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Dear baby Nici,

This is you, from the future. I’m 22 years old and there is so much I want to tell you. You’re 12 years old, in the 5th or 6th grade. I know life is rough. You probably cried just today. I know the girls are ignoring you and the boys are making fun of you…

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About the mustache that reaffirms just how much you look like your daddy. About the fact that your last name is different from your daddy’s. That you and your sister look nothing alike but love each other just as much.

I know Mom doesn’t understand. I know it’s been hard trying to explain to them why you’re getting in so much trouble at school. I know about the lame counseling sessions and the fact that no one understands. Baby, I know.

But I want you to know that God knows too. He sees your pain: the way you cry at night, the journals you keep, the boys that say they like you but really don’t. He sees the time you thought about committing suicide. He sees the way you want to change who you are. He sees the way you wanna hide from the world.

He sees it all. He sees you. And He loves you just the way you are, no matter what.

Don’t listen to the mean things they say. Everything that people have been saying about you is a lie. Only God knows the real truth about you. Nothing about you is a mistake. Every single detail, every small thing about you, is special and purposeful. He loves you just the way you are because He created you to be awesome!

When they call you ugly, remember that God said you’re beautiful. When they don’t want to be your friend, remember Jesus said He would never forget about you. When they say you’re stupid, remember that God said you can do anything with Jesus. When they don’t invite you to their parties or sleepovers, when they talk about you behind your back, when they use you…know that God calls you royalty. Even if no one else sees it, God calls you His princess. That’s all that matters.

I know it seems so hopeless now. But there’s so much hope in your future. You’re gonna graduate from a great high school. You’re gonna go to college and do some amazing things. Pageants, social clubs, concerts, student government…everything you think you fail at or can’t do now, you’re gonna succeed in! You’re gonna graduate with two sets of honors and do whatever you wanna do. Everyone is gonna support you. I’m only 22 and I don’t even know yet what’s in-store for the rest of our life. But it’s gonna be great!

There’ll be some pain. Loved ones will pass away. Mom will get sick but she’ll be ok. You’ll lose some friends and gain awesome ones. Boys will come and break your heart, only for God to restore it again. He’s gonna show you what it means to really be loved.

So, if you remember anything from this letter, don’t give up. Be joyful…happy! Have so much hope for your future. It’s sure enough brighter than this current moment. And when you’re 22, I want you to look back at this letter and remind yourself how far you’ve come in your short time on this earth. Look back, because even though you may feel small and insignificant, you have a world to conquer and a voice to use to help other girls like you. So don’t be afraid.

One last thing…remember what Pastor LaFrance said? She said you weren’t born to fit in – you were made to stand out. Yes, you’re different. But the world will realize it needs exactly who you are and what you have to offer. Just don’t change yourself before it does.

Janicia in 2011 Miss Howard University Pageant

Janicia in 2011 Miss Howard University Pageant

I love you much :)

xo, janicia.

P.S. You’re totally not going to Spelman. But the school you will go to is way cooler. Hint: check out Washington, DC.

*I wrote this letter because I was inspired by 29 Blog Prompts For Inspiration found on From Rae With Love. Thanks Rae!

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