Proverbs 31 Ministries founder Lysa TerKeurst recently shared a series of letters she wrote to younger versions of herself addressing topics such as love, dating, success, and identity.
On her Instagram page, The New York Times best-selling author launched a series called “Lysa Letters,” which so far include letters to her 20- to 25-year-old self. Each letter has a different theme, addressing a range of topics relevant to young women.
The 49-year-old wife and mother explained that she decided to write the letters to mentor the next generation — and to help them not make the same mistakes that she did.
“I’m writing these letters because I feel such a tender responsibility to speak life and truth into the generations coming behind me,” she wrote.
In her letter to her 20-year-old self, TerKeurst warned against the pitfalls of success: “You will feel a great tug to chase success thinking that’s where the good stuff is. Not true. The good stuff is found in the basic moments already around you now,” she wrote.
In her letter to her 21-year-old self, TerKeurst talked about love and opened up about her relationship with her husband, Art. In December, the couple renewed their vows one year after announcing they would be divorcing due to Art’s affair and substance abuse.
“And this topic of love is hands down one of the most important,” she captioned the photo. “I’ve learned more about love the past three years than ever before. And though it’s been a devastating season, it’s also been a time of great revelation and redemption.”
“I’ve learned more about love the past three years than ever before. And though it’s been a devastating season, it’s also been a time of great revelation and redemption,” she continued.
“I would choose to marry Art all over again. After all, who he really is emerged most evident when he chose to come back home. Yes, we’ve been through the lowest of times. But 26 years ago, I saw a man who is humble enough to let God course correct him. And ultimately, one who chooses to do the right thing even when all the odds are stacked against him.”
“Don’t look at love as something you’ll get to right all of your wrongs and fill up all your insecurities,” she wrote. “Look at love as something to be prepared enough to give.”
She also shared an important lesson of marriage: “Remember 95 percent of the time in marriage is learning to be life partners and companions. A much smaller percent of time is bedroom stuff. Attraction is important but character is what you live with.”
The author added the importance of avoiding a “wishful thinking” mindset when it comes to dating.
“Let his actions today tell you who he really is and then be brave enough to believe him,” she wrote.
TerKeurst continued to address the importance of dating with a purpose in her letter to her 22-year-old self, writing: “The decisions you make today are pointing you in the direction your life will go tomorrow. Make sure this direction isn’t a justification in disguise.”
‘“Ask yourself,” she wrote, “is this relationships truly in line with God’s word and His faithfulness.”
To her 23-year-old self, TerKeurst wrote, “When you see someone else succeeding and you wonder why things aren’t happening faster for you, consider this,” followed with three pieces of advice.
“Her success doesn’t threaten yours,” she wrote, urging readers to instead “cheer her on," "trust in God’s timing," and “let Him develop your character to match your calling.”
She also advised readers to “pray for preparation over elevation,” because success only brings insecurities to light.
In her letter to her 24-year-old self, the mother-of-five discussed the importance of humility, noting that at age 24, “you are going to start thinking you know a lot.”
She added that even though it might feel invigorating to freely share opinions about everything, “caution yourself to remember the value of listening and learning.”
In her most recent letter, to her 25-year-old self, TerKeurst addressed beauty and self-worth, writing: “You’re beautiful. You’ll doubt it and deny it and feel quite the opposite some days.”
She encouraged readers to not find their worth in beauty that is only skin deep, reminding them that “beauty emerges from one’s soul.”
“Leave traces of beauty wherever you go,” she concluded, encouraging readers to find beauty in their words, smile, creativity and generous spirit.