Letter to My Younger Self

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. – Proverbs 31:26

It’s hard to believe my high school class is getting ready to celebrate our 50th reunion. It has, in fact, been 51 years since we graduated. (Last year’s reunion was postponed due to that thing that disrupted everyone’s life. ’nuff said.)

Since the 50th is kind of a big deal, it was decided we’d put together an updated “yearbook.” Each of us was to design our own page, with a recent photo, information about our lives, and something creative expressing our uniqueness. One of the suggestions was to write a “letter to my younger self.” I liked that idea, and although Marty told me that idea was hardly original (He had to attend a lot of workshops in his job.), I had never done the exercise myself and decided to go for it.

But life was happening, and it was a while before I could set aside the time I felt I needed.

In the meantime, I was asked to speak to a group of younger women at an evening gathering and share some “wisdom from an older woman.” A few days and a lot of distraction later, I had just a few days to complete both assignments.

I woke up with the two deadlines looming and asked the Lord to please help me focus. It was then that He pointed out that they were, in fact, the same assignment! Younger women, younger me. – >Duh<. He also reminded me that the topic had been on my mind during recent beach walks and bike rides, and I already had the letter written in my mind. All I had to do was get it on paper and (the hardest part) whittle it down to one page. Thus reassured, I can honestly say I enjoyed writing it – and reading it to the group of young ladies as a springboard for the evening discussion:

Dear Younger Self,

I know right now you are a young, “cute,” albeit naïve kid, who just graduated from high school. You’re off to college and adventures in faraway places like Virginia, Florida, and England. I also know that the last thing you want is advice from an almost 70-ish has-been, but there’s your first mistake. Older people have experienced things you haven’t, things that you have no idea are even out there. They have lived life. You need to listen to old people, especially this old person, because I have lived YOUR life! A life that isn’t over yet – not even close. So, listen up. Your life can be a great adventure that keeps getting better and better, if you’re looking at it the right way.

Speaking of which, you/I have a blog now, called “Seeking Divine Perspective.” … A “blog” is a regular column you write online … “Online” means … Never mind. The point is, you will do things with your love of writing that will impact lives all over the world! (I know, hard to believe, right?) The title will come from a major lesson you will learn – that every time you’re disappointed, upset, angry, scared, depressed, and otherwise controlled by your emotions, it’s because you’re looking at things the wrong way. You need God’s perspective, not the world’s. Your Creator doesn’t made mistakes. He doesn’t lose control, and He loves you more than anyone else does – enough to die for you! (Read that Bible you got from Ladue Chapel when you were nine. It’s His love letter to you.) Everything that happens to you can work out for good, if you trust Him. You don’t even have to understand how or why now, it’ll all make sense later.

This is the most important relationship you will ever have – more important than that “Mr. Right” you’re looking for. Set that quest aside for now. Trust the One who knows everything about you, and He will give you everything you need, including a life partner.

Connect with Him regularly. Yes, I mean prayer, and no, it’s not boring! Right now, you see it as a tug of war with God, trying to get Him to give you “stuff,” but that’s seeing yourself separate from God. You’re one with God, and what’s His is yours! Prayer – done right – makes you a partner with God Himself! (How cool is that?!)

By the way, one of your books (!) will be about prayer and getting around common “barriers” that hinder them. It’ll be read in many places. Some of your biggest readership will be in Uganda and India. (Go figure.)

Stop stressing. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things [what you need] will be added to you.” – SO true! Ann, you won’t believe the blessings coming your way – all undeserved. Like a loving and faithful husband, three children who love you, at least five grandchildren to play with, spoil, and try to teach all I’m telling you now, and friends all over the world that you have and haven’t met face to face.

– Oh, and that concept you have of being 70-ish, where you look for things to kill time and fill the emptiness of your days? – Not happening. Even with multitasking, you will be trying to cram into each day everything you want to do. (Your typical bedtime will be midnight – 1:00 A.M.)                                                                                                                                                            Ann, I know you aren’t really reading this, and even if you could, you’re going to live your life your own way. You’ll whine about what isn’t, instead of being grateful for what is. You’ll ignore the “Still, Small Voice” of God, make a lot of mistakes, and reap some unpleasant consequences, but that’s how you’ll learn. (Education is expensive.) Keep short accounts with God. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, repent (tell Him you’re sorry), get back up, and try to do it His way instead of your own. You will survive! You gave your life to Jesus early on, and although you don’t always hang onto Him, He is always hanging onto you. This relationship gets sweeter and sweeter. Even now, at my ripe old age, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.”

And after this life – eternity with Him! Yep, He rose from the grave, and because you’re His, you will, too!   So be encouraged. You’re in good hands.

LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN! 

Love,        

Your future self

Prayer: Lord, thank You for 69 years on this earth. May I never stop learning, never stop growing into the person You created me to be. (Thanks for Your patience.) In Jesus’ name, Amen.

57 thoughts on “Letter to My Younger Self

    1. Oh my goodness, absolutely beautiful and a sweet keepsake for your family to treasure too. Love it!!
      I’ve wanted to do this myself and wouldn’t know where to begin!!😅🤷‍♀️🙄

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The thoughts started at a group discussion of my book “BARRIERS (So, if prayers are so powerful, how come mine don’t get answered?)” As we talked about some of these things, I realized they were the most important lessons I’ve learned in life. When it’s time to write your own you’ll know it, and the Lord will give you the words to say.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Loved your “Letter to Self!” Annie. The young girl in you STILL comes shining through. Just a bit on the sassy side too, I might add! I have a sneaky suspicion that is one of your endearing qualities! Thank you for sharing. Blessings!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. The Couriers were one of the finest gospel groups ever in their generation; no scandals, no seeking fame or money, only focusing on exalting Jesus and Biblical principles.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi. I finally found your blog. I follow you, but they do not show up in my email like other’s do. I clicked on “Reader” today. Duh! LOL Anyway, nice post, and a good message. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I was thinking you might know my dear friend Gigi Mericka and/ or Debbie Biga. I worked with both at The Blue water Center for Independent Living and they both attended Ross Bible Church. I believe Debbie and her husband were involved in youth ministry and missions. Sadly Gigi passed away last fall but she was such and inspiration to me and so many who knew her.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Great letter! I hope the younger you – but more importantly, the young woman who actually heard it – will take this valuable wisdom to heart. Us 70 somethings have a lot to teach, don’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we do, Russ! And I always lamented that most of life’s important decisions are made when we’re too young to make smart ones, and by the time we’re wise, we can’t do anything but give advice to young people who don’t want to listen. 🤨

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fun writing “assignment!” Maybe I’ll do that someday. One thing I really enjoyed doing was writing “A Father’s Legacy” for each of my kids 12+ years ago; I spread the writing out over several months. Each page has a question like “What do you most appreciate about Mom?” or “Can you remember being afraid as a boy?” or “Share some principles from Scripture on which you have built your life.” Here’s a link to “A Mother’s Legacy,” just in case you’re interested: https://www.amazon.com/Mothers-Legacy-Your-Story-Words/dp/1404113339/ref=asc_df_1404113339/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312446862670&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17536057337764501539&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9032277&hvtargid=pla-572145003777&psc=1

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That’s so beautiful. I love the gentle fun tone … and I especially love the part where you say: “You need God’s perspective, not the world’s. Your Creator doesn’t made mistakes. He doesn’t lose control, and He loves you more than anyone else does.” These are probably the most important truths to guide us through life. Thanks for sharing this. You’ve inspired me to try the same exercise for myself 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great! I really enjoyed the exercise, and as suggested by others, will give copies to my children and grandchildren.
      Those three things – God’s power, His wisdom, and His love – make up the three-legged stool that holds me up. Any two of them isn’t enough. (If He loved me and knew what was best but couldn’t do anything about it, etc.)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anne, I loved this letter! My favourite part was: “but that’s seeing yourself separate from God. You’re one with God, and what’s His is yours!” It’s true, but I hardly ever think of it that way. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Happy reunion!

    I love how the Lord brought those two tasks together, for you, pointed out how it was the same assignment, and showed you you had already been working on them! I also sometimes feel overwhelmed, I have deadlines looming and to much to do, and I forget the Lord is actually organizing things in my life and keeping me on track. I just need to turn to Him and get His perspective.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, divine perspective! 😏
      He knows how disorganized and distracted I can be, so He shows me how to channel those thoughts, and yes, how to “multitask.”
      Praying now that He’ll keep using this letter. Might be part of a graduation address. 💡🎓

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good stuff! I teach our church youth group on Saturday morning and I often think what would I teach the 14 year old me to determine what I want to teach them besides our verse by verse teaching

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. I always told my children and students, “Wise people learn from their mistakes, but the wisest learn from other people’s mistakes.” 😉
      Michael W. Smith put it this way: “Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” 😄

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My books are for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. They’re also in some libraries. Here’s an idea I got from a friend: If your library doesn’t have them, you can request them. You get to read them free, I make a book sale, and they’re available to readers in your town from then on – Everybody wins. 😀

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      2. My book on prayer is “BARRIERS (So, if prayers are so powerful, how come mine don’t get answered?).”
        The three books in my trilogy, “Awakening,” are “Counselor,” “Vision,” and “Sparrows.” Thanks for asking! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “Barriers” sounds like something I would have written myself. I should be able to find them with that information. Thanks

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      4. I found them all, three are in Kindle format and I have a Kindle. The other is paperback only. You really have some great reviews!

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