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Monday, November 27, 2017

Adjusting Sails: A Letter To My 16-year-old Self (Guest Post!)

Hello, Everyone!
By the time you are reading this, I will be in Fiji fellowshipping with the churches there, Lord willing! 

Today I am thrilled to present a guest post by my dear friend, Janan! Her and I have never met in person, but we have a mutual friend whom all of you know from many previous posts--Kimberly! :) Over the past year or so, I have come to value her friendship so much, especially as Kimberly has been living in Taiwan and there's just a little bit of a time difference between us that makes communication difficult. ;P Anyway, I hope Janan's post is a blessing and an encouragement to you!

Adjusting Sails: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self

It’d be nice if we always got to stay in our comfort zone, wouldn’t it? No changes other than the ones we want, gliding effortlessly across smooth water without a care in the world. Naturally, I’m not one to adapt well to change. I fight it, I tell myself it’s a bump in the road. That it’ll smooth itself out. It won’t stay like this because it’s not supposed to, right?

Life can’t always stay the same, and neither should it. At twenty-one years old, life is so much more different than I could have ever imagined at sixteen. Today’s me would have told that girl five years ago a lot of things. And she probably would have shrugged them off because she knew better, obviously.

The one thing I hope she would have listened to though, is this:

It feels good to be sixteen, doesn’t it? I know you’re excited for all the plans you’ve made. You’ll be graduating next year, going to music school after that. You’re full of hope and optimism. Full of anticipation of what the next few years will bring because they ARE the most pivotal years of your life. You’re transitioning from teenager to adult. More responsibility. More work. But you like it. You’re wanting to learn everything you possibly can because you know things are only going to get busier from here on out.

If I asked you what your life was going to be like five years from now, you’d probably say something along the lines of being graduated with a Bacherlor’s degree in voice and hopefully singing for a living, maybe a little bit of happily ever after thrown in, too, right?

What if I told you that it was all going to change? What if I told you you’d travel to the other side of the world with your best friend? What if I said you’d be studying business instead of music? What if I told you there were wonderful things ahead, but they come with a price? And what if I said that price was change? Change in leaving your comfort zone. Change in being vulnerable, but finding yourself. Change to let God make you who He wants you to be.

I guess it’s pretty scary. You don’t want change. You have everything planned out just right. The years ahead aren’t going to be easy. Sometimes it’ll be downright difficult. You’ll have days where you sink to the floor, crying because life doesn’t make sense. There isn’t a way to get around any of that, but I can promise you this: as good as things seem now, your best days are ahead. Sure, maybe some of your worst ones, too, but how can you appreciate smooth sailing without some storms?

Let God take you where he needs you to be, and don’t be afraid to adjust your sails.

I’d like to say I’ve come a long way from those days, but I’m still me and that letter will always be applicable, really. What I’ve come to realize is that God doesn’t want me in my comfort zone all the time. Hardly ever, actually. Because that’s the only way I’ll grow. It’s the only way I’ll learn to trust in Him and not my perfect plans.

I’ve learned to embrace change and the ups and downs it brings. They’re exciting to me now. I’m not saying I enjoy it all, because I definitely don’t. But I do love when I’m able to look back on a trying time and see how much I had to rely on God and how He was able to grow me through whatever life brought.

So next time the winds change, adjust your sails and see where God takes you.


A huge thank you to Mykaela for asking me to guest post! She’s the best. :)



  1. Thank you Janan!! Since I'm seventeen, I understand who you are writing to. I'm maybe not in as big of changes right now, but really do understand. This post reminded me that I can't control how things are changing around me, but I can control how I react to them.
    Thanks :)

  2. That's beautiful and an excellent reminder that to live in my comfort zone is to be less likely to listen to God. It's really hard for me to change when I'm comfortable...Thank you for sharing.


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