My first letter is to my second cousin, G! When I first started to write, I didn’t know what to say; but then I was overcome by a multitude of words. If you haven’t checked out the Introduction to the Series, please read here! Blessings, afrotasticlady
Dear Little Sis, G:
I was a teenager when you were a baby. You were cute and chunky. I hadn’t had many experiences with babies in the family, so I was excited about your existence. I watched you transition into a young child to a preteen and then to a teenager. I have always had family members comment on how much I have changed, and how I have become a young woman. Now, I am repeating those same thoughts about you.
You, my second cousin, are sixteen years old. You have developed into an intelligent, gifted, and beautiful individual. You are much more interested in church and God than I was at your age. I was a sweet, quiet girl who yearned to be a rebel. I wanted to escape the rules of church. I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend, but I wanted one desperately. Desperation forced me to have an older boyfriend for about a month. Fortunately, God had my back before things got out of control, and I broke up with the guy.
I also believed I had some street cred, because I knew the lyrics to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and I screamed out songs from Jay-Z’s The Black Album. I lied to my parents to go to a party or two and to hang out at a club. I actually lied a lot. And I know that things could have been worst, but I didn’t ask the same questions about God that you ask now. I didn’t want to belong to God.
Yet, you wake up each Sunday morning to attend Sunday School. You and JS eloquently pray before we begin our lessons. You actively participate in the morning service through giving a few dollars towards offering or playing your flute with the praise and worship team.
Little sis, hold onto that wonder! Your faith reflects the childlike faith that Jesus tells each of us to have. And please keep asking deep theological questions. You ask questions that make me feel like I should have went to theology school. Though, I value your curiosity and your work towards understanding God’s Word.
Little sis, I am not as wise as the older women in our church, but I do have some advice that I would like to share with you.
Identity: You are beautiful. I am not just saying these words, because you are my cousin. The Bible states plainly that “you are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139: 13-14). TV and magazines will deceive you. They will tell you that you have to be a certain weight and skin color to be considered beautiful. They will set certain fashion styles as the standard. But you can void out those lies by reading what God says about you.
Dating/Love: When you are older and become interested in dating, please guard your heart. I will admit that I never liked reading this advice or having someone say these words to me. It sounded like “Christianese.” But it’s beneficial to reel your feelings in if you have already planned your wedding and honeymoon with a guy who has not even asked you to be his girlfriend.
I’m not saying that you should have a heart of stone. I don’t advise you to act like you don’t like a guy when you really do. What I am advising is for you to be aware of how intense your feelings are and to pray to God for clarity. I am even a fan of asking the guy for clarity. Some folks may disagree with me, but there’s nothing wrong with asking a guy, “what’s going on?” Confusion is not fun and it’s very unnecessary. So, do a DTR (define the relationship) chat if you have to. You are worthy of consistency and commitment from a guy. You are worthy of being with a guy who loves Christ and will encourage you to expand your relationship with Him.
Creativity: You love music. You learned how to play the piano and the flute. You joyfully talk about music soundtracks and your wish to enter a music making career. I adore that you are a creative. I imagine that your brain is filled with chords and music notes. Please don’t get deterred from that love. God has placed that love within you! He has gifted you to play. If you have the opportunity to attend a music school or enter into a music program when you go to college, I pray that you do it. Unfortunately, there is a weird notion in the world that you can’t make money off of your creativity. That your talents have to move to the back. You’ve probably heard your grandpa, mom, or someone else quote this verse: “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before men” (Proverbs 18:16). It’s true though.
Little sis, you may end up conducting a world famous orchestra or managing the music score of a Hollywood movie. God can put you in those spaces.
Little sis, you are unique and a go-getter! Since I am cheesy as you say, I want you to read the words of another go-getter:
“Don’t block your blessings. Don’t let doubt stop you from getting where you want to be.” -Jennifer Hudson
Monica aka afrotasticlady