Dear younger Maya Reneé,
A couple years ago, we had an event at my church called Love Letters. It was an event where we read letters to our younger selves or someone who had hurt us in the past and we have now forgiven. The purpose was to bring about closure and healing in our hearts. It was a successful event to say the least. Tears were shed. Hugs were given. But most of all, many people left feeling supported and inspired to continue loving and forgiving, both themselves and the people in there lives.
This is the letter I wrote to my younger self on 2/10/16.
Dear younger Maya Reneé,
I am truly sorry for not being able to protect you from the hard times that life has thrown your way, both the ones that you got yourself into and the ones that you had no control of. Many things could have been avoided, had there just been some open and honest dialogue occurring.
You needed a mentor. You needed a big sister. You needed someone who had already gone down the path(s) you were being exposed to. You needed someone to tell you that your body is a temple, where the spirit of the most high God resides. You needed someone to tell you what love, true love, love that only comes from God is. You needed to hear that little boys could never give you the love that you longed for from your father and older brother. You needed to know that just because these little boys say they love you, doesn’t mean they really do. You needed to be told to protect yourself against STDs because they are real, even when you have a boyfriend. You needed to know that there is absolutely no love in a relationship when a man abuses you mentally, emotionally, and/or physically. You needed to know that love is about uplifting one another, fostering a safe atmosphere for growth, and correcting each other in love. You needed to know that you don’t have to be afraid to ask for help and that it’s ok to cry sometimes. You needed to know that there will be friends/family members who are going to say and do hurtful things about and to you. You needed to know that there will always be days where you feel like giving up, but you will always see why it was worth the fight. You needed to know that throughout your life, people would watch you and admire you, not because of you, but because the hand of God is on you and working through you.
Younger Maya Reneé, despite all of the shoulda, coulda, wouldas, you are going to overcome EVERY single situation that you face. God is going to raise you up beyond your circumstances. He is going to open doors that no man can shut. That also means, if He CLOSES a door, leave it shut! Living in obedience is where your blessing will lie! Walking with Christ will by no means be easy, but it will be so worth it and the best decision that you make in your whole entire life. Seeking godly counsel is something that you need to do because you can’t do this thing called life on your own.
Release ALL of your desires, plans, hopes, and dreams to God. Seek Him in all things, big and small, good and bad. Trust Him always. Love people. Respect people. Build people up. Encourage people. Bless people. Start being a giver early. Stick to your tithing but increase your giving. Build and maintain healthy relationships. Keep God first. KEEP GOD FIRST! It’s ok that you don’t always feel like you belong. He set you apart! Your purpose demands that you don’t fit in! Your destiny will require you to outgrow some people, places, and things. Trust your journey. Accept the pain and praise God for it because your purpose will be birthed in it. Stop running from your calling. Live the life God has ordained for you. KEEP GOD FIRST! Worship Him! Praise Him! Love Him! Read the Word! Be steadfast! KEEP GOD FIRST!
I love you beautiful, because you are indeed beautiful.
The Maya Reneé at 25