Dear Me…Letter To My Younger Self {Carmen Horne}

Letters To My Younger Self Series Pic

What are some of the things you wish you could tell your younger self? July is my birthday month and part of the celebration will be glimpses into the lives of five generations of women. There seems to be something healing about getting our stories down on paper. An opportunity to share the wisdom we have gained with others and the reassurance that we are not alone. Some of us write publicly, others of us only put pen to paper for ourselves. All of us have been trusted with a gift –  our journey.

Several times this month we will have giveaways – some of my favorite things. What’s a birthday without gifts?

Let me briefly introduce you to our writers…

July 9 – Kristi Woods ~~Generation X

July 16 – Cookie Walter, Mom ~~Generation Mature

July 23 – Katina Brown ~~Generation Y

July 30 – Malloree Newell ~~Generation Z

Today I share my story. A letter to a sixteen-year-old who is about to enter one of the most pivotal years of her life. I often joke with Lary and say, “I hope you like me because you helped make me who I am. You finished raising me.”

16 bday2 polaroid captioned

Dear Carmen,

As I look into your eyes, I feel the excitement I see in your smile.

You are celebrating in this photo, wrapped in Lary’s arms. Games, cake, friends, and family fill this night. Sweet sixteen.

A promise ring is your gift. You might find this hard to believe but you will still have this ring thirty-nine years later.

Your sixteenth year is a pivotal one. Although on this night there is only a promise, in November you will become engaged and just before your seventeenth birthday, you will become Mrs. Lary Horne.

Tonight, your smile portrays the sense that you are now in that sweet place of perfect. What more could you ever want or need?

You will spend many days and years after this night searching for perfect. Too many. You have yet to understand where true love and security lay. You think it is wrapped up in a man – your man. You will be perfect and he will be perfect and you will never feel abandoned or unloved or unsure of your beauty again.

There are many things to learn about yourself. As the camera flashes, you believe your strength comes from your relationships with others, especially Lary. He’s the strong one. He has the answers. Every bit of your worth is tied up in that handsome blue-eyed blonde you are hanging onto for dear life.

You seek his approval above all others. And when you feel you don’t have it, you feel anxious and sad. Your happiness will be tied to his happiness for years. As you grow older you will discover that you have placed him in the position of honor that belongs to Jesus. Oh, how unfair that is. To him and to you. How will he grow and learn with those expectations? Why would he feel he needed too?

Victories over brokenness and insecurities will put you through battles that will be hard-fought. You will need to learn that God is your refuge, your strength, your hope, your security, your Savior. A keen awareness that your significance is tied up in Jesus will come, I promise.

Learning these things will bring scars that you will come to see as beauty marks. They will be used by God to grow you and make you stronger. God will make beauty from the ashes of your dreams and you will learn to appreciate the weaknesses you carry tonight.

Carmen, you are strong. So much stronger than you think you are. You are beautiful and smart. Trust your inner self. You gave that part of you to Jesus at church camp and you will need His wisdom to walk your path; a journey that God knew before your birth. He knows your strength and He lovingly celebrates as you learn these things about yourself.

Looking at you from my perspective today, 39 years later, I’m not sure how I would rearrange your life. So many things could have been done differently but what would I choose? You have changed. God will and has renewed and restored.

Every tear and every scar will be worth it. In 2015 you will still be married to your sweetie and one of your dearest friends will be your daughter. You will still be following God’s path and…you will feel so blessed to be you.

I love you dearly,


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  1. I love this letter, Carmen, how God shows you that your significance is tied up in Jesus. Beauty from ashes. :) Thank you for sharing this and other letters.

  2. Carmen, how sweet. <3
    Wonder if we share a birthday? Mine is the 16th.
    The whole idea of this series is so creative. Love it. :)
    Happy Birthday to you! ((hug))

  3. Carmen,
    I can very much relate to this letter. In December I spoke to 250 9th & 10th grade girls. In preparing to speak to them, I prayed “Lord what on earth can I say to this group of teens?” He told me write a letter to your 15 year old self. So that’s what I did. It was so therapeutic. In both of our reflections we extend ourselves GRACE and I think that’s a lesson we can practice today. Sometimes I find women of God to be so hard on themselves. BTW – Allure is my favorite. Happy to be your neighbor @ #Raralinkup

  4. Happy birthday, Carmen! I think this calls for a birthday MONTH! What a great idea for a series. I’m looking forward to this. In Turkish we say, “waiting with 4 eyes.” :-)

    Your letter touched me in that it reminded me how as brides our identities are so tied up in our husbands. Good to remember that we’re brides of Christ. :-)

  5. Oh, I have tears streaming. So much truth in your letter, Carmen. And not just for your younger self…

    I’ll take heart too! Thank you for sharing on DanceWithJesus. Hugs, Susan

  6. A sweet, sweet letter. Wow! a bride at 16? Another wow! Girl, you and Lary have much to celebrate, having weathered the years of successful marriage that you have. Kudos and praise God.
    :-) It sounds as though your bday was fantastic, rightly so for a fantastic gal like yourself. Blessings, friend.

  7. Such a beautiful letter, sweet Carmen. The grace and love that you have for your younger self is truly inspirational. I am only now learning to love my younger self, and there is so much freedom that has resulted.
    Blessings and hugs xxxxx

  8. Happy birthday my friend! I am celebrating right alongside of you as my birthday is tomorrow! I will also be having giveaways on my blog of some of my favorite things! I thing the thing I would tell my younger self is how very much she is loved and adored by God. I didn’t have any knowledge of a loving Father God until I was in my 20s and I’ve struggled to accept His love for me all of my life. Blessings!

  9. Wow Carmen, our stories are so similar! I always tell my husband he finished “raising” me as well and for years I put him on a pedestal that wasn’t fair to him. I love your point about each of us being trusted with our journey. Thanks for sharing! #livefreeThursday