Monday, July 05, 2010

Letter to my 21-yr-old self

I was in my blog reader the other day, skimming through all the wonderful writings I enjoy every day, and came across a post at Tea & Cookies entitled A Letter to my Twenty-something Self. Tara was sharing how she found another blogger who had asked for women in her life to share what they would want to tell their twenty-something selves about life. It was a way for her to glean wisdom from those around her. Tara decided to write her own, and described it as a cathartic experience. I've been pondering it all weekend, and have finally decided to put down my own thoughts. While I am still a twenty-something, looking back at the year I was first a twenty-something, there are some things I needed to hear.

Dear Rebecca,

I know you are not feeling so 'dear' right now. Your heart is broken and you are wondering if it will ever heal. And while I can tell you that it will heal, that the choice you have made is the right one, it won't help the pain you are feeling right now.
Will it help if I tell you that this year, and last year as well, I didn't even remember June 28th? I know today you think you will never lose the sting of that moment, and will mark that day forever. But time does heal, and as your life is filled with goodness, the old days you used to mark will no longer hold meaning for you. Instead you will mark new days, days of joy and fulfillment.
It will be a long journey, my dear. There are days when you will be weary, ever so weary and tired, and will think perhaps there is no hope. But you must choose to live in hope, in the truth of God's love and promise to fulfill His good work. It is a very very good work, and it will never cease, just as His love for you will never cease. Right now you aren't feeling loved, and you certainly don't feel lovable. But you are. You are so entirely lovable. And there will come a day, an afternoon in the sunshine, when you realize that fact. And that will change you. You will start to allow others to see you, the unfinished self you are still learning to enjoy, and you will allow them to love you.
In a few years someone will give you Isaiah 54 as a promise from the Lord. Hold on to that promise. Sing it to yourself during the long nights when you ache to be held. Read it again after every dashed hope tries to pull you down.
In a cathedral on a cold December night, someone will sing these words: 'If today, you hear My Voice, harden not your heart'. Allow those words to wash over you, to make you weep, to convict you. For you will want to harden your heart to the pain of loneliness. But the same band that sings those words will also sing another song: "if you want love, don't go hiding." Don't hide, my dear. Allow yourself to be open, vulnerable, to feel, even when it is difficult.
Because there will come a day when you will want to be open to possibilities. When the feelings that come will be of excitement, promise, giddiness. The Lord will call you back, as if you were a young wife rejected (because I know that is how you feel right now) and He will give you a greater joy. Your broken spirit will be mended, will be made whole.
His plans are better, dearest. And yes, you are dearest. To Him, and to those around you, who do indeed care for you, more than you know, more than you are able to care for yourself right now. But give it time. These years will not be without struggle, but there will be joy, and slowly you will learn that it is good for you to be who you are. Not that you will ever stop discovering who that really is. Don't be afrain of the uncertainty, of the process. Know that you will never be forsaken, that your dreams will come true.
The Lord has given you these dreams for a reason. Hold them loosely, but cling to Him tightly. Trust in the Giver, and He will be your fulfillment, and will bless you greatly.
I have one final piece of advice for you. A simple phrase I put up on my wall one day and hold to when life is hard. It is a struggle sometimes to see the joy, to see God in the midst of circumstances. But you have to choose how to respond, how you will see this life. So this is what you must do:

Call each day glorious.

2 comments:

Shannalee said...

beautiful.

Tea said...

So lovely. I'm glad you took the idea and made it yours. Thanks for sharing!