A Letter To My 18-Year-Old Self ~ From Cathy


'Letter from World War One describing the journey from Australia to Egypt, 1914: top of page two' photo (c) 2007, Ellen Thompson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Today’s letter is from my friend Cathy.  Some of you have seen blog posts I’ve written about her and her battle with cancer.  Some of you participated in the 5k we sponsored to help her and her husband raise money for their adoption.  We all have some pretty incredible people in our lives, and I’m so thankful that this incredible friend is in mine.  I hope you enjoy what she has to say.  Definitely stop and say hello!

18 year old Cathy,

Hello! I know this is weird getting a letter from your future self, but just try and listen. First of all, congrats for surviving high school! Yes, I do mean surviving. I know it wasn’t always fun, but life is so much more than high school. It only gets better with age! You are probably wishing that I would tell you about what is going to happen between 18 and 32, but I am not going to. So, here I am writing you the top five things I wish I knew at 18.

  1. I know you are a planner and, honestly, that’s great, but don’t forget to enjoy the ride. Stay up late, skip class (not too often though), laugh a lot, don’t take yourself too seriously, and make friends with people that you wouldn’t normally approach. These are things that you will never regret!
  2. Enjoy being single! You are probably shaking your head at me right now, but I’m serious. God is going to use you in incredible ways and you’re going to be able to do things you wouldn’t have the opportunity to if you had a family. God will place an awesome man in your path when you least expect it. So, take advantage of opportunities to serve God wherever He takes you. You’re going to be able to grow spiritually the most during these times. Savor them.
  3. Take care of yourself physically. I know at 18 you can eat pizza at 1 am and not feel sick or gain weight, but this will not always be true. Eat more vegetables and fruits (and not the fried kind in the café at Bethel). Exercise, exercise, and exercise some more! It is way easier to stay in shape than to work to try to get in shape. Be proactive about going to the doctor for physicals. This will pay off in the end.
  4. Don’t spend your life worrying about what comes next. Learn to be fully where you are. You might miss out on something important if you keep looking ahead.
  5. Trust God always. You are going to walk through hard times. People are going to get sick, finances are going to be tight, work is going to be hard, loved ones will pass away, and you are going to face the hardest challenge you could imagine. Trust God. Use these times to draw closer to Him. He promises to work all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Trust in His word. Pray, pray, and pray some more.

I know you wish you could ask me more about what lies ahead, but remember #4. You can do this! Remember, you survived high school!

Enjoy the journey,

32 year old Cathy

About the author

  • I love how you refused to say anything about the future. So wonderful, Cathy! Praying for you!