Dear younger self,
Don’t try to grow up too fast. I know you will try anyways, but don’t. Enjoy every moment of being a kid and don’t take life too seriously. There will be seasons along your journey that are hard and confusing, but in it all know that you are loved and that it will get better. You are important, but don’t (and I mean DON'T) get bitter or try to avoid the process. The hard times are unavoidable and no perfection or doing everything “right” will keep it from happening. The Lord is for you and not against you. Your family and dearest of friends will stick beside you through it all.
You are a Christmas baby, a Christmas miracle even, so Christmas will eventually be your absolute favorite time of year. The presents, the joy, the festivities, and most importantly the celebration of Jesus coming to earth. Allow Jesus to be your example. Listen up as much as you can when daddy is reading you your bedtime story every night out of your Bible Stories. Cherish those moments (it’ll be one of your favorite things with daddy), but listen up as life is an adventure and the rollercoaster isn’t going to slow down or stop.
But the reason I’m writing you now is to give you a heads up about one of the hardest lessons you’ll have to learn as you grow up. It’s going to be hard so don’t try to underplay it as if “you have it all together." That’s a lie. Learn that now. You will never be super-woman, as you are a human that has flaws, struggles, and weaknesses. Everyone has them whether they want to admit it or not. Allowing yourself to be human and taking care of yourself is not selfish, it’s healthy and you’ll be better for it.
One of the big things that will cause you to question all of these things mentioned and even more truths you will learn from scripture will be during the process. The process is also known as the journey, adventure, seasons, waiting period, growth cycle, but it’s really just the process of life. There will be moments where everything is great and you feel like you just won a huge stuffed Koala at Chuck-E-Cheese, but there will also be moments where you feel lost and as if every one and every thing has forgotten about you. As if God has forgotten about you and has forgotten about the promises He has made to you. But I’m sure even at a young age you know that’s silly and will never be true. That’s just a yucky feeling telling you that things are a little tough at the moment but it will get better. Rainbows always come after rainstorms.
Since you love Christmas, let me explain this to you with the Christmas story.
Jesus is the son of God, but He had a promise to keep. God had promised for ages that He would send a Messiah (a super special dude that is God’s son that would change everything for every person for the rest of time). So Jesus left Heaven, where He was royalty, to come to Earth as a little baby that would need help with everything. He gave up being known to being unknown. But even as a little baby He had big things ahead of Him. His first time at the Temple (like a church), baby Jesus was being blessed (like dedicated), and this was spoken over Him:
Jesus was promised that He would have this amazing future ahead of Him in His life, but we don’t know about a lot of His life. The next time we hear about Him in scripture is when He’s 12 and then when He’s 30. That’s huge age gaps in between! So what happened during the time in between? Those anonymous years?
The process of growth took place. From a little one to a man. I can’t imagine the questions that He could have asked over the years. Those years where He probably felt as if everything was in limbo or on hold. The dreams, the promises, the future ministry, and the time to go back up to being with the Father could not happen yet as it was not time. But He remained faithful. He remained grounded and didn’t get too big for His britches. He didn’t get impatient. The promise of His call that He was sent to Earth to fulfill would be well worth the wait, but in the process He had to wait and grow. That doesn’t mean He didn’t feel all the emotion and feelings. He felt the hurt. He felt the frustration. He literally had people spit in His face and tell Him that He was crazy. But in the end He prayed to the Father,
The Lord is going to give you dreams and passions. He will speak visions that are as clear as day that you will never be able to forget. He will promise you very specific details of what you are called to do in your future. But in the mean time you have to go through the process and even a waiting period. There will be moments that you will cry out to God as if He has forgotten the promises He has made to you. He has not and never will forget, it’s just not time yet. The time in between in the “anonymous years” or the times it feels as if your call has been put “on hold," remember that your story is not over yet. Your character is growing during these seasons and God is making you more like Him. The darkness that seems to lurk longer than you’d like and the tears that flow from the loneliness and disappointment will go away.
But it usually doesn’t make any sense to us in the moment. You probably won’t understand why God will keep calling you to stay, wait, and trust. The waiting process where you feel as if your life and calling are “on hold” will be some of the most formative seasons of your life. Because of Jesus, there is no reason to worry or try to control situations yourself. Trust the Lord with every fiber in yourself as He will forever be your constant that will keep giving you reason to wake up in the morning when you feel as if you’ve lost all hope. When you’re one day answering a bajillion phone calls every day and being yelled at (after you’ve graduated college, gotten a degree, and still barely making enough money to survive), don’t give up hope. When you think you’re supposed to have it all together and supposed to be “living the dream," don’t give up on the dream in your heart and the promise that the Lord spoke over you. Don’t quit dreaming. Don’t be fooled by the feeling that says that you’ve missed a step and made a mistake in the process to keep you from the promise. That feeling is a lie. Your feelings are important, but take them as information and not as hard facts. Every step of the way and in every season, trust the Lord. I promise that He has not forgotten about you. Don’t even tempt yourself with giving into the misconception that the grass is greener on the other side. There’s hard lessons you will have to learn that will be painful and make you want to run, but don’t run. Running from things will only elongate the process. Choose to stick out the process. Choose to trust even when you’re tired and want to give up. Choose to remember that you are surrounded by some amazing people that are rooting for you, and believe in who God has made you to be. They will be there to help you, let them.
The purpose for your life is not over even when it feels like it is. You have not reached the end of your story when you think you have. The promises will be kept, but the seasons still come and go. Let the Christmas story always remind you that it will be worth it, but it will take time.
One more thing: When you reach eighth grade and you start doing your hair differently, don’t part your hair in the middle. Part it on the right side of your head. You’ll thank me later.
Your nearly twenty-six year old self