New York Times bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa TerKeurst, has recently launched a new series on Instagram that is gaining viral attention.
In a series she is calling “Lysa Letters,” the author is sharing letters she wrote to younger versions of herself. So far, she has shared years 20 through 25 with her followers. Each letter has a different theme, addressing a range of topics like success, love and comparison.
She’s shared a screenshot of each letter to her Instagram, giving her followers insight into her personal life, and offering wisdom 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.
Upon sharing her “Dear 23-Year-Old Me” letter, she described part of her reasoning for posting the letters publicly, saying, “I’ve learned a thing or two in my 49 years of life and I’m a big believer in mentoring those coming behind me.”
In the letter addressed to her 20-year-old self, TerKeurst expressed the importance of not getting caught up in chasing worldly success.
“You will feel a great tug to chase success thinking that’s where the good stuff is,” she wrote. “Not true.”
She reminded her 20-year-old self that the best memories were found in the most basic of moments. She pointed out that every moment can be special, and it is on the individual to pause long enough to see that.
“Success will only contain the good stuff if you’ve been careful enough to bring it along with you,” she added.
In her letter to her 21-year-old self, TerKeurst talked about love and opened up about her relationship with her husband.
“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.”
“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% of the time in marriage is learning to be life partners and companions. A much smaller % of time is bedroom stuff. Attraction is important but character is what you live with.”
The author added the importance of not dating with a “wishful thinking” mindset.
“Let his actions today tell you who he really is and then be brave enough to believe him,” she wrote.
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I’m writing these letters because I feel such a tender responsibility to speak life and truth into the generations coming behind me. And this topic of love is hands down one of the most important. 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 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. #lysasletters
TerKeurst continued to address the importance of dating with a purpose in her letter to her 22-year-old self.
“The decisions you make today are pointing you in the direction your life will go tomorrow,” TerKeurst wrote. “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.”
Warning her readers, she added that if people they trust have spoken caution into their lives about who they are dating then they should listen.
“Because I care,” she captioned the photo.
The topic of success was addressed in TerKeurst’s letter to her 23-year-old self, one that resonates with many ages.
“When you see someone else succeeding and you wonder why things aren’t happening faster for you, consider this,” she wrote, followed with three pieces of advice.
“Her success doesn’t threaten yours,” she wrote, urging readers to instead “cheer her on.”
She encouraged readers to trust in God’s timing. Instead of focusing on others’ success and comparing it to your standing, she urged readers to “let Him develop your character to match your calling.”
Her last piece of advice for success-oriented 23-year-olds was to “pray for preparation over elevation,” because success only brings insecurities to light.
Instead of getting blinded by this, she urged readers to pray and prepare.
In her letter to her 24-year-old self, the Proverbs 31 founder wrote about the importance of humility. She pointed out 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, it’s wise to “caution yourself to remember the value of listening and learning.”
She pointed out that she wasn’t telling readers to stay silent, but instead to be thoughtful about everything they say.
In her caption, she quoted Proverbs 17:27: “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.”
In her most recent letter, to her 25-year-old self, TerKeurst touched on the topic of beauty and self-worth.
“You’re beautiful,” she began. “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, arguing that “beauty emerges from one’s soul.”
“Leave traces of beauty wherever you go,” she wrote, encouraging readers to find beauty in their words, smile, creativity and generous spirit.
Check out TerKeurst’s Instagram here, and stay tuned for more inspiring letters.