Monday, November 17, 2014
Face to Face With 17-Year-Old Me
If I had the opportunity to meet with the 17-year-old version of me, I think I would invite her to a coffee shop and shock her when I sip my caramel macchiato. She hates coffee. This is what I would say...
Hey, you. Yep, this is what you look like when you're twenty-nine. Sure, you don't weigh 95 pounds anymore, but I think the little extra suits you.
Let me hit you right off the bat and say, things don't really turn out the way you plan. Life has this way of producing a beautiful disaster that you become oh-so-grateful for. It's an adventure, so just try to go with it.
Love isn't what you think it is today. Don't tighten your lips together like that. I know your rolling your eyes on the inside. I'm not saying you're too young to know what love is. I'm just saying that at twenty-nine, you are still building upon your definition of love. The bible is clear on what love is, but tragedy and pain and surprise and fullness all begin to define the curves and edges of love for you. It moves from head-knowledge to heart-knowledge.
Take him for example. Yes, the one you plan to marry after college. Twelve years later, it's still up for debate about whether or not love truly lives in that relationship. There is devotion, for sure. You're the most loyal girlfriend in high school. I see how you've taken care of him when he's been sick. I see how you've put him first. You've been through some heavy things together. But it doesn't equate love.
Even after five years of marriage and three kids following in your footsteps, you're still learning what love is. Yep, brace yourself for that.
You know how Nana always tells you that you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you? It is the most incredible gift you will probably ever be given other than salvation. It flourishes into something indescribable. Start feeding it now! Discernment and wisdom are priceless pieces of armor that you will bear for the war ahead.
Don't get so attached to this town. It's not the ends of the earth.
Don't be so anxious about your major. Without spoiling the surprise, let's just say God works it all out. The path twists and turns and sometimes falls right out from under you. But the important thing is that you are following Him with every careful step. You will not fall into a career that you will hate every day for the rest of your life. Things are much more interesting than that.
Once again, it's all an adventure. Your relationship with your heavenly Father will become the most precious relationship you have. It will feed you in ways that you have not yet dreamed of. The intimacy between you and Him will be incomparable. Chase it, dear one. Pursue it with all of your resources. Don't let any guy, job, family member, bill, friend, or insecurity hold you back from the most valuable love you will ever experience in your life here on earth or after.
And for heaven's sake, get rid of those shoes.
See you again when we're thirty-nine.