Yes, you, stretched out there in that lawn chair behind the cement-deer-family-topped, moss-rose-planted mound. You with yet another book in your lap. You probably shouldn’t have burned that story, you know. But it’s okay. It’ll serve a lesson, and it’ll make a good story.
Girl, you’re always going to love books. And words. You won’t be a famous writer, but you’ll share words in many forms–letters and nursing notes and articles. You’ll even earn a little money by writing. And there’ll be this thing called the Internet that’ll allow you to go into all the world to minister and encourage without leaving your lawn chair. You won’t even need paper and pen. Trust me on this.
Don’t worry when words dry up for a season, because they will when you’re living life deep or hard. They’ll come back. You won’t always know what to do with all of them. Oh, and you’re going to learn to love poetry. Don’t roll your eyes. It’s true.
You’ll learn to love the Word and become a student of it.
And you’ll learn to pray. I know you wonder if prayer is even real, if God hears at all–especially when you asked for a pile of money to appear on your bed that didn’t. Or when you begged God to not let your great-grandmother die until after you turned 11 because you thought you could “handle it better” then.
There’ll be lots of no’s, but lots of spin-worthy, breath-taking yeses, too. And you’ll go places and do things you haven’t even dreamed of before you could even dream of being ready. And you won’t be. But that’s when God does His best work.
Of course, you’ll never stop learning. You’ll never lose your sense of curiosity. You’ll never stop wanting to “do” more. But you’ll learn to want to “be” more.
You’ll say “yes’ too many times for the wrong reasons, but you’ll learn it’s okay sometimes to say “no.” And that “no” will sometimes be your best “yes.” Your memories of the slow, easy pace of these days will hold you when life becomes chaotic. Because it will. It will be very, very hard at times, and you’ll suffer deep regret. But there are things you’ll learn that you can’t learn any other way.
You’ll also scold yourself often for your naiveté. You’ll trust too much and believe too easily. This will sometimes cause pain and heartache for yourself and others. You’ll find yourself struggling to forgive yourself and extend yourself grace.
But this same trait will also birth care and compassion and understanding. You’ll find yourself sometimes unable to take a strong stand on many issues because you’ll be able to see all sides. You’ll often be frustrated because of it, but it’s not all bad.
The truth is… your life’s going to make a good story.
What would you say to your younger self?
Love you big,
Your older you
(still with a book in the lap)
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