Since it’s a new year, I’m reminded of the scripture that is so befitting, “Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.” Although it’s the perfect time to look forward, it is also the ideal time to look back. So, what advice would you give your younger self? Research stated that mulling over the question is a common human experience. It turns out about ⅓ of adults ponder the subject once a week. In addition, when some scientists surveyed that question, they learned it was the best way to get over regret. So, here are the three pieces of advice I’d give my younger self.
Know Your Worth
I’ll never forget when I was around ten years old, and I found 10 dollars as soon as I got off the school bus. The crisp bill immediately caught my eyes. I picked it up and said out loud, “I found 10 dollars.” In hindsight, I should have said nothing. A pretty, light-skinned girl with long hair told me it was hers. I knew it wasn’t hers because she got off the bus behind me, but I didn’t measure up to her. I was dark with short hair and big lips- the beauty that got little attention in the ’80s. The walk home was the longest ever. When I got there, I told my dad. He asked me why I had given the girl the money. I didn’t respond.
I hung my head lower and said to myself that I didn’t measure up. And that same attitude followed me into my adulthood. When you don’t know your worth, you will attract people who mistreat you. It’s like a magnet. It was not until after my divorce that I had to spend time unbecoming what I had become. I reminded myself of what God says about me: I am loved and the apple of His eye. I had to respect myself and love myself enough to care about all of me. It may have seemed that I wasted time, but God is a redeemer. He will restore my time..
Don’t Have Sex Before Marriage.
Growing up in church, I often heard sex before marriage was a sin. No one made it clear on the reason, and I wasn’t reading the Bible as I should have, so in my mind, I believed the lie that it wasn’t realistic, so I compromised myself in a couple of situations. And within a couple of those compromising situations, it wasn’t worth the 10 minutes. So I vowed to abstain from sex until marriage. A long six years later, I compromised myself again with my ex-husband before we got married and ignored the red flags. It clouded my judgment. I thought our marriage would be the beginning of a blazing union, but in reality, I settled for what was steam and good lighting. He left me after 13 years. How could he? I got the answer as I sat in one of the DivorceCare sessions, and someone stated that when it is easy to sin before marriage, it is easy for someone to leave after it. I realized I threw my values out the door when I compromised myself, and I have suffered the consequences.
Manage your Money (Be a Good Steward)
I have made some good money over the years, but I didn’t know how to manage it. And at 48, I playing catch up, but I’m grateful. As the interest accrued on my student loans and grew sick of living paycheck to paycheck even after releasing my tithes, I began learning about financial freedom. I budget, live below my means, give more, and change my mindset about wealth. If I knew then what I know now, I’d be retired right now.
I must say the question helped me realize how much I have grown in loving myself. My former Pastor before he died in 2009 called me Oprah Winfrey often, so when I came across her sharing her thoughts on what she would say to her younger self: relax, stop being afraid, and to believe everything is going to be alright; It gave me that extra push to share: know your worth, don’t have sex before marriage, and manage your money.
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