Guest Post ~ A Letter To My 18-Year-Old Self from Debbie1
Today’s letter comes from Debbie Legg. Debbie is a wife, mother and creative friend. She has dreams and visions and is tenacious at working at them and seeing that they come to life. That’s what I love about her. She finishes. She writes at a couple of blogs, Daily Fast Fuel and over at Debbie Legg, God and the Everyday, and is writer, director, producer and editor at Talk Your Legg Off Productions. Go check her out. You’re not going to regret it!
Girl! What fun is this, talking to you from the future! Let’s see, let’s see. Eighteen. Many of the years between eighteen and…your current age, are a bit hard to remember. However, I remember eighteen well. It’s your freshman year at George Mason University. You’ve made fantastic new friends. You’re having a ball in the Theatre Department. You are dating this amazing guy. Your plan for your life is to marry the amazing guy, live in Northern Virginia, work in theatre, he’ll cook and you’ll clean, and you’ll have a couple of kids along the way somewhere. It’s a good plan. However…
You know, Deb, I really want to tell you all of the amazing things that God will bring to you over these next years. I want to tell you of the heartaches you will face, the tears you will shed. But, I don’t want to rob you of all you will learn.
Some lessons, some growth, can only come through adversity. You will be profoundly changed by your suffering, for the better. No, it’s not fun. Yes, if it could be done another way you gladly would. But the difficult times expand you. Broken bones, when set correctly and allowed to heal, are stronger than before. You will need that strength in order to help those people God puts in your path along the way. Ask him to reveal to you all you need to learn from each hard time. He will do it.
I do want to plant a few little seeds in your brain, though. Here is the first one: Don’t let fear stop you. Don’t not do something because you’re afraid you’ll be laughed at, or criticized, or you’ll just fail. I know how you struggle with this. God will guide you, and it will be okay. Ask him for courage and then reach inside you in faith and pull it up. Hold your head up, take a deep breath or two, and then go!
Another thing I want you to remember is to not believe everything you think. You have a pretty wild and active imagination. It is easy to put several pieces of a puzzle together and think you see the full picture. Never forget that, no matter how much information you do have, God has ALL the information and is the ONLY one who can see the whole picture.
For example, as good as your plan for your life is, the one God has in store for you is better. TONS better. You Wouldn’t Believe Me If I Told You So I’m Not Gonna better. There is travel in your future. There are new people, some of whom will become extremely important to you. God has interests and talents buried in you, waiting for the perfect time to reveal them.
Which brings up one more thing I want to be sure you know: Trust his timing. He set the stars and planets in motion for exact things to come together at exact times in Earth’s history. He can certainly handle things like getting you to places at the right time, even though it may look like you are really late sometimes. Do your best and let him handle the rest.
Okay, I can see the cogs turning in your brain. You want to know, to figure it out, to prepare. Don’t analyze what I’ve said here and mine it for clues. First, you’ll be wrong, and second, you’ll miss all of the great stuff in front of you. Love God, invite him into each day, each situation, each minute. Do life WITH him, not just because of him, and the details will fall into place.
Oh, and I know I’ve mentioned God a lot. You do continue to grow in your relationship with God, with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It’s the Best. Thing. Ever. He is not going to let you go. He’s got your back, your hand, your heart and your mind in his care. Love him with all your heart.
It’s going to be great. You’re going to love it.
See you in a couple of decades.
PS – Yes, you are entirely too fond of smiley faces. Keep it up. 🙂