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A Letter to the Girl I Was a Year Ago



A few nights ago, I decided to go through my headache of a bottom drawer in a storage unit in my room that was filled with paperwork and books from the previous year.


As I was skimming through everything, one book in particular caught my eye.


Staring at its cover, tears immediately filled my eyes. I could remember, so vividly, the day I bought the book.


That day was sunny and the birds chirped with a hopeful song. My emotions resembled the complete opposite. My heart was a heavy weight dragging through my chest, my eyes swollen with salty tear residue lingering. With the last bit of strength I felt I had left, I handed the cashier at Barnes and Noble my purchase. One that I was able to choose in a matter of moments, simply for its title.


"You're Going to Be Okay."


I had no idea what the book was about, or what it entailed. But I was captured by the title. Those simple words were everything at that moment. It was exactly what I needed to hear.


And so, with just the tiniest bit of hope beginning to break out of a cocoon nested in my heart, I drove off, giving my new purchase the faintest of smiles.


Now, nothing majorly upsetting had occurred in my life. No. Nothing that would make you sympathize with me and pet my head and tell me that this hurt would eventually come to an end, or at least minimize.


No. In fact, I had hid this sadness from everyone for that exact reason. Nothing had happened to make me feel that way. It was a battle I'd been fighting ever since I could remember. And it was slowly defeating me.


Self doubt.


I hated myself.


And by hate, I mean loathed. Everyone else was so much better than me in every single way. I had no purpose, and I was a failure and a disappointment. My face was too ugly, my hips too wide, my belly too chubby, my legs too muscular, my hair too thin, my hands too wrinkled, my nose too pointed. I wasn't smart enough, I spoke too often, I sought way too much attention.


The list went on, and on, and on, and on, and on.


I remember.


I remember late nights, clutching my knees to my chest, sobbing into my pillow case to stifle the sound. I didn't want to be Danielle Axelrod anymore. I wanted to be someone else, or no one at all.


I remember looking in the mirror, and disgustingly shouting things at myself.


I remember scrolling through my phone endlessly, looking at pictures of happy couples and wondering why I just wasn't enough for someone else.


I remember changing my appearance in order to gain acceptance from others. A boy once told me he didn't like lipstick, so I stopped wearing it. But the thing is, I like wearing lipstick. It makes me feel bold. But I didn't dare wear it for awhile, because I just wanted him to like me. Spoiler alert- I still was never enough for him.


I sought acceptance from others and felt surprised and angry when rejection kept coming my way. I sought happiness from people and places that only brought a temporary joy that soon faded to a bitter, empty feeling.



I wasn't who I thought I would be.


I never felt good enough.


I never thought I would be good enough.


That, today, breaks my heart.



As I began to open my new book, I started a journey with Jesus to become more complete and whole in my self image. Of course, the book happened to be published by a Christian author, and the pages were filled with the exact hope and

reassurance I needed to become whole again.


So, although I have a long way to go, I am thankful that I am not where I was a year ago. And to that girl, I say:


Dear One Year Ago Me,


I know. I know how much it hurts. I know how badly you want to crawl out of your skin and find a new body to take over. I know you think you are completely worthless and that you will never amount to what you once thought you would. I know it feels like it will never get better for you. Oh, but my dear, you are so wrong.


You may not be able to see any sort of light at the end of a dark self-loathing tunnel right now- but I am living proof that it's there. You see, your worth doesn't come from others. It doesn't come from Instagram likes, or success in your workplace, or a million friends. It will never be found in anyone or anything on this Earth.


It comes from above.


"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully & wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139: 13-14

God created you in His image. He knew exactly what He was doing when He formed you in your mother's womb. So, to hate yourself is almost like a slap in the face to Him.


You may not feel beautiful, but you are. You are in so many ways. Beauty is not just an outwardly appearance. Beauty exudes from within. The more you begin to pour out your heart to the Lord and to others, you will begin to feel your purpose unravel. You will see an infinite potential that was placed in you from day one and you will forget what anyone else thinks.


A confidence will manifest on you like never before, and you will be able to know that you were created for a beautiful purpose. Who cares what anyone else says? This life you live is not for them. It is for Christ.


Stop focusing on receiving love, and start focusing on giving love. You have so much to give, you just don't even realize it yet. Start small, and you will see the hand of God work on your life.


There are going to be days that are harder than others, but remember who you are IN CHRIST, and not who you are to this world.


And most of all- stop comparing yourself!


You were not made to be anyone but you. Accept that! You are uniquely you, and only YOU can fulfill the will of God in your life. If you were someone else, you wouldn't be able to. So embrace your quirky self, and remember that you have a specific purpose that NO ONE ELSE CAN ATTAIN BUT YOU!


Little by little, day by day, you must choose to believe this.


So girl- wear that lipstick, throw your hair up however you want, and eat those cookies.


Who cares what they'll say?


This is the start of your beautiful journey.


You're going to be okay.


Love,

Your future self.



P.S. if you are wondering- the book is titled "You're Going to Be Okay" & is by Holley Gerth. I highly, highly, highly recommend it!


xoxo,

Danielle



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