves me no matter the hair, the skin, the clothes, the career..no matter what. thatYou are God’s previous jewel! Malachi 3:17

    You have been set free from Satan’s control!
    Col 1:13

    You have been predestined to be like Jesus! Ephesians 1:11

    You are kept from falling!
    Jude 1:24

    You are a candle in a dark place! Matthew 5:15

    You have peace with God!
    Romans 5:1

    You have an anchor in your soul! Hebrews 6:19

    You can do all things through Christ!! Philp 4:13

    Taking one day at a time, being in the moment, living for today.

  43. RUTHONA WASINGER says:

    I WOULD TELL THE 14-YEAR-OLD ME THAT GOD IS THE ONLY ONE I NEED TO PLEASE AND
    THAT I CAN TRUST HIM TO PROVIDE OTHER PEOPLE WHO WILL APPRECIATE THE REAL ME

  44. I would have told myself about the Love of Jesus! At 14 I was so lost and alone I took live from any place u could find it !

  45. Teresa Richardson says:

    I would have told myself that God’s love is unchanging. He won’t love you any less if you make wrong choices and mistakes. You are His princess; He adores you!

  46. My 14-year old self had just moved to a new state and was missing her friends and feeling miserable. I would have told myself that God is watching out for me, and he knows that I can handle the challenges of meeting new people and starting new activities. Change is hard, but through God all things are possible. He loves me, he wants me to meet these people and learn from them. And the best way to live is to focus on being all I can be, to live as he intended, and in ways that would please him and honor him. Through that are the benefits for all mankind.

  47. I would share that friends and family will always let you down at times but God and His love for you never changes. He created you exactly the way you are and loves you completely. There is nothing you could ever say or do that would make Him stop loving you. Recognize that He is for you and cheering you on. Go to Him daily and pour out your heart to Him. Trust Him with your deepest secrets and hurts, surrender to Him. He desires to make you whole, content and satisfied in Him. The Joy of the Lord is your strength! You will never regret making the decision to surrender your life to Him.

  48. GOD loves you so very very much, just the way you are ! He has great plans for you, look to him and he will provide all you need in his time. To my daughters, ages 25, 23, 17, and 16…..I believed in GOD when I was a teen, but now I have come to know him for the father who lifts me up in all circumstances, is always there for me and I who loves us more than we can ever imagine.

  49. I would tell my 14yr old self, to not listen to what others say, if the comment is negative and makes you feel bad then it is not from God and it is a lie. I would say, you are beautiful, full of life and will go far in this world. Goad has plans for you so don’t ever give up and keep moving forward and don’t look back. It is God who defines you, not man. Listen and follow God, not man. I have two teenage daughters, 13 and 16, and a 16 year old niece that I tell these things to all the time. Because I want them to be confident and grow up knowing who they are. I was beat down put down and everything in between, so I love looking out for the youth of today and women of today. I love this!!!!

  50. I also have a 14 yr old son, so I am glad I came across this, just awesome 🙂

  51. I would tell my 14 year old self that it really is okay being who God made you to be. And though you don’t grow up to be the super model or the most popular or all the other standards we compare ourselves too, God loves you just the way you are. So much so, that He created you like no one else in the world. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and not by the world’s standards, but Praise God by His standards. At 40 years old I find that I need to tell myself this even today. But I truly thank God that I have been able as a mother to tell my 22, 11 and 10 year old daughters how precious and loved they are by God. It does wonders to my heart to know that my daughters have a head start on their relationship with Christ now than what I had at their ages.

  52. I would tell my 14 year old self: ” God loves you just the way you are. He doesn’t want a ‘perfect’ you…it isn’t possible no matter how hard you try. He is crazy about you, crazy enough to choose you as His bride, His child, His friend. Rest in His love…give every worry and care to Him, for he cares for you.

  53. I would tell my 14 year old self that God loves and accepts me for who I am. I don’t need (want but not NEED) acceptance from others, and that even if/when I get it, I will have to work/change to keep it. With God, I have acceptance and love even when I do not deserve it. God’s love isn’t based on how I look, how I act, who I date or hang out with or the clothes I wear. He loves me silly, serious, mean, nice, popular, dorky and most of all, He GETS me-and I mean the way your best friend gets you, and knows exactly what I meant to say (I had this talent for saying things wrong, I mean, I was a PRO).

    I would say that God is Who every earthly father was intended to be, the prince charming that every teenage girl secretly waits for. We can’t see Him, but He’s always there with open arms waiting for us to run to Him when our world is falling apart, when no one else understands or even cares what we are feeling, and also wants to hear all of the details of our day. I would tell her that there will always be times when it feels that no one understands or cares, but that’s when you can take comfort in knowing that God will ALWAYS be there and He will ALWAYS care and He will always listen. That if you are quiet, He will speak to you through verses, through the rainbow after the storm, through the tiniest things throughout your day. He is the perfect father, BFF, husband, counselor and He is never too busy. People will always let you down because no one is perfect, but God is perfect and has a one of a kind, designer plan for your life.

    Most of all, I would tell her that God’s love is unending and she can never do anything to push Him away. That He wants more for her life than she wants for herself. That surrendering to Him is not enslaving herself to chains of rules and “Do nots” or never being in control; it’s the complete opposite of what it looks like. It’s exchanging the unrealistic pressure of the world to always be in control, do what makes you happy, get them before they get you, you can have it all, you deserve it- mirrage that’s as fake as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Exchanging that for freedom in knowing that just by honoring God in your life (the way you honor your spouse in marriage-out of love) that you can have peace in the unknown because you belong to the One Who has a plan just for you.

    Oh, and then I would tell myself that life is about more than just how you FEEL so stop being so dramatic and give myself a good shaking!! 😉

  54. Sherri Smith says:

    Oh, how I wish my 14 yr old self had realized this. I am trying to instill this in my own 13 year old daughter. I pray that she will never look to anyone but her Lord and Savior to fill that gap. My own daughter has battled the same thing as this school year started and she has entered 7th grade. At her school that means being in a new building with 7th through 12th grade. A whole new world of pressures. This book is definitely what she needs.
    Thanks for writing it!

  55. I would let her know that it isn’t what’s on the outside that even matters, but the inside. God looks at our hearts. And he has designed each of us in a beautiful, and unique way. We are beautiful to him, and he loves us so much. He laid down his life for us, so we could live. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He’s the best friend, husband, daddy you could ever have. His love is unconditional. It never fails. His love isn’t based on what I look like, or my performance. He loves us for who we are…! Beauty isn’t what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside. That is where true beauty lies, is within.

  56. i would tell my 14-year-old daughter that God loves her so much and that He made her to be so special. He formed her in the womb. He knows her strengths and her weaknesses. He knows all her gifts and talents. He has such special plans for her. He will be right there with her each and every moment. He loves her so much that He will never leave her or forsake her. He knows how beautiful she is. He also knows her inner beauty and to keep her focus right on Him and he will guide her to continue to mold her into just the beautiful Little Lady He wants her to be. After all, if it were so easy than we would not need God would we.

  57. I have 2 sons but I do teach Sunday School to 6th -8th girls and I tell them every Sunday that their identity is in God….and God alone. It’s not in the sport they play or a guy they like or even their future husband or children. I pray we all truly believe this precious nugget of truth 🙂

  58. My daughter will be 14 in a few months. I would tell her (we have had convos like this before) that God sees her, knows her every thought, fear, embarassment, struggle, sin, joy, success and dreams. I would tell her that she doesn’t need to fight and compromise and worry so much about getting attention and trying to have her needs met by humans who will fail her because she already has the undivided attention of her heavenly Father, the Lord God Almighty, her savior and the lover of her soul. I would tell her to never stop talking to Him, no matter her mood, her feelings, her anger or disappointment because He wants to hear from her, His precious daughter. I would remind her that she is made in His image and to Him, she is lovely, graceful, beautiful and loved beyond her wildest hope; that He delights over HER with singing and longs for her to talk to Him. I would remind her to pick up her Bible and see what He has to say about her, even if it seems boring or “old fashioned”. He will direct her to the places in His word that she needs to hear and needs to know about Him. I would say to her, “Jesus loves you this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

  59. I would tell my 14 yr old self that I am more than the mistakes that I make, that God loves me just the way I am, that I don’t need a man in my life to feel secure, stay true to yourself even when others are pressuring you to not be. You are loved, your are beautiful, you are worthy. Pray about everything, never stop praying.

  60. I would tell her that God doesn’t think she’s too loud, too daydreamy, too smart, too much. I would tell her that He can help her when her heart gets broken again. I would tell her that He will find the most amazing people to physically hold her hand, and even when they are not there, He will be.

    I would tell her that He is the best Father she could ever imagine.

  61. Dear 14-year-old self,
    You are about to enter the whole new world of high school. And though Grandma, your biggest cheeleader, your Jesus with skin on sitting right in the big old buffalo plaid chair in the sun parlor, praying, though she is gone, you are not alone. Jesus is as real as Grandma. He loves you so much. You are so precious to Him. He will be there when the late night fights begin between mom and dad…He will love you when you feel so unloved, when it looks like sex means love…and everybody seems to be doing it. He will be there in the emptiness when you fall, when you make a mistake. Don’t forget to talk to Jesus about all the tough things…the insecurity, the belief that you are fat, the belief that you must compromise to be popular, the decision to drink or not to, the belief that the careless, thought less words hurled by mom are true…that you’re not good, you’re worthless, you’re lazy. Those are lies. You are so precious; you are worthy of unfathomable love. You are loved just as you are…and if you hold on to that love, instead of the fake love that popularity makes you feel, you can hold out on experimenting with things that will leave you guilt ridden, empty, and full of remorse. Jesus is speaking to you, “Hold on to me. I am here right now…sitting beside you. I am holding you when you feel lonely and forgotten. I love you so much…you are mine and I will keep you in my arms. I see you. I know you. I love you!” This season is but a flash…Have fun, good old fashioned fun! Love, Me

  62. I would tell a 14-year old to focus on their inner beauty. As hard as it may be, outer beauty is only temporaroy and fades away. However, with a wonderful inner beauty and a focus on the King who fearfully and wonderfully made you, you will be radiant no matter what.

  63. Hi Renee. First of all, I just want to say thanks so much for this message. You are a God send as I have been wrestling with how and what to say to my granddaughter who is struggling in so many ways. She is about to enter middle school. She is not with me and now resides with her mom and stepdad, which is not the best situation. She is beautiful, smart, and gifted in so many ways. Yet, she doesn’t get it at all and instead I see the manifestations of a girl who has to be strong and defensive in a home where all she hears is conflict. I am grateful to have had parents who loved me unconditionally and saw to it that my spiritual self was nurtured as well. They were not church goers but the way they lived their lives and taught us values and served others, not just family but community was nothing but Christ in them.
    I would tell any14 year old, and especially my granddaughters that who are not there yet, God loves them unconditionally, flaws, mistakes, attitudes and all. That they can count on HIM always to be there for them, to want the best and to guide them toward the best He has for them. So,even if they have the most terrible of days, just knowing that there is One who loves you no matter what, is reason to celebrate,to be willing to be different, and to seek that Love of God always, first and foremost. If they do that, life will be full, lacking nothing and abundant blessings will follow them wherever life takes them. Thanks for giving me the confidence to tell her what I know for myself ,from a God, my Lord and Savior, who is well able to fill every longing of their heart, if they will seek His face and accept His love.

  64. I read this Devotinal just after visiting with my son. He is 18 and he just moved into his own apt last month and I was listening to him talk about his brand new girlfriend. He is a little nervous and scared about life as he is on his own with bills and how to do things and be responsible for everything including cleaning and laundry and cooking and shopping and is often calling me to help him as he picks out laundry detergent and when to pay his bills etc. He just met this new girl who has a wild past. So I would think this book could help and would have truth in it for my son. Truth to help him know that he doesn’t need to settle for girlsfriends who are troubled or have their own issues just to feel noticed or special or less scared about the uncertainties of life. That God loves him and thinks he is special and is right there beside him. And God can fill the longings of his heart. And maybe after he learns these truths he could share them with this girl to help her too.

  65. I do tell my 14 year old daughter to put ALL of her faith in her heavenly father GOD, that He will NEVER disappoint as humans whether intentional or not always will. I tell her that He made her perfect just the way she is!!

  66. janet jackson says:

    I am currently raising a 13 year old step daughter that suffers with low self esteem. We always try to encourage her, uplift her and make her feel beautiful and loved trying to teach her to see herself the way God sees her. This is one of the most challenging times for me! I want her to slow down, enjoy where she is today and not be in such a rush to grow up!

  67. I would tell my 14-year old self that God created me and He sees me as beautiful. That He loves me and I was no accident, none of those “you got picked up from the trash can” stories. That even though there may be dark days ahead, He will not leave me but will walk with me as long as I keep holding on to His hand. And even though earthly parents fail, He is a good Dad, a faithful Dad, a loving Dad. Even through friends betray or leave, He is a good Friend, a faithful Friend, a loving Friend. In Him, I am accepted.

  68. I would tell my fourteen year old self that no boy and no amount of performance will ever be able to fill the hole in her heart. I would do my best to help her see that instead of continually performing to earn love, instead of working so hard pursuing love, she could just stop at any moment and simply RECEIVE the love of the One pursuing her. I did not know. I did not realize Someone already found me beautiful, Someone already desired true and intimate relationship with me. I did not know Someone loved me just as I was, no performance required. I did not realize that even though I had stopped thinking about Jesus several years before then that He had never stopped thinking about me.

  69. WOW – I have loved reading your comments tonight. Im praying them over my girl – who is almost 4 :0)

    Oh sweet Jesus, help us preach these truths to our own hearts and to the ones YOU have put in our care.

  70. Stephanie Jenkins says:

    I would tell myself….God loves you just the way you are. Don’t listen to the world. Don’t compare yourself to others. Just listen to your heavenly Father. You were made for a purpose, stop chasing worldly perfection and listen to God for your heavenly purpose. Rest in his unconditional love. There you will find peace!

  71. I would read Psalm 139 a lot. I really like vs 17-18. His thoughts about us or for our daughters are precious and numerous !

  72. I would tell her to know GOD and how awsome he is before you try to know man!!

  73. susan skaling says:

    This will be so helpful for 3 of my granddaughters. Thanks so much for making such great material available to us.

  74. To my grand daughter, I say how beautiful she is and that she doesn’t need to feel pressured by the images presented by the world around her. I tell her that God knew her before she was even born and that her life is precious in His sight. When her friends turn against her I tell her, pour her heart out, then trust God that he will restore those friendships or find her more worthy ones. I tell her to resist following the crowd and follow her dreams- she is unique and has many yet to be fulfilled talents. It has been said to her that when she was concieved , she was a mistake- I tell her there are no mistakes with God, she is the apple of His eye.I tell her that God knew her before she was even born and tht her life is precious.I tell her that I love her and show her in many practical ways just how much and remind her that she is part of a large loving family and that she has a valued place in it, that no-one else can fill.

  75. Charlotte Richardson says:

    If I could have told myself something when I was in middle school or high school I would have reminded her often of the strengths and talents that god had given her. I would remind her that she is valued for very specific reasons why she is valued and special. These are things that I have been working on build in my daughter from a young age because I wish I had that person who told me these things. Your worth is so much greater than what these surroundings will admit

  76. So many young ladies would be helped with this book.

  77. I have a 14 yr old granddaughter who is struggling with self image & confindence. I am looking forward to bringing her with me to see u Lynn on Sat. I am always telling her how beatiful she is and what a treasure she is – God sees her exactly like that .

  78. I am telling her (my 13 year old) that she is uniquely and wonderfully made by her heavenly Father! …and God is faithful and will always love her even more than her earthly father and I. God loves her just as she is and loves her no matter what she does or doesn’t do. He loved her so much, He sent His son to die for her sins so that she could spend eternity with Him. But thank God, she can know Him right now, right here on earth too. She doesn’t have to wait to have that fantastic relationship!

  79. I would tell her to let go of the fear of man/people pleasing. Jesus is the only one who can tell us who we were made to be.

  80. That there isna difference in Joy & happiness. That Joy comes from God and happiness is circumstances. With Joy, we can get through anything. That God loves her and only through God can she have true Joy. That joy or even happiness can not come from a boy or man, friends or popularity. That God created her, knows her, and loves her. Always rely on God, He can get you through anything!

  81. I have the first six days of The Seven Day Doubt Diet, which is great stuff. I can’t wait for that seventh day.
    It has helped me so much each day. One day every time someone asked “How are you?” I wanted to say, “Confident”-instead I said “Wonderful”.

  82. I would tell her God is the one person whom she can always count on and will never abandon her. God is the one person whom is always looking out for her best interest. When the world lets her down, God will always pick her up. When she feels alone, GOD is always with her. When she feels she can’t talk to us, she can always talk to GOD, he is always listening.

  83. Relax, it is natural to hyperfocus on yourself. You are God’s special creation and you don’t have to measure up to standards just because they are expressed in media. Seek to get to know the Lord and follow Him. He will lead you on a path of acceptance, joy, and purpose!

  84. No guy will fill that void…only God! Confidence through Gods love, not people.

  85. I have a 14 year old niece and has no father in her life. I know her faith is strong but she is also a teenage girl. What I constantly tell her that God’s love will withstand anything she will ever encounter by a human being here on earth. I talk to her about this all the time but as much as I do that I pray for her as well that God’s love will surround her in every minute of every day for those times she feels like there is no true fatherly love here on earth.

  86. I would tell my 14yr old self that you are worth EVERYTHING! You are worth not settling for just some of your relationship needs. You are worth a guy stumbling over himself just to get to talk to you, let alone anything else. You are worth so much, that you don’t have to give yourself away (physically) for someone to love you; Jesus gave himself because He loved you so incredibly much.

  87. This book sounds wonderful and I would love to win a copy for my beautiful nieces, Peyton and Kiersten!

    I would tell my former 14 year old self that God’s love for me is just as powerful and exciting as anything Hollywood could ever imagine! Bella (Twilight) and Katniss (Hunger Games) craved the attention from boys who would do anything to be near and protect them.

    But God’s love? It never has a bad day, never gets moody or makes mistakes. He fights for us!! He is protective. And most importantly? He loves us, no matter what we say or do. His love is perfect, steadfast and unconditional. With Him, we can walk through our days with confidence that He is in control and will take care of us.

    Blessings, Michelle

  88. Louanne Neville says:

    One word – “unconditional”.

  89. Mandee Crawford says:

    If i could go back and tell my 14 year old self anything it would be that God exists!! His love is unconditional and i was made in his image so therefore i am beautiful no matter what anyone else says!! i wish i would have known then all i know now. i believe i would have had more confidence and i would be sure that someone loves me.

  90. I would say God loves you more than you’ll ever know and he wants a relationship with you , he has a plan for your life and the only way to know what that plan is to give your life to him like he died and gave his life for you. He wants to use you in a mighty and special way. H e created you for so much more than you can even imagine and wants to tkae you places that you can’t even begin to imagine or wrap your mind around. He loves you and he knows right where you are and all of yoyr hearts desires and he even knows your pain and the things you struggle woith and he has a desire to help you, heal , and make you into the women he has called you to be but you first have to yield your life to him and let him take the wheel of your life.

  91. Jamie McGarry says:

    I just wanted to let Renee know that I heard her on K-LOVE today and when she spoke of her friend offering to pray for her I was moved. I propmptly grabbed my phone and texted several friends and asked ‘What can I pray about for you today?’. Everyone responded promptly and all had different requests. I don’t have the best work environment and after I prayed for each of my friends my mood was much improved. It just reconfirms the theory of how you can be blessed for putting aside your own issues and sharing the love of God with others. Thanks for the reminder Renee and God Bless!

  92. Deanne Rhodus says:

    I just heard your story about your daughter having Apraxia….mine does too and there is hope. My daughter was non verbal up to age 3, but with intense speech therapy for a few years, she’s now a very chatty 8 year old and I thank God for her everyday! Early intervention makes a huge difference! I pray you and your daughter make some wonderful memories as she starts this journey towards speech!

  93. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this blog. It’s
    simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance. I must say you have done a great job with this. Also, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Chrome. Exceptional Blog!

  94. Can I simply just say what a relief to find somebody who really
    knows what they’re discussing on the web. You certainly realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people must look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you aren’t more
    popular since you certainly possess the gift.

  95. When someone writes an post he/she keeps the thought of a user in his/her brain
    that how a user can understand it. Thus that’s why this piece of writing is outstdanding.
    Thanks!

  96. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you
    relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about,
    why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos
    to your weblog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  97. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a
    few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not
    sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same
    results.

  98. Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have
    you share some stories/information. I know my readers would value your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me
    an e mail.

  99. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
    I am quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  100. It’s very straightforward to find out any matter on net as compared
    to books, as I found this article at this website.

  101. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post.

    Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

  102. I really like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and
    exposure! Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve included you guys to
    our blogroll.

  103. I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no
    one else know such detailed about my difficulty. You are incredible!
    Thanks!

  104. Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog web
    site? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of
    this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  105. Just a few moments for my Gather buddies about Spark People.
    Instead of doing the monotonous things you have been doing, try these 10 awesomitastic
    ways to lose weight. The truth is that coffee isn’t your biggest concern; it is toxins of all kinds.

  106. I have read a few good stuff here. Certainly
    worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to make such a fantastic informative web site.

Share Your Thoughts

*