Sunday, February 2, 2014
To My 18 Year Old Self...On My Birthday...
Today was my birthday. I don't even want to tell you how old I am, but if I said that 20 years ago today I turned 18 years old, would that help? I can't believe how quickly 20 years has gone by since I 'became an adult.' Ha! An adult! Suuuure!
I spent the day out. All by myself. Trying on clothes. I don't know about you, but all maternity clothes are simply ok. I never LOVE anything. I make what they have work. I ended up buying a maternity nightgown, because the only thing I have to wear to bed that fits me is fleece. I can't do fleece during sleep. I wake up in a puddle of sweat. I like warmth up until the moment I am about to fall asleep, then I have to put on a tshirt or tank. And, lets just say all the tshirts in the house were made for someone without a basketball in their stomach. So, I did it. I bought myself pajamas. I don't know when the last time I bought 'a nightgown' was. Maybe when I turned 18?
And after shopping for pj's, I sat down at starbucks...and started to read... I say started lightly, because something came up.
Anyways, for my birthday, I wanted to write myself a letter. A letter to my 18 year old self.
Dear 18 Year Old Julie:
Chill Out. That's it. That's all I have to say. LOL, I'm Kidding. Oh wait, you don't know what LOL means. They haven't invented the internet yet. What's the internet you ask? It's the devil. Or at least invented by the devil.
All joking aside.
Do yourself a favor & never try to be someone you are not to please people. You can love people, without trying to be someone for them. The only thing you have to be for them is Jesus. And that will come naturally when you listen to the rest of what I have to say.
Don't wait until your mid 30s to embrace who God created you to be.
Life is harder than you realize. Things come up. Tragedy, hurt, depression, temptation...things that you probably can't even imagine right now, but that is why you need to stay strong. Always keep your confidence in the Lord. Keep your life centered around him. He will be your only strength when it feels like everyone else has given up on you. Don't let yourself be fooled into thinking you missed out on life because you were raised to love Jesus.
Jesus IS life.
I don't say that lightly. I don't say that adultly. (I know that's not a word).
But what I mean is, I'm not trying to be a bossy, controlling, I know more than you adult. It is simply that, well, I know more than you. You were raised well and you need to be thankful for being grounded. Be so thankful.
Because one day, you will need your faith in Jesus. I mean, you will NEED it, in order to survive and breathe when you feel like you can't do it any longer on your own. When you just want out. Yes, you will beg him to help you to breathe. And you will finally feel grateful for who you are and who you know.
And when you realize that, suddenly those parts of you that you thought you were searching for will fall into your lap. Those reasons God created you will shine through all the crap. But it won't be until you realize how badly you have to rely on Grace.
I would love to say I hope you never have to go through the hurt I went through to get there, but obviously I know you will. I just want you to relax more. Stop worrying about things that don't matter. Or people that won't be there. Don't believe that everything you think you want is what you really want. Because in the end, (not that I am anywhere near the end) but down the road, you will find out all you really wanted was to love and be loved by genuine people...you want what every person wants.
Love everyone. Have compassion on everyone (I already know you do). But don't let your compassion and love for others turn you into a doormat just to please others. You're job isn't to please people, but to love people because you want to please the one who first loved you.
Just because you are shy does not mean you are not strong. Just because you aren't vocal doesn't mean you don't have a voice... Just because you don't grab the attention or the stage in an obvious way doesn't mean God hasn't given you something to say.
He has. And he has called you with purpose.
I wish you would see it more now. I wish more people your age would see it. The potential.
And ending with what I started with. Chill out. Stop stressing or spazzing or hyperventilating (you probably don't realize you could be so stressed). Just breathe...cry a little...and talk to God. When it involves money, talk to God. When it involves your kids, talk to God. When it involves your marriage, talk to God. When it involves any moment of your world and existence, always be talking to God. Never stop. Or slow down. Especially when life seems too easy and you feel like you don't need God. Keep the communication lines open at all times, because when you are desperate for him, you will be confident He is there.
I wish you well the next 20 years of your life....
Your 20 Year Older Self....