Letters I love to receive…..

by Rod Smith

(Permission granted)

Dear Mr Rod Smith

My name is TW. I am an 18 year old girl and I live in Durban, SA. (Your hometown, as I am told.)

My mother has been a fan of your column for about as long as I can remember. I only remember this because she regularly cuts out your column from the newspaper and pops it on our fridge so that our family can read it. I must admit however, I seldom do sit down and read your column with the focus and intent that my sweet momma wishes me to. Which is why I feel prompted to send you this email.

I arrived home this afternoon, after a rather draining day at school, and I saw that there was a small newspaper clipping stuck onto my bedroom mirror. I pulled it off, and found that it was your column, “To the girls I know and to the billions I don’t”. My initial reaction was to “read it later”, with no real intention of really reading it at all. But I read it – then and there, standing in front of my mirror.

I am so glad I did.

It is hard to explain how meaningful and powerful words can be when they arrive at the perfect time, and yours certainly did. It is not that I don’t know that I am valued and loved and beautiful – but I find that I forget. Fairly often too – most particularly when I am stressed, or busy, or uncertain. (Which is most of the time.)

It’s a funny thing, reaching the end of your high school career. I’ve found myself thinking back on who I was, and who I have become. More recently however, I’ve been caught up on the thought as to why I haven’t really had a proper relationship before, like most other matric girl. (It’s a silly thought, I know. I am only 18 – but it niggles none the less.) Am I not beautiful? Am I annoying? Am I plain? I don’t know. I haven’t really been able to put my finger on it until I read your column. (Like 6 times.)

I am single for a reason. Not because I am not beautiful, or because everyone else if better than me – I am single because I refuse to settle. I will not settle for a boy who does not see and love me as the raw, essential version of myself. I will not settle for a boy who is only interested in the superficial, and I will not settle for a boy who loves me more than he loves Jesus.

Your column made me realise that this IS okay.

That I am worth more than settling.

I felt so encouraged by the affirmation that “Talent, power and bravery are divinely endowed. They are yours. They are in your bones, your soul; in the depths of your spirit and your being.”

I am talented.

I am powerful.

I am brave.

I am happy to be where I am, and where I am going as me.

My future is full to the brim with possibility and adventure, and I am excited to dive into it as a “gifted, talented, uniquely curious” young woman.

I will not be delicate, I will be vast and brilliant – simply because I am.

With Love and Grace

TW

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