Striving Is Not What Makes You Someone: Letter To My Teenage Self

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Dear Teenage Julie, 

I admire your willingness to work hard, always wanting to do your best. I really do. From the time you were little, you’ve only wanted to keep up to those older brothers of yours.

To be good.

To do right.

To show everyone that you are someone.

But I need to whisper something to your soul. Something so many of us miss. You included.

It Is Not In the Striving

You need to know that striving is not what makes you someone. 

That being good and working hard are great attributes, but that’s all they are. 

They can’t solve all your problems.

They can’t get you everything you want in life.

They can’t comfort you in your sorrow, give you smooth sailing in life, or ensure your salvation. 

My dear girl, you don’t have to prove your worth. Never for a minute think that!

You don’t have to fit in or be good enough.

You Are Good Enough

You are good enough because Jesus gave you His goodness.

Striving is not what makes you someone. You are good enough because Jesus gave you His goodness. Share on X

Others may not think so, but so what? 

Pleasing them will never get you what you want.

Trying to make it by just being better will always fail. 

You see, you are loved for who you are, not what you do. Maybe not by some, but by the only One who truly matters.

You are loved for who you are, not what you do. Share on X

The Lord of Lords and King of Kings, your Creator, loves you with an undying love. You are His beloved child, and He offers you rest from all your striving. He invites you into His presence with a single word, “Come.”

No amount of trying will get you what God freely offers: joy and peace and everlasting life. 

No amount of trying will get you what God freely offers: joy and peace and everlasting life. Share on X

seeking after God

And the only seeking that really matters is seeking after the God of the universe.

The only seeking that really matters is seeking after the God of the universe. Share on X

His Grace

Because He is the One who makes you good. He is the One who carries you when your strength fails (and it will fail). He is the One who wipes away your tears, comforts you in your sorrows, and will give you life after your body returns to dust. 

So please, young Julie, quit trying to do it all. Stop trying to please others and make it by your own “doing.” 

Lean on the Lord always. Through the good times and bad, through the happy moments and sad.

Each day, let Him surround you with His beauty and give you rest. 

No matter what others may think of you, seek after God for peace.

You’ll find His grace, and not your ability to be good enough, is what makes you someone. God’s grace is the key to a life lived well. 

“Search for the LORD and for His strength; seek His face always” (Psalm 105:4).

Reflections: What advice would you give to your younger self? 

For the next month or so on Thursdays, I’ll be exploring “spiritual whitespace” or soul rest with Bonnie Gray at’s first book, a deeply moving memoir of sorts, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest, released June 3. It’s perfect timing for this soul-weary gal and I’m sure for many of you. Won’t you join me as we find rest in the only place it exists, the bosom of the Lord.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, today’s prompt was to write a letter to your younger self. 

Linking with

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespacenew whimsical wed


By His Grace,



  1. Mandy on June 12, 2014 at 9:37 pm


  2. Marisa Shadrick on June 13, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I think God doesn’t want me to grow up too quickly–childlike faith! Great post, Julie.

    • Julie Sunne on June 13, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      Hmm, He may just feel the same way about all of us, Marisa.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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