Dear nineteen-year-old Kellie,
I know you’ve been going through a lot lately. You’ve failed all your classes at university, quit your soldiers training in the Reserve Forces, and now you’re hiding away in the basement of your host family’s house in France crying your heart out. I know it hurts to fail. I know you want to give up and go home, but even home doesn’t understand you, nor have they a place for you.
I see and feel your pain. You have responsibility for someone else’s kids and you’re trying to make it in a culture you don’t understand. You cringe when your host mother reprimands you countless times a day for the smallest mistakes you make. You can never predict when she’s not going to like something you’re doing. She’s your best friend one moment and your enemy the next. Your only escape is either the basement in the laundry room, home to cement walls to bruise your knuckles on, or the bedroom where you lock yourself in to drench your pillow in tears.
I know you’re wondering if the roller coaster you’re on will get to the top of its climb so you can take it easy and enjoy the ride. But it’s a gruelling climb, and it feels like your seatbelt isn’t on, and you’re so scarred to death of what might be over the edge that you want to climb out now.
But hang in there! Don’t punch those walls to ease your emotional pain. You may feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, but don’t you give up! Because this is just a mountain in the journey. You’ve got your entire life ahead of you, and you’re bound to get it right. You don’t have to live in your brothers’ shadows wondering if you’ll ever be successful. You just be yourself.
Listen to me, Kellie: you are not a failure! You may have done a million things wrong and you never seem to finish anything, but don’t believe for a second that it makes you a failure. You are worth more than you can imagine. You are talented, beautiful, and strong. You can push through these tough times and come out on top.
It’s not going to be easy. You’ll have many more trips and falls. But you just keep on jumping up. Rise to any challenge. Be a better you. Don’t worry about how much better other people are compared to you. Don’t compare yourself to them. You are you, and no one else.
Did you know that even your mom failed once or twice in her younger years? Now look at the amazing woman she has become! You can be that woman, Kells Bells. You can be amazing in a way that no one else can.
Someday, you’ll look back on your life as I am now and you’ll have no regrets. You’ll remember all the tears shed when you thought there was no hope, when you were hopeless. But there is always hope. You’ll see how far you’ve come, and you’ll thank those difficult times because they helped shaped you into the woman you are today. There are always going to be hurdles, but you have the ability to jump over them. You can conquer mountains!
And don’t forget that you’re never alone. God is always with you and He’ll hold your hand every step of the way. He has so much more in store for you, more than you could ever imagine.
Keep the faith and press on! I believe in you!