dear younger Self.

Today is a special day in the world of Amanda. Today is a day that I actually prefer to hide away from the world, spend the day in silence, in God’s creation, in reflection, and in prayer. Today is a day that I take stock of my life, look at where I’ve come from, where I want to go, and how I plan and hope to get wherever it is I want to go. Today is a day in which folks may argue I get really selfish. In fact, today is a day that I actually don’t want to be about me at all – I want it to be about God, focusing on Him, thanking Him, and learning from Him in a very tangible way. Today, you see, is my birthday. Last year on the day before my birthday I blogged one of, if not the most popular posts I’ve ever written, dear Husband. I wrote to him to tell him all sorts of things. This year on my birthday (since it falls on a normal blogging day!) I’ve decided to write a letter to my younger self. All Some of the things I wish I knew when I was on the brink of twenty some years ago (a lady never reveals her age!)…

dear younger SelfDear Younger Self,

I could sugar-coat the world for you and tell you that you’ll get everything you’ve ever dreamed of exactly when you want to get it. Even though you are younger and a bit lot more naïve than I am, I’m sure you know that life isn’t perfect. It is messy. So here’s a bit of tough loving from yours truly (literally).

Guess what? You won’t get married and have kids when you think you will. But do you want to know what else? It all works out. I won’t spoil the future or the journey for you, but don’t despair when your plans don’t fall into place because God is making room in your heart for His plans (which are better) to fall into place. The pieces of your plans fall so that He can pick them up, rearrange them, and create a masterpiece more beautiful than you can imagine. Oh, and that whole not-being-married-when-you-want-to-be thing opens other doors for you that you can’t even imagine yet. Just trust me, He’s got big plans for you girl, so stop being so stubborn and let Him write them on your heart. And follow them.

Passion isn’t what you think it is. If I could go back and beat anything into your stubborn head it would be this simple truth. You define passion like the world does, and if you aren’t careful it will get you into trouble. Passion (and I think you and I…we…uh, yea, we both know that we’re talking about relationships here) should make you think of Christ. You see His Passion? His self-sacrificial, all encompassing, life-giving passion? That is true passion. This junk the world tries to sell you on – lust, impurity, scandalous, stolen moments in poorly-lit rooms, if it feels good, do it, give into the adrenaline type mentality (though the world won’t call it any of that that) – that is not passion. If you want passion, look to Christ, and then find a man who is willing to imitate that passion in his relationship with you (though he should be striving to imitate it in his own life before you come along, and that is key).

You are God’s daughter, and anyone who tries to tell you anything different, or tries to get you to believe any less than that is a liar. Heck, anyone or anything that tries to downplay your worth (remember that word…) isn’t speaking from a place of love or respect. Listen to God’s voice before you listen to your own, or the world’s. His voice is the most important voice you will ever hear. If you can’t hear it, beg Him for the grace to open the ears of your heart to hear Him speaking to you. My sweet, younger self, He so desperately and passionately desires to speak to you, to love on you, and to fill your life with nothing short of Himself. If you get lost, don’t know which way is up, or you feel alone, run to Him. Don’t walk. Run. Run like your life depends on it, because, let’s face it: it does.

God’s plans are better than yours, no matter how fabulous you think yours are. Sometimes your plans and desires will line up perfectly with His, and sometimes they won’t. Learn to accept whatever He hands you as an opportunity to grow in love and holiness because every single second of every single day He is drawing you closer to Himself. Be not afraid, go boldly wherever He leads you, trusting that He goes before you always.

Love always,

Your older, wiser (but still learning) self.

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