Dear 27-Year-Old Self,
One day, ten years from now, you will be 37 years old. I know that seems surprising, even though it is a completely rational conclusion! I mean, if you keep on living (and you will, even though sometimes you wish you wouldn’t), eventually another 10 years will pass. I’m writing to you from that very real future. As a matter of fact, today on my end is our 37th birthday and there are quite a few things I wish I could tell you!
First of all, you just got married. Congratulations! You are basking in the very adultness of this season. Enjoy it for all it’s worth! Hold onto every second. Ten years from now, you’re still going to be married to the same man, and you’re still going to love each other. But you’re going to be a little sorry for the way that you behaved early in your marriage! You don’t have all your stuff together yet, and you can’t fully appreciate how beautifully it’s going to turn out.
Don’t waste so much energy on fear and regret! Stop letting your low self esteem keep you from developing a strong foundation of intimacy in your marriage right now. He needs to know that you’re going to stand by him through all the things your life together will bring. He needs to know that you value your relationship with him over anything else in this world! Let him know you love him, and don’t push him away.
Stop worrying about all the things you can’t afford to have. I wish I could tell you that you’ll have a bigger house in ten years. I wish I could tell you that you’ll be able to go on amazing vacations every single year and that you’ll be driving a nicer car. It sure would be nice if I could say that you will be able to remodel your bathroom and your kitchen and the exterior of your house. I’d love to say that you won’t ever want for anything.
Ten years from now, you’re not going to have all these things, but you are going to have a much healthier perspective about all of them! You’re going to be at peace with your financial limitations and grateful for all the things that you are able to do. Best of all, you’ll have learned a good bit about fiscal responsibility and self-control. Go ahead and cut up that credit card, it’s the worst invention ever.
Don’t assume you know all there is to know about the way certain things ought to be. Eventually, you’re going to figure out that sometimes there is no right or wrong way to do some things and that patience and acceptance go a long way to heal and even prevent fractures caused by holding your opinions too closely to your heart.
Believe it or not, about two years from now you’re going to be convinced that pushing out babies without pharmaceutical pain relief is the most wonderful thing to do in the history of womanhood, ever! You’re going to ruffle some feathers letting everyone know how strongly you feel about this fact. This is just one example of an opinion that is far more subjective than you want to admit, and it’s not necessary for everyone in the world to agree with you.
Your first birth is going to be totally humbling. Everything, from labor to breastfeeding, is going to be more difficult than you ever imagined it would be. Motherhood itself is going to be even harder, and you’re going to feel sometimes like you are losing your mind. You’re not going to lose your mind. I promise.
I really wish you wouldn’t spend your second pregnancy wrapped up in a tight bundle of nerves. There’s nothing to fear! That second labor is going to be easy as pie, and breastfeeding your second son will be like a dream. You’ll be so glad that you made a point to absorb every blessed minute of his babyhood, because they will be so short. He’s going to throw you for a loop, though! That child is from a different mold, and if you dare think you’ve got the motherhood thing all figured out you will be sorely mistaken.
More than anything, I wish you would seek a renewed relationship with Jesus right now. You can’t take back everything that’s happened in the previous decade, but He is going to go above and beyond redeeming those years. Those things you feel ashamed about? They’re not going to be quite so painful as soon as you get this point ironed out. You are going to find life and breath and clarity and so much healing in God’s Word and friendship with Holy Spirit is going to deliver you straight into His purpose for your life!
You are going to find a church where you feel at home. As a matter of fact, you’ve already been invited to this church- just last year, when you were still planning your wedding in the midst of all the job stress and career confusion. I know you brushed off that invitation, thinking that Christians are rarely sincere and you feel like you’d have been rejected if you ever tried to go to church again. I’m telling you now, you will be accepted. You will be loved and you will grow wonderful friendships. You’ll be a lot better off if you do it now instead of later.
And that career confusion? You really shouldn’t let it get you down as much as you do. Five years from now, you’re going to step out of the workplace to become a stay-at-home mom and none of that will even matter anymore. None of the titles you’ve ever held or will hold in the future define the person you are meant to become. Your paycheck is not the bottom line in God’s economy! He will provide more than you could ever provide for yourself and you will be amazed.
If I were you, I would start writing right now. I would not consider it a frivolous expense of your precious personal time. Instead, I would turn off the TV (and the PlayStation, let’s be honest!) and get to work. There are people all around you beginning to publish their writing online on these things called blogs. Ten years from now, you will wish you had started blogging sooner and had more confidence in your writing. Don’t doubt that your story is important, because it is, and there are people who will want to read about it.
When you start publishing your own blog, don’t give up. Sometimes it will feel like you are writing to an audience of one and that your work is vanity. You are worthy, and your words are relevant. Don’t compare yourself to the ladies around you- just be you! Don’t be embarrassed to tell the story God gives you, because you will see how meaningful it really is one day.
I love you, Self. You are a daughter of the Most High King, and He is not going to let you out of His thoughts for even one moment. He hears you and is directing your life. This life is short. Let’s make it awesome!
I will be waiting for you when you get here.