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!
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.