A Letter To Younger Me
I changed a lot through my twenties. And I mean a lot.
This past year, particularly, I have felt like a snake shedding its skin. I discovered the reason they do this is to allow for further growth and to remove parasites that may have been attached to their old skin.
I suppose that is what I have been going through myself recently, metaphorically speaking.
In my shedding, I am throwing off all the misconceptions, lies, unhealthy thought patterns
and behaviours that I naively picked up in my twenties (because let’s face it, 20 something’s still have a lot to learn), allowing room for further growth in my life.
Now I am in my thirties, I have been reflecting on what I would say to my younger self to help her navigate through this roller coaster life.
This is my note to her.
Dear younger me,
Run your own race, stay in your lane and whatever you do, don’t compare yourself to others.
Run your own race, but please don’t run isolated from others.
Find the people that God has strategically placed in the lane next to yours and run together side by side.
Isolation is a tactic from the enemy, community is God’s idea and He will bring the right people into your life.
You may not know them now, but they are coming and they are an absolute gift from God.
Don’t be afraid to colour outside the lines.
God is not looking for perfection. He loves your scribbles, just like a parent who loves the drawing their child has done for them.
Don’t stay confined to the boxes that you’ve set around yourself or others have put you in.
Live a life that steps outside the lines and takes risks. A life that creates beyond whatever you thought possible.
Don’t try and be the best, just simply give your best. You have nothing to prove.
Don’t strangle people according to your assumptions. You do not know their full story.
It’s easy to find the dirt in people. Dirt often lies on the surface.
Gold is found when you dig deeper, beyond the surface. It’s worth the time to find the gold.
Assumptions almost always get you into trouble. People will make assumptions about you. That’s Ok. It’s between them and God.
Avoid becoming defensive and always having to justify yourself. This is exhausting.
When it comes to relationships, choose steadfastness over excitement.
Steadiness endures, excitement is a feeling, and feelings are fragile and fleeting. Steadiness stays committed through all the ups and downs of life and is not shaken by brokenness and human frailty.
Excitement gives up far too easily when the reality of hardship kicks in.
Steadiness finds intimacy, whereas excitement doesn’t stick around long enough to discover the joy of being known, and loved, through all your own personal evolutions.
Steadiness in a relationship creates space for vulnerability, as human weakness doesn’t scare it or cause it to crumble.
It says ‘you can tell me anything, show me your true self, I am not going anywhere’.
Excitement in a relationship encourages us to hide the part of us we think others won’t like, or accept.
It says, ‘don’t show who you really are, I am afraid what you show them they won’t like, they will get bored and it will fizzle out.’
Don’t sacrifice your commitment for your curiosity of the excitement. That would be foolish.
One lasts, the other does not.
It’s easy to get attached to things that are unhealthy for you, but the freedom you’ll find is greater than the loss you grieve when you remove the poison from your heart.
It’s a strange tension, knowing that with freedom also comes loss and pain.
One lasts, the other does not.
Freedom is your future.
Daily choices are like treasures; the right ones being stored in Heaven and the wrong ones remaining on this Earth, in plain sight for all to see.
The significance of one tiny little yes or no, determines where your treasure lands.
Vulnerability is your friend, not meant to bring you hurt but to release you from it.
Your honesty will not be the death of you, it will bring you life.
Don’t try to control it, your weakness and confusion, wanting to hide it, never dreaming you’d boast in it for it’s in your weakness you will realise your need for God.
You will impress people with your strength, but you’ll connect with people with your vulnerability.
When you are in a season of waiting, resist fretting, striving and scheming.
Rest in God, walk with Him, look to Him because He holds it all. Your world, your days, and your heart.
Believe that He’s good, as you wait and count on your waiting room being God’s greatest workroom.
Because it is here He can get to work, go deep as you stop and place your whole self, right before the healer of your heart.
Busyness doesn’t always equal growth.
Kind of like a rocking chair, it keeps you busy but gets you nowhere.
Growth is less likely to happen in your busyness and more likely to happen in your stillness.
Position yourself before God and listen to His words of life, that bring revelation and plant seeds in your heart.
Make time to be still in God’s presence. You will find strength on your knees.
So, visit vast places that inspire awe and wonder, it will bring you to your place of surrender.
And somehow in the vastness, you will not find yourself lost, but found.
Your life can change overnight. But, you can still breathe through the drastic change of pace.
Catch your breathe and be patient with yourself; it takes time to adjust from manic to restrained, chaos to boredom, overworked to uninvolved.
For broken dreams, the cure is to dream again. Before long, the pace of your life will change again.
Seasons are God’s idea. Without them, nothing grows and evolves.
It’s better to have patience than power. In fact, there is power in the pause.
Embrace the season of being hidden and not seen, rested and not stretched, protected and not bombarded, healed and not all sorted, reflective and not active. These will dent your ego and pride, but embrace it you must to see humility form in your heart.
Humility will take you far, further than ego and pride, because the world is really not all about you.
You grow when you prioritise your character development
over the need to express your gifts and talents.
You won’t always feel motivated, so you will need to learn to be disciplined.
It’s in discipline that you will have a chance at finding your hidden potential. It’s worth it.
Believe that, one day, you will live in the fruit of the moments you invest in with God,
even though you may not ‘feel’ anything or hear anything.
No time with God is wasted.
I’m living in the fruit of all those moments you invested in the secret place all through your late teens and twenties. Thank you.
Don’t always ask God to take you out of hard and chaotic situations.
He may not take you out, but He will take your through.
Your capacity to experience God’s peace is directly linked to your belief in the promises of God, and increased peace comes through increased prayer, spending time in his presence and reflecting on His promises.
You will find your peace in the hope, and not just in the miracle.
The storm is not forever, the waves will die down. But, remember that you find your peace not just when it does but during the chaos.
Look at the waves from another perspective. They are moving and not stagnant and with movement comes the new and growth.
The waves that are meant to crush and take you out are the waves that will lift you higher in to new and exciting things that will bring you life.
Look at your ‘waves’ a little differently.
Instead of drowning you, they are shaping and teaching you.
Your thorn in your flesh is given to you to keep you grounded in God’s grace.
You will discover the power you would have never have known, if you didn’t have a problem.
Remember, it is your pride that keeps you from Jesus, not your brokenness.
Pride says you don’t need Him. Brokenness admits you do.
There is always a recovery plan for every failure. A healing for every pain.
Failure and pain is not where you need to stay. Pain fades and failure becomes a great life lesson.
But, remember it takes time for a fractured mind to re-align, be patient with yourself and trust God in the process as He takes you through your recovery plan.
Finally, in your life, no matter what you lose,
if hope is all that remains then you hold it all.