Letter to My Younger Self

9:11 AMHeather

Hi.  My name is Heather, and I'm a recovering perfectionist.  Yep.  Lifelong battle.  Cause I am really hard on myself.  Super critical.  It wasn't until recently (seriously) that I realized not everyone turns things over and over in their minds, over analyzing themselves to find fault.  Grace?  Interesting word for the year.  Because if there's anyone I need to learn to have more grace on--it's myself.  

So, in light of the fact that I had a birthday this week, I thought I'd write a letter to my younger self, in the form of a top ten.  Just some tips and insights on life.  Reflections on having more grace, living more abundantly, embracing the love of others...and the Lord who delights in me and chose me to be His joint heir.

Top 10 Things to Remember...
1.  No matter where you live (and it'll be a lot of places as an Army brat)...get out and explore.  Enjoy.  Soak it all in as much as you can.  I mean--who lives in Hawaii for 4 years?  No matter where you live--act like a tourist and get as much as you can out of these nomadic experiences.
2.  Sticks and stones may break your bones--and words really DO hurt you.  Don't they?  Bullies.  Teasing.  Endlessly.  Guess what?  Don't feel like you belong?  Well, you are an alien and stranger on this earth.  Don't receive their trash talk.  Dive into the truth of who you are in Christ.  Cling to His life giving words.  Surround yourself with people who fill you up with life affirming words.  Distance yourself from bullies.

3.  Some seasons are hard.  Plain and simple.  But, they are just seasons.  As quickly as they come--hard and fast and difficult (say, junior high years)--they will pass.  It came to pass,it didn't come to stay.  Be assured of this--no matter how perfect someone's life seems, we all have our struggles.  You don't know what insecurities lie beneath or hardships are to come for that person you so envy.  Embrace the exact place you are, knowing that God has big plans that are unique for YOU.  

4.  Don't worry so much.  Easy to say.  Hard to do.  Quit wasting your energies and your days about petty things.  Because you are borrowing trouble...and you are worrying about all these possibilities, most of which won't come to be.  What a waste! Attack this habit with prayer.  Take captive each thought with the power of His word.  

5.  Your worth is NOT in what you accomplish.  Plain and simple.  Your worth is in this truth.  You were created in His image.  You were knit together in your mother's womb.  All your days were written in His book before one came to be.  He delights in you.  He sings over you.  He has engraved in the palm of His hand.  You don't earn love.  Love is a gift freely given.  Receive His love.

6.  Embrace this freeing truth.  God loves to say yes!  You don't have to flip cartwheels, stand on your head, beg and plead to convince him to say yes.  He's not standing in judgment, eager to say, "NO!" to all your requests.  No, he's a God of YES.  When a "no" comes, it's because He's saying YES to something better, something more, something in more perfect timing.  Oh, really dive into who He is.  And quit boxing Him in with the expectations and small sightedness.  He is a good God.  He is a loving God.  He is a merciful God.

7.  Carpe diem!  Truly seize the day.  Cherish your loved ones.  Because they will be gone before you know it.  Find the self control to squelch the attitude during the teen years.  Not much time left with your dad.  Become a student of him--and others you know and love.  They'll be gone before you know it.  Store up as many memories as you can.

8.  No matter who may exit your life, it's not your fault.  In fact, not about you at all.  Those who want to be a part of your life--they will be.  Quit saving a place for those who don't want to stick around.  And don't listen to the lie that it's because you are unworthy.  Not true at all.  

9.  Life is hard.  Plain and simple.  But, it's a vapor.  Don't get so bogged down in the nitty gritty.  Keep a bigger picture...and eternal picture.  That which lasts.  Relationships.  Not tasks.  Not rules.  Relationships with others.  With the Lord.  There are mountains and valleys.  All part of this pilgrimage.  But not part of the eternal reward.  In the valleys--choose to trust Him.  Choose to cling to Him like your life depends on it.  Because it does.  In the mountains, do the same.  And, don't get too comfortable with either place.  

10.  Like your sister told you about your wedding day.  Make it a habit to stop and just look around.  Look at the friends and family and love and beauty that surround you.  Imprint it on your mind.  Consciously take a mental photograph.  So many gifts and so much grace and favor in every single day.  Be a seeker of it!  Be on a treasure hunt.  Even in the deepest pit, find something to be thankful for.  Make a sacrifice of praise.  Don't turn inward--but look outward.  It could make a huge difference on how you endure.

Glimpse of grace:  If I'd known then what I know now.  I'd have a lot more grace on myself.  I'd quit beating myself up.  That this would become my habit and my practice now.  Learn what I can from mistakes--then they aren't wasted.  And then move forward. Forgetting what lies behind, press on for the goal.  And, run, Heather, run. Run the race well.  Don't forget--you are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses cheering you on.   Shut down the noise so you can hear them.  Your Father is cheering, too!  And, oh, how your Abba adores you.
 

 

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