If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say? Would you change anything? Would you be your biggest cheerleader, or would you be your number one critic?
My first answer, without thinking about it, would be to go back and change things. I would probably warn myself of impending heartache, tell myself to let go of things that I held on to for longer than I should have, tell myself to study harder, the list can go on and on…
But… after thinking about it for a little while… I came to this conclusion. If I could go back, I would be my own encourager, I would dispense the grace I never gave myself during the most difficult times.
I would remind myself that “God has a purpose in this”. Whatever this may be. That ALL things (even the hard ones) work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I would remind myself that He is faithful & Sovereign. That even when I mess up, He’s there to catch me, discipline me, pick me back up & run right beside me.
The struggles, the fears, the brokenness… All of it. He had a purpose. He has a purpose.
I hope that this letter to “younger me”, encourages you to look back on your life and see how He has used your most difficult times to mold you. I hope that He uses this letter to prove how He is always there.
A letter to “younger me”:
Dear younger me,
I know you’re only 6, but you’ve made the biggest and best decision in your life. Trusting Jesus as your Lord and Savior will be a wild, beautiful ride, but you won’t know that until you’re 17.
I know you’re only 8, but today something life changing happened. After spending time in the orphanage, you’re experiencing emotions that are unfamiliar. Your heart is aching because you understand that the kids you played with don’t have parents, yet you feel all this love, as you are confused and curious. You’ve been exposed to such a vulnerable population for the very first time. I know that today all your little mind can grasp is that you are convinced that your future career is becoming a foster parent… and people laugh… but don’t ever lose sight of your love and calling toward fostering and adoption.
I know you’re only 9 and you feel crushed because the boy you like has shown an expression of affection towards another girl… I wish that I could spare you the heartache, but this, sweet girl, is only the first. It will be okay. Things will get better.
I know you’re only 12, and you just lost your best friend. You want to be accepted by all the older girls, and you just feel like you don’t fit in anywhere. Don’t feel discouraged, God has set you apart. He’s removed people from your life because they will go down a different road. He’s showing you what it’s like to be alone because you will need to learn that HE alone is who you must depend. This summer, you will experience breakthrough. He will show you how to be who He has called you to be.
I know you’re only 14 and people mock you because you’re different, because you have a purity ring, because you’re choosing to go against the grain, but don’t be discouraged because you are honoring God and He will reward you. You are shining a light in the midst of those that don’t know Him. You might not see instant results, but He is in the midst, and He is using you.
I know you’re only 15 and you feel like you are the only constant friend, you feel like people don’t care about you and they can always find another friend, but through this, Jesus is molding you to know grace. He’s molding you to love beyond, to love just like Him. People won’t understand. They’ll tell you to “drop people”, that they don’t “deserve your love”, but love them ANYWAY. Love them through. This will be a vital part of who you become.
I know you’re only 17 and you’ve begun this year on the wrong foot…or so you think… you feel alone, broken, & unwanted, but TONIGHT, God will use these feelings to show you what true love is. He will show you who He is. How He pursues you. Today your relationship with Him will truly begin and you will fall in love with His Word. Your heart will be softened. You will finally get it. The gift of your own faith – not your parents – will become a reality in your life. This is the start of life change.
I know you’re only 21, and you’ve fallen again. You’re disappointed, hurt and confused. Trying again to find your identity in another man. Sweet girl, through this, you will learn what it’s like to love unconditionally. You will learn patience, and grace in a new way. You will learn how to be truly selfless. You will learn how to be vigilant and how to ask questions. You will learn how to forgive. You WILL get back up again. You will walk in victory because He is victorious.
Younger me… this is only the beginning of the walk of a lifetime. He is good, He is good, HE IS GOOD.