A recent birthday got me thinking about how much I have changed over the past five years. Relationships, likes, dislikes, personal style, goals, dreams, and priorities have changed. I feel so blessed to have accomplished many goals. Some goals and dreams I once had now seem silly; some I still long to see happen.
It's strange to watch a football game and see that many of the players are younger than I, but I don't feel older. When I was little, I would cry when I thought about growing up. When I was 16, I thought I had "arrived" and everything after that would just fall in place.
And then life keeps on going.
You lose loved ones. You meet new kindred spirits! Old secrets are revealed. Your knowledge of sin and grace deepens. Ideas are birthed, and you just stand back and wonder how did it happen. How did I become who I am today?
I've written many times on Silk and Purple about identity. I had an "identity crisis" (in which many would say it really wasn't much of a crisis at all) when I was about 13, and I seem to be entering into a new smaller one now. Never did I think I would be teaching art to 100 students, and never did I think as a child that I would be writing for you to be reading this. My plans consisted of being a ballet teacher and a young wife, with a bed and breakfast, by the age of 23. Well, unless God does some MAJOR adjustments in the next 11 months, I don't see these things happening by 23. :)
Am I okay with this?
I am -- not because I think I'm doing something far nobler and serving God greater than a young bride or ballet dancer can. It's because I have learned I have a faithful God who withholds no good thing in His fullness of time. I am utterly reliant upon His plan -- in education, matrimony, children, and the caring of aging parents some day. Some days I wish He would let me see His map, but then I think about 14-year-old me and how overwhelmed she would be to meet the 22-year-old me today.
These young-woman thoughts regarding the future are nothing new. People have been thinking "what is to become of me" for thousands of years. I will share with you what I would tell my younger self, if I could, and perhaps you will glean something from the young 22's thoughts.
Dear Past Me,
This is you. Don't freak out... well maybe just a little. I've been thinking about us and how we have grown and thought you might enjoy some advice. You're going to find these things out along the way, but why not get a head start?
- You will always burn the second batch of cookies. Just learn to love them. ;)
- Don't be afraid to be weak. Your strength can only be true in Christ.
- Try new foods, no matter how crazy they are.
- Keep laughing as you learn to love hard work.
- There is a difference between talent and determination. If they work together, you can accomplish much.
- People are going to hound you for not having run after good-looking guys. They are going to think you are strange because you aren't on the college scene, and, at times, you may even wonder if you're making the right choices. Block out those doubts and keep steady at the tasks the Lord has set before you.
- You don't have to have all the answers. Seek wisdom.
- Speak more gently when talking with your siblings and pray for them more.
- Your favorite color will change a million times, so don't paint your room lime green. :)
- Read more classics and learn more about finance and business. You're going to need to know that stuff.
- You are no judge. You can't even judge yourself.
- Live your life with this verse as your banner: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
The last piece of advice is the most important one. He is ALWAYS faithful. Keep discovering who your Bridegroom is and He will make Himself known to you.
Your future you,
P.S. There is life after wisdom teeth removal.