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Dear Teenage Self: Finding God Changes You

woman thinking while walking in body of water

Looking back 16 years ago, I never thought that my life would be what it is today. And I’m not just talking about how the way the world works—obviously there was no TikTok in 2006. Classmates at school didn’t assign themselves pronouns. “Mom jeans” weren’t a style. Just jeans our moms wore.

No, I’m talking about who I was back then as compared to who I am today. Life as a teenager seemed so complicated and overwhelming. Every disappointment felt like the world was ending, and no one understood my feelings. But when I decided to look for God, I discovered what it meant to know that I could ask God for direction and guidance in my life. 

And that changed everything for me.

There’s still a lot of life lessons for me to learn, but if I could go back and write my teenage self a letter, this is what I would say:

Dear 14-year-old Rachelle,

Your life is very, very different from what you think it’s going to be like. I know, I know—you just started high school. You’re a normal girl, just living life and doing things teenagers do. 

You spend too many hours on the phone with your friends every day, too many hours on the weekends at the movies and mall with your friends. Basically, at this moment, your life revolves around your friends. Not once will you ever think to look for God, but that completely changes. 

You’re going to meet someone this year who will invite you to a few Bible studies and even a worship service. Surprisingly, you’re going to say yes! Do you know how quickly things could change when you open yourself up to wanting to seek God? And you find Him, even when you aren’t actively looking? You’re now a normal woman, living life with purpose, and it’s all because you found God. 

Here are five ways looking for God changed your life:

  1. You’re much friendlier and open to meeting new people.

I’m not saying you were a mean person before you joined the Church Of Christ! But people will tell you that your personality changed once you found God. You smile more, you introduce yourself to people you’ve never met—and I attribute it all to, frankly, being happy. In the Church Of Christ, the love is truly felt among the members. We call each other brother or sister and they’re not just words or titles—that’s something you won’t experience anywhere else. No matter where you go, you’ll feel as if you have family surrounding you.

  1. Your values and priorities shifted towards something worth focusing on.

Right now, all you’re thinking about is hanging out with friends, what your plans are going to be for the weekend, going to all of your classes, and maybe what you’re going to eat tomorrow. Right now, you’re feeling like you don’t really have any true direction in life.  But all of that is going to change. Instead of spending the weekend staying out late with your friends, you will opt to sleep early because you’ll have worship service the next morning. And guess what?? You’ll want to go! You’ll want to hear what message God has for you every single week. You’ll go from barely wanting to attend the Catholic mass with mom and Sam to attending worship services twice a week–willingly

You see, when you find something that you truly believe in—the truth in the Bible and God—things that once seemed difficult to do all of a sudden come easy.

  1. You won’t feel alone anymore.

I know, I know, when you’re in your feelings and going through it, you don’t really feel like talking to anyone. Sometimes, you just want to sit in your sadness. Understandable. But it can get lonely sometimes. However, with God in your life, you’ll never feel alone. You can be in your feelings with God because He will listen to all your problems and even help you find solutions without feeling like you’re being a burden. And God has your best interest in mind—don’t forget that. He will be there to direct and guide your path, especially during moments of uncertainty. 

Also, a lot of worries disappear when you know how you should live your life and are being guided every step of the way. Now, that’s not to say you won’t have problems. Finding God doesn’t magically make all of the hard things in this world disappear. But because of God, you’ll have the constant reassurance that no matter what happens, YOU WILL BE OKAY. And that’s a huge weight lifted off your shoulders.

  1. You have a sense of belonging.

Being a member of the Church Of Christ makes you feel like you have a second family everywhere and anywhere you go. You finally feel like you belong. You won’t have to try to fit in because you will already feel the love from everyone from the moment you attend your first Bible study. They’re welcoming, warm and just full of genuine care. And it will be like that no matter what congregation you go to or visit. But you won’t only feel that belonging with your brothers and sisters in the faith—you especially feel it with God. Knowing you’re able to fulfill His intended purpose for you, you’ll just know that you are where you were always meant to be.

5. You’ll live life with purpose and have something to look forward to.

Let’s face it: life is hard. It was back then, and it still is. But finding God will give you the assurance that all of these difficulties you face won’t amount to nothing. You may spend hours on end working to survive in this world, then perform the duties you have for Church, go home to sleep and do it all over again the next day, but those hours you will spend for God will build up to a better future in heaven.

You may not be looking for God at this very moment. But I am certain you are looking for something.  And the moment you find God, you’ll realize that this is exactly what you never knew you needed. This was exactly where you were meant to be. You now have intent, direction, a second family no matter where you go in the world, genuine happiness, confidence in what’s to come, a true reason to live a purposeful life. These five reasons listed above aren’t enough for me to express how much your life has changed for the better. You just need to see it for yourself. 

And I can’t wait.


Your 30 year old self

Ready to see how God can direct your life?

Maybe you’re waiting for the perfect time to seek out God? But if you’ve gotten this far in the blog, you’re interested in learning what God can do for your life. That’s a big step!   

My experience has taught me that there is no better time than today to go after the important things in life. So, if you’re ready to see what it means to look for God, set up a time to talk with a minister of the gospel in the Church Of Christ. Today is a good time.

If you want to see more examples of how finding God can change your life, visit the Stories Of Faith page. There are extraordinary stories of everyday people discovering God’s purpose for them.

About the Writer.

Rachelle Jen Radoc is a producer and staff writer at INC Media. She joined the Church Of Christ in 2010 and loves singing in the choir. Rachelle is a BTS fan who loves going to the gym. She and her husband live in the San Francisco Bay Area with their young son. 

About the Author

Rachelle Jen Radoc is a producer and staff writer at INC Media. She joined the Church Of Christ in 2010 and loves singing in the choir. Rachelle is a BTS fan who loves going to the gym. She and her husband live in the San Francisco Bay Area with their young son.