I think it would be so hard to be a teen today. .
I have struggled often in life with confusing affirmation for love. Likewise, not feeling like I am enough when there is a lack of affirmation. At 42, I still have to pray to God, to remind me that His approval, His love is the only one that truly matters. 

Today’s teens face a myriad of social pressures to fit in, to feel loved, to be liked. Yes, social pressures have always existed but with social media’s these pressures seem tenfold. The reality of feeling left out, feeling not enough, feeling lonely are a screen away. Alternatively, social media can give a false sense of love and acceptance through likes, shares and comments.

While our daughter is not on social media; it doesn’t make her immune to the challenges of this generation. I wish I knew some way to make this time easier.

My best advice to her, to all teens is to be confident in who they are. The teens that I know are talented, smart, artistic, creative. They are athletic, strong and brave. I pray they each know how special they are. That their worth doesn’t come from a friend or stranger on Instagram or wherever saying they are awesome, hot or accepted. 

God created each of us uniquely with purpose. We must look to Him for direction. For love. He accepts us always JUST as we are. 

I want our daughter to know that real friends are true gems. They are people that will always be there for you. They aren’t your “bestie” one day; while not knowing you the next. I hope she never fails to remember that she is beautiful for her heart and the person she is; not because of what she wears or how she looks. 

I want her to know, that yes, this is an important time of life, but so much of what seems important now will fade quickly in the future. Real relationships, mean so much more than being invited to every get together, every party. Having people that know you, the real you, beyond the surface, is a true and rare gift.

Most of all I want her to know that she is infinitely loved and accepted unconditionally. These truths are steadfast. They will never change. Our love for her is unwavering.