I have a teenage daughter.  I have the privilege to lead a small group of teenage girls weekly.

I didn't like being a teenager.  I have a heart for teenage young women.....

That very heart breaks when I see my daughther, her friends and other teenage girls(and guys for that matter) look at themselves and their lives and do not see what I do, or others do.  That heart breaks when I remember back to when I felt the same way.  Being a teenager is tough.  At times it feels like it is the "best time of my life"...and others it just plain old sucks.  (I hate that word but it is applicable in few cases, this being one)  Being a teenage girl was not the best time of my life.  I wasn't confident, didn't think anyone would ever choose me and was confused on who I really was.

I wish someone could have told me, when I was 16, exactly what my life was going to look like at 40.  I wish I could have had a sneak peek into the future.  I would have loved to see who I was going to become so that I could have a picture in my mind of what to work toward.   If only someone........had show me the future.....

If someone could have told me that I would be content, happy, loved, confident, worthy, fun, deserving....

If someone would have disclosed to me that I would still have fears, doubts,

        worries, challenges....

If someone could have shown me a photo of what I would look like...

If someone would have shared with me the stories of troubles that I was going to have.....

If someone could have said "don't worry about that boy who broke your heart...

         .......a better man is around the corner"!

If someone would have divulged to me the secrets of true friendship....

If someone could have revealed to me that my faith would get me through everything.

If someone would have shown me a mirror that didn't tell me my own lies about my beauty.

If someone could have mentioned to me that one day, even though I couldn't finish college,

           that I would own my own thriving business.

If someone would have shown me that one day I would know what my greatest purpose was.

If someone could have communicated to me the fact that I had a light that I was not seeing.

If only.......

But if someone had....then none of the above would have been true.


I really believe that if I had been given the chance to see what was ahead then it would have altered the end result.  Who I am today is because of all the junk and joy that has happened over the years..  It is because I had the courage (and somedays there was NO courage found on my own!) and a quiet faith, that I grew up, learned many hard lessons and became who I am today.  I love this quote.....

You can never cross the ocean 

unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.


If I had been given the chance to see the shore I wouldn't have learned to let go of things and trust God in my life.   I wouldn't have seen that God had put a light inside of me that was to guide me on my path.  I believe that we have all been given this gift of a light within.

Sometimes it seems like it has extinguished itself.  Sometimes it feels like it is flickering.  Sometimes it is difficult to see.  But it is there.  It has been handed to us gently to use.  It can shine in how we treat others, how we love, what we do in life.....but also, how we look at ourselves.  If we use this light for good it can be amazing to see how many other lights begin to shine around us.

What a beautiful sight this is!  


If only someone would tell all of us that this is possible if we 

          all just let our own lights shine bright.  

If only I could state to my incredible daughter that she is beautiful 

          and she would instantly believe it.

If only we could use our lights to show all teenage girls(and boys!) their inherent value and 

         then they embrace it.  

If only they could see that one day they will be one of those exquisite floating lanterns...

         soaring to new heights and illuminating the way for others to follow.

If only....


May you believe the truth about who you are.

May you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

May you let your light shine.

May your light be like a flashlight on someone else's path....helping them to see the road ahead.


March 02, 2012 — Sarah Stevens

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