Dear Younger David #2

August 8, 1996

I went to Kings Dominion with a bunch of friends and a girl named Erica. Erica likes me. She is a very cool girl, but I don’t think I would marry her. So, I don’t know if God wants me to continue a friendship with a relationship in mind, or if God wants me to completely stay on the friendship level. I don’t know, I could learn so much by dating her, but I don’t know.

Dear Younger David,

I have no recollection of who this girl even is and you have pages of journal entries discussing the nature of your relationship with this her. It’s funny the things that were so important to us at the time, now seem so silly. Whether you decide to date her or not, it’s ok. Sometimes girls are like weird 90’s fashion, they pop up for a very short time and then are thankfully gone forever. 

Also, and I want to put this right…… what’s wrong with you? You’re in 10th grade, how do you know if would marry her or not. If she’s a nice girl who loves God, what do you have to lose? What do you want? I hear you mention how this girl likes you and contemplating what God wants, but what do you want? Your entry makes it sound like you’re a victim to this circumstance. You’re using your mind alone to make this decision, but what about your heart? Sometimes you worry so much about what everyone else thinks that you forget what you think!

I remember having a complicated view of God during this time. I often felt like I wasn’t good enough and felt guilty for no reason. I felt like I needed to be absolutely perfect to be loved by God and was afraid He would leave me. Younger David, I wish I could go back and again tell you to take a deep breath. You can’t earn God’s love. He doesn’t dangle a relationship with Him in front of us and withdraw it like a weapon if we’re not good enough. It’s not what you do God loves, it’s who you are. If you date that girl, fine, if not, fine. But, know that God loves you either way.

Future David

p.s. Some of the advice I would give to my younger self, I wouldn’t give to everyone. I bet many teens need to be challenged by asking, “What does God want for you.” My challenge during this time was sacrificing what I wanted to an extreme level while not having a healthy awareness of myself.