Advice to my 18 Year Old Self

At the Limitless Seminar a week and a half ago, Gerald asked us a question. And it’s been on my mind ever since. I’ve really pondered this question and am still trying to formulate the answer. I figured the best way to do that would be to write about it 🙂 so here’s the question:

“What would you tell your 19 year old self about marriage?”

I took this to heart. I was married at 18 years old. I was 4 months pregnant. Joshua, my husband, did not want to marry me (he will tell you otherwise). I was basically lost. I was a “baby adult” having a baby child. I didn’t even know how to take care of myself! I didn’t even know who I was or what I wanted! Heck, I didn’t even know where baby’s came from! (Don’t judge me. That has a long back story. You can email me if you’re that curious.)

And so as I thought about what I’d tell this insecure, lost, irresponsible, and naïve child… I recognized exactly what I would have told her.

This is my love letter to said child:

Dearest Heilala,

I love you. You are so BRAVE! Stupid choices, but you are brave. You face things head on! You are a fighter! And you keep going. Don’t let anyone or anything keep you from becoming your best self. You are so much closer than you think. And I am so proud of you.

You grew up quickly. You had a lot of trials and yet here you are… Facing them ALL. Yes, I know you’re afraid. Yes, I know you’re trying to do the right thing. And yes, I know you are just trying to make things right. You are doing a beautiful job. Just keep your head up.

There are a few things you should know before you marry this man. I want you to know that I know all of these things are true. And if you hold on to each truth and find out for yourself, you can weather any storm. 

Here is everything you need to know:

1. God lives. And He loves you. You are a priceless daughter of a King. The King of all Kings. And He wants you to succeed. Turn to Him.

2. Christ lives. And He loves you. And He will always be there for you. No one in this world can ever know what you’ve been through  and what you will face. But He will. And He knows the way through. Follow Him.

3. Learn about Heilala. You are your greatest asset and your best friend. Learn about yourself. What do you like? Why do you like it? Why is it important to you? What makes you tick? What motivates you? Learn about yourself before anyone else. Once you know who you are, and Whose you are, it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks you are because YOU know YOU. 

4. He is only a man. He is not your Prince Charming. He is not perfect. He is not superhuman. He will make mistakes. LOTS of them. Forgive him. He is doing his best. Love him unconditionally. Just like you love you. And remember, you’re human too. It will take time and that’s okay! 

5. When you say “yes”, you’re saying yes to EVERYTHING. For better or for worse. You are choosing into the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, everything. All the good choices and all the bad choices. You are committing to make things work REGARDLESS. You are choosing into it all. Accept that, and accept him. Accept all that may come your way. And with the first 4 points, you’ll do just fine.

In conclusion, just recognize that this will be more than just “loving him forever”. This is loving you, loving God, loving life, loving your trials, loving your good times, and loving it all together. You can’t make him love you, but you can make sure that you love him fully and unconditionally.

Thank you for being you. I am amazed at the woman you are and striving to become. See you in 8 years!


Heilala 2016

I probably won’t put 2016 but it’s a nice touch. 

As I look back at the young woman I was, I am in awe. I seriously have no idea how I made it this far. Joshua and I have come a loooooooong way. And I’m pretty sure if we can make it, anyone can. 

But that’s the thing… There really isn’t a destination. It’s choosing into it every single day. There isn’t an anniversary where we’ll say “we did it!” Even in the life after this, we won’t say “well we made it!” We’ll still be growing and learning and loving and progressing. It’s a continual journey. And after 7.5 years… I’m glad I made this choice. Ask me 4 years ago and I may have said otherwise but I love my Joshua. I love our marriage. I love my life. It took a while to get here but I seriously can’t wait to see where we’re going. It’ll be fun regardless!

So all you singletons or newly weds who have asked me for advice, here you go 🙂 insert your name and print it out. Lol. 

I love you dearly. You are loved. You are wanted. You are needed in the world today. If you forgot here’s your reminder.