Dear Younger Me,
Happy first day of your new year. Are you ready? Because I’m not. It was such a crazy year last year and I wanted to warn you. Maybe when you get here you’ll be able to side step some of the things I tripped over.
- Remember where your faith lies. This will probably always be the first thing I tell you to do. It’s the only thing that keeps me from staying down. I promise you even when the world gets cold, when things get dark and there seems to be no way out God is still so very faithful.
- Talk. Yes, as you get older you get better. But, talk more. Find a person you can completely trust and just talk. Don’t be embarrassed that you feel the way you feel. Don’t feel guilty for the way you feel. Find someone who won’t judge. If they tease, make sure they’re teasing out of love. Sounds weird, but I promise it’s real. I’m not talking about your husband either. I mean a friend. Someone who you can just word vomit on.
- Find joy in the big and small things. God will put a call on you that will break your heart. He will give you the strength and the power to fulfill the call. He will equip you with what you need to get through it. So, when you are called and the world seems like it’s tilting off its axis remember the first baby step, the first laughter, the moments of gratitude and love.
- Love hard. Always love hard. You’ve never had a problem with that. Don’t stop. Even when you are hurt. Even when your heart is broken. Even when you were once so sure about forever and then all of a sudden you aren’t. Still love. Love those who hurt you. Love those who persecute you. Love those who are wrong. Love those who are right. Love back those who love you. Just love even when you have to let them go.
- Don’t be ashamed to have colorful conversations with God. Prayer will get you through the darkest times of your life. You will eventually learn that it’s the only thing that kept you going. There will be times when you ask God why He put you through a situation and you’ll complain that you hate it. Just know that He knows your truest self. Even when you want to hate someone, even when you want to think ill about them you’ll find yourself praying for them. It will feel sucky, but they need the prayer too. You’ll complain to God about it but deep down inside you really do have a good heart.
- Don’t ever stop believing in yourself. You’ll wonder why you can’t just get a leg up in life. Honestly, me, I can’t answer that still. I just know that whatever He calls you to do He will equip you to do it. When you cry in the shower, come on out, wipe your face and be ready. When you eat your feelings and that quart of ice cream, put the spoon in the sink, wipe your face and be ready. When you punch the lights out of your punching bag because you feel like a failure, take those gloves off, wipe your face and be ready.
- Love your husband through his silence. Yes, young one, he still does not talk. Through the adventures y’all are on he will think that he has to be strong for you so he will not show you that he cries or hurts or also eats his feelings. Just love on him. Pray for him. Encourage him. One day between you and God he will break down and learn to talk. One day.
- Forgiveness will set your heart free. Forgiveness isn’t always for the people who hurt you. I’ve found that forgiveness healed me and allowed me to be the person I am today. The most important forgiveness though is forgiving yourself too. You will make mistakes. But, baby girl, forgive yourself for it. This is a huge step in learning to love yourself. Like huge.
- Embrace the changes. There will be a lot. Like A LOT. Embrace it. Don’t fight it. The more you fight the harder it is. You will lose people in your life. You will move. You will change jobs. You will work on dreams and then stop and then start again. You will love until God tells you to let go. Just do it. Go with the flow. Stay in prayer. And do it. Change builds character, remember? Let it also build your faith. You’re gonna need it.
- Love yourself and gosh darn it woman, learn some self-care now! I kid you not this will be your undoing if you don’t learn to love and care for yourself. You can’t take care of everyone if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Go read a book in solitude (we did get a good book last night and it’s hard to put it down), get your hair done, or get a massage. Do whatever you do to be rejuvenated and refreshed. You’ll always love the ocean, go take a day trip by yourself, with your husband or with some friends. And yes, ice cream in jammies watching Friends is 100% self-care. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Happy birthday, girl. Let those who love you celebrate you. I know it’s a hard time. It’s so very hard. But, let them carry you for once.
A Somewhat Wiser You