because they need us to remember

east coast

Tonight, I’m standing in the middle of a hundred high school students, two up front leading us in worship. I can only see one of them from where I stand, sunglasses on his head, guitar strapped to his front. What will he say to his teenage self in 20 years?

I can’t help but think it. Everywhere I look, there are teenagers. I’ve been reading your letters and so I know this: we are all so desperately needy. For us, the kind of neediness that comes with being in high school is long over.

But for them? It is right now. I don’t think we can fix it, change it, or advise it away. But I think they need us to know it. I think they need us to remember what it was like. Some friends remembering:

Jeff Goins

Amber Haines

Dawn Camp

Kat from Inspired to Action

Rhett Smith

graceful for young women by emily p freemanThis letter writing exercise is more fun and more emotional than I initially expected. I’m so enjoying it and I hope you’ll join us tomorrow.

how to write your own letter

Whether you wrote your letter a long time ago or are planning to post it tomorrow, simply grab the permalink to your post and follow the directions in the linky.

Use one of these “Dear Me” graphics in your post because they are awesome.

I plan to have to linky up and ready to go by 1o am EST. To read an example of some letters and get some ideas of what you might want to include, visit the letters page.


  1. says

    I have loved reading these letters. I finished mine today. I’ll link up tomorrow. It was a really fun and also a really emotional thing for me to write. I’m 39 but honestly, teenage me still feels a lot like grown-up me. : )

  2. Becky says

    I have so enjoyed reading the Dear Me letters. Is it at all a possibility that a collection of them could be published in a book? I also have the privilege of working with youth and think that they could hugely benefit from such a project.

  3. says

    I’m working on my letter. Girl – this is fun, so why the tears? I’ve cried over so many of the letters I’ve read already. Such a beautiful way to reflect back. If only we could have seen so clearly back then.

  4. says

    Good perspective, Emily. And SO true. Teenagers especially just need to know acceptance and unconditional love. Thank you for bearing so much weight from all these letters. Praying for your heart to be protected and strong…if needed :)

  5. says

    I just wrote mine and the tears are coming nonstop. Thank you for the invitation for this cathartic experience. I didn’t realize I needed it. XO

  6. says

    I’m so glad I found you. My letter is ready and what a great writing exercise this was. Seems it brought a lot of tears to a lot of people. I’m thinking healing tears;) And I recognize several of these people. I feel like I’m among friends already. Thank you again for allowing us to be a part of this.

  7. says

    This is so “strange,” but I posted a letter to my teenage self yesterday, without any knowledge of this link-up. A friend of mine asked if I was participating here, which is what drew my attention to it. I have a burden on my heart for teen girls, and love that you are reaching out to them! :)

  8. says

    Emily, I will never forget this opportunity. I don’t know if I would have ever done this. Thank you for encouraging me to love and good deeds. I’m still crying right now–I cried as i wrote, cried when i read it to my husband. I am humbled by the thought that God has always been there and He loved me even with my scarlet stains–oh i am thankful for you Emily. I will be giving this book to many…also I’m sure it’s God’s perfect timing that I found this book as I am now leading a small group of High School girls. Thank you. To God be the glory!

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