A Letter to Myself: Hiding Who You Are

This post was inspired by Emily Freeman. She is a writer who wrote, Graceful, a book written for high school girls. There are more letters from various contributors over at Emily's blog. Visit Emily’s blog here or click the graphic below.


I've written you a letter before. In it, I warned you against your desire to flee exactly what you knew you needed, which has always been and still is Christ. I warned you against your capricious mind and accusing tendencies. I urged you to stop kidding yourself and to stop willing yourself into sin.

Those words still emanate truth, but today, I write with a different purpose. I am here to speak into a specific area that you have no idea is hindering you.

It'll take you until the middle of your 20th year of life to fully realize that differences are to be treasured and not condemned. And, it won't be until somewhere after your 21st birthday that you will fully embrace your differences instead of tediously converging them to look like those around you. 

The little voice inside your head that wishes for a common name, because Yessenia is just too different and hard to pronounce, will one day be silenced. 

But as for now, you will dye your beautiful dirty dark blonde hair, that sweeps across your face, brown. You think you did it to defy your mom's authority, but really, you dyed it because you gets so many compliments on your hair that you just want to them to stop. 

In relationships, you will sacrifice all your likes and desires to fit the person you're with. All because you think that to disagree and be different from them means that you don't belong together. 

Junior year of high school, you will choose friends over authenticity and hesitantly venture into the party world. A world where you will become engulfed with lies that will taint how you see everything. Living there in that world, you will learn to become exceedingly manipulative, and less and less like yourself. Slowly, you blend into the crowd with how you act, with what you like, what you wear, what you say/how you say things, what you think, what you desire-- you become a ghost. It is a scary thing to give up your voice, but you will love every second of it. You have fought so long to be like everyone else, it almost feels like a triumph when you achieve it. You don't have to work to suppress who you are because by letting people make up your mind for you, you slowly you fade further into the background until you are gone.

Let me tell you something, you were not created to blend in. Yes, I know everyone says that, but I have proof. You were created by God and God does not make mistakes. Before you roll your eyes, let me tell you that one day you will come to know that beauty, freedom, and healing that Christ. He knew your parents would name you Yessenia. He came up with the idea to make your hair not fully brown but not fully blonde either. He gave you the weird knees and elbows that you pretend aren't there. Trying to hide all those physical qualities is more hurtful than helpful. It denies that beauty that was bestowed onto you by God.

Now, let me tell you something about your skewed idea of what relationships should look like. I must confess that your misconceptions of relationships will not change for a few years, even after knowing Christ and walking with Him. Not because He isn't able but because you wouldn't let Him. For some reason Satan really likes to use your idea of relationships against you and for some reason sometimes you let him.


If you simply accept that differences enhance relationships instead of hindering them, you will save yourself tons of pain and blame. If you embrace that God has given you different experiences for the sake of His glory, which is something that you will one day be concerned about-- at about age 18--, you will save yourself tons of identity crises and confusion.

Even after you come to know the freedom that is Christ you will naively seek a community where you can fade into. An inner voice will arise and it will sound like those around you. You will go along with it for a bit, but you will figure out that it is not from Christ. It will suffocate you because God has given you a unique perspective and an unquenched desire for truth. Those two things cannot and do not fade. They were meant to take you higher up and further in. Accept that uniqueness, and rejoice in its properties. Most importantly, live like that is true.

At almost 22, you will not have everything figured out. Right now you are 4 months from graduating from a university you never wanted to attend, with a degree you do not intend to use, and have an unknown future ahead of you. You are in the midst of a process that will take you away from all that is familiar, by no means of your own, where you will not earn money but will continue to give yourself away-- in a good way.

What you will know at 21 that you do not know in your teenage years, is that Christ spoke dreams to you that were not meant to be marginalized. Like He spoke life into existence in the Garden, He spoke life into you, and with it came strength and courage that you never knew you had. When life sparked inside of you, purpose was exposed. He declared you to be a His. He decreed you to be a woman who longs after Him.

There is nothing more you need to know other than that God is rooting for you. He urges you to live life as you, quirks and all, because He spoke life into those areas too.

So, who cares that you make weird noises when you yawn, sneeze or hiccup? Who cares that you like music that other people don't? Who cares that you talk super loud when you get excited or that you lisp sometimes? Who cares that you'd rather spend time with your 6 year old brother than people your own age? By the way, mom will get pregnant when you are 15.. .surprise!! Who cares that you cry more often than not? Who cares that you stand pigeon toed or that you really like headbands?


Honestly, if your friends care about that stuff they are not the people you want to be around. The people you should be around are those who will encourage and challenge you to grow into the person God has called you to be. They won't care about the particulars, just as you shouldn't. Start by believing that now.

It'll be an exciting and painful journey, but nothing is more rewarding than He who finds you in the midst of the mess.

Instead of hiding who you are, become who you were created to be

A few other pieces of advice:
  • Suck it up and play basketball your Senior year of high school.
  • Run track or cross country in high school, it'll make you half marathons easier later in life.
  • Shaving your widows peak in 8th grade is NOT, I repeat... is NOT, a good idea. No matter how cool you think it looks on ____ ____ .
  • Enjoy and go to La Purisima (Mexico) as much as you can. In about 2008, it will get super dangerous due to drug cartels. Go in 2007, there is no reason for you at the age of 16 to stay in the States alone.
  • Your family is cooler than you give them credit for, you'll see that eventually.
Always and with love,
Your older self


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