General Identity

Letters to Younger Me- Age 12

MW Editor’s Note:  From time to time, we post a series of letters that older you might have written to younger you. Letters that help bring perspective and hope for the future. Perhaps some of these letters resonate with you. Perhaps, some of these letters might help you work through some growing-up experiences that have shaped the man you are becoming or should become. 

Dear Younger Me.

Dude, a lot’s been happening lately! That transistor radio of yours is getting a workout! You fall asleep every night with your earbuds listening to Royals baseball, only to wake up to another dead battery!  Keep asking mom for more from the store!  It’s the one thing that you can enjoy in the privacy of your bunk bed.

Life-Changing Decision

You made a big decision at Christmas! Being a sixth-grader, it was the last year you and your friends at church could be in the Christmas play. I think you were a shepherd or a wise man. Dad’s robe was still big on you. 

That night, you and your sister asked mom to tell you the Christmas story again. She did and in the process explained Easter; why Christ came and why he died and rose again. For the first time in your twelve-year-old mind, it all clicked! You saw your sin and the need for a Savior. That’s awesome, man!  You might not have fully understood the importance of that Gospel decision, but it is the most important one you could ever make!

That decision directly affected me (older you). It opened doors for faith and opportunity that I would have never experienced, had you not chosen Jesus.  So, thanks for making that step of faith.

Super Shy Guy

Look, as much as I celebrate your decision, I must admit, you are a super shy guy. Deep inside, I know you have what it takes, so I’m going to challenge you to be more vocal about your faith. You do not have to shout it from the schoolyard, but you can tell your friends about Jesus and what he’s doing in your life. It’s so important that others know you are a Jesus-follower.

Growing Taller

The other day you mentioned you thought you were getting fat. Truthfully, the reason your clothes are getting tight is that you’re growing taller. It’s all part of the next stage of growing up called puberty. I know, no one ever took the time to explain things to you, but the amazing thing is how God designed the human body to grow up!  Psalm 139 says:

For you formed my inward parts;

    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]

Wonderful are your works;

    my soul knows it very well.

Frankly, don’t listen to those guys at school talk about girls and sex like they do. They don’t know what they are talking about. It’s all a show to make them look cool and grown-up when in reality, they are not. 

Jesus Was 12

The amazing thing about Jesus is he went through being 12 also. That means he experienced growing up just like you are. And NONE of it was sinful. 

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man Luke 2:52 ESV

You are OK, man. I know parts of growing up can be embarrassing, but let me assure you, I’m here to listen and walk through whatever questions you have. God is doing an amazing thing in shaping you into a man. 

What’s Next?

Next year is middle school and I know that your seventh grader friend down the street is telling you horror stories about what school will be like. Don’t lose any sleep over it. Sure, there will be challenges, but, with your newfound faith in Jesus, He will be with you every step of the way.

Faith Not Fear

As older you, I’ve been learning the difference between living by faith instead of fear. In fear, you see the worse. The glass is half empty instead of half full. Hope is harder to see. But, living by faith means you know God is with you. The Holy Spirit lives in you, right now, as a 12-year-old. Faith is filled with hope because, no matter how bad things look, Jesus will use even tough things for your good. Even as you face seventh grade next year.

Hey, there’s a baseball game this weekend. How about I pick you up and we catch the double-header.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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