I miss writing at Starbucks. I should be typing this out at one of their small, smooth tables, slowly sipping an Earl Grey Tea Latte. But instead I sit curled up on my bed, pondering life, too lazy to get up and move.
Not the point, just an FYI.
So, this birthday month thing is apparently a bigger deal to me than I realized. Or maybe it’s just because these last three weeks have been some of the hardest I’ve had in years. Either reason – I’m extra contemplative and reminiscent of younger days. (For those of you who don’t use words that size and don’t feel like reaching for a dictionary, the translation is I’m thinking about my past a lot).
And I wonder.
If I could fold time back on itself, so the eighteen year-old version of myself could meet the current, thirty year-old version of myself, what would my younger self think? What would my older self say? I’m not sure. It’s easier to know what my younger self would say. Something along the lines of:
Why aren’t you in Africa? You’re supposed to be in Africa teaching missionaries’ kids. But instead you’ve had about twenty jobs in the time you graduated from college. Why? Yes, Bahrain was hard, but you don’t give in to pain, you push through. God takes care of everything, right? And He’ll protect you from stuff. Were you not trusting Him enough?
And YOU HAVE A NOSE RING?!? WHAT? WHY? Really? Just because you think it’s pretty? Who ARE you? AND YOU CUT YOUR HAIR!?! WHYYYYYYYY?
Why haven’t you lost the weight yet? Will it never come off?
What are you wearing?
What are you listening too? (And what is that little thing that is attached to the earphones in your ears? ARE those earphones?)
You don’t have a VW bug yet? Your car is boring.
You have so many more books!
And when did you start liking hats?
No guy in the picture yet, huh?
And so, so much more. None of it truly important. I know my younger self would have some issues with what I believe and know about God today. And probably with the fact that I’m not living by “the plan”. But that stuff has come with time and experience. So, oh well.
But if I was given the unheard-of chance to talk to my younger self? I’d probably say something along these lines:
Life is not about you. I know you think that you think that, but it’s really NOT, Okay? It’s not going to go how you expect, and that’s a wonderful, exhilarating reality to accept. Accept the adventures God throws your way. Your life will be richer for taking them.
Love better. Love people. All people. No matter what. You will have some really, really excruciatingly hard times ahead, but those will be nothing compared to the pain your relationships (all sorts – friends, family, romantic) will put you through. But that’s okay. Your relationships are worth it, are really the only thing worth your time on earth. Because through your relationships you discover more about God, and God uses them to mold you into the woman He wants. And He will use you to reach out to everyone around you – because He loves you so much.
Do you have ANY idea how very much God loves you? He loves you enough to want the very best for you. He wants to make every day your very best. He wants to give you the very best gifts. He want you to become the woman He created you to be, and He placed inside you the potential to be. He loves you enough to correct you when you mess up – no matter what it takes. He loves you better and more deeply than you could ever imagine.
I would probably give myself a few fashion tips, a couple hints about what’s ahead, a few pointers with boys and friendship, but none of those would be as important as the knowledge of God’s love and relationships.