Well really, it is you, the older, more wiser version.
I’m standing on the edge of 30 and I thought I’d reach out to tell you this:
It is all going to be okay. You are going to be okay. Life really is more about the journey rather than the destination.
In your early 20's you are going to cross boundaries and do things you swore to God you would never do. You’ll think all this is okay, none of it matters.
You’re just having fun.
And it is at this point I wish I could hug you, take you to coffee, look you in the eye, and tell you:
Your actions matter. Every drink, every reckless night: they matter.
I wish I could tell you medication and seeking professional help are not bad things. Girl, they are good, life-changing, soul-healing kinds of things.
God is about to bring some incredible people into your life. People who will pull you out of that pit you’ve created. People who will point you to Jesus by the way they love you. People who will teach you God is oh so very real.
Grace is coming. And it is going to mess you up in the best of ways.
Life becomes crazy beautiful when you are sober and not starving.
I wish I could tell you the boy you are hurting, the one who is slowly destroying your infatuation with roller-coaster-kind-of-love-affairs, well, he’s going to be your husband one day.
And there will be consequences for the way you treat him. You will have to come clean. Secrets are no good. Confessing about the life you have lived will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.
But girl, you will do it. For the first time, you get real honest. You will lay it all out on the table. You will start to obey that small, still voice whispering: Tell him, tell him all of it.
You will learn life is all about obedience to your Heavenly Father. You'll start to long for that small still voice to direct you.
You will walk into marriage not having a clue who you are nor what you are doing. It will feel dreamy at first, but then something is going to change. The pursuit of success will enter the scene and you will not even see the destructiveness at work.
In the beginning, the work, the frantic pace, will seem good, harmless. Then your business will explode, and you will not know what to do with yourself.
The growth will happen too quickly. And ultimately it will break you. You will enter into another season of depression.
And from the bottom of a new level of darkness, you’ll learn money and success aren’t really all they are cracked up to be. You’ll ask for help. You’ll beg God to rescue you once again from that abyss.
And girl, He will. Once again, He will surround you with people who look you in the eye and say: We are getting you out of here. And through their friendships, you’ll learn you’ve got a lot of healing to do in your heart. So you’ll focus there.
This is when real growth starts to happen.
You will start to have bold conversations and will listen to that still, small voice again. You will enter into a season of abundance. Business will change, marriage will change, community will change. And slowly but surely, you will start to change too.
You will start to let go. You will start to unclench those fists. You will start to see God really can be trusted.
You will start to explore the idea of working from a place of faith rather than fear. You’ll feel the pull on your heart to go do things that make you come alive, but you will resist.
And then your parents are going to get sick. You will get sick. And at this point you start to hear that still small voice again:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
And so you decide to give rest a shot. You’ll declare 2018 to be a year of healing and you’ll pray for revival. You’ll start to be good to your body. You’ll give up the extremes of maintaining an exhaustive pace.
And then you will experience one of the deepest joys your heart has ever known: you will lay eyes on a precious fluttering heartbeat growing within you.
And girl, fear is going to try to consume you, because you know the risks associated with your pregnancy. But you decide to trust no matter what the outcome may be.
Sweet girl, it isn’t good. The baby, she doesn’t make it. And the loss will try to destroy you. It will hit you in the most vulnerable place you’ve ever been hit.
And Satan, he is going to think he has you. He’s going to think he’s won. Because there’s no way you will be able to recover from this loss. This time, God cannot rescue from that pit.
Losing your child is a guarantee your heart will forever turn on God.
But girl, this is when the story gets even better. This is when you experience revival. This is when you yourself experience resurrection. This is the first time you declare with all your strength: Satan, you will not take me down. You will not keep me in this pit.
And it is from the bathroom floor, the bottom of that pit, shaking from the pain of the loss, you declare with all your might: Lord, my life is yours. Even if you give or take away, YET I will praise you. For you are good. Have your way.
From this place, from that floor, crazy things start to happen. God becomes undeniably real. His voice becomes crystal clear: Come follow me.
You start to own your strengths, those things that make you come alive, and you declare them to be used for kingdom-building purposes. And then everything starts to change.
Things change because Satan has finally lost his grip. The fear is gone. The anxiety breaks. The worst has happened. The Lord has made it clear He is not done with you yet. You are no longer afraid of those pits.
God whispers to you in the silence: This is what it means to live from a place of freedom rather than fear. This my child, is faith.
But girl, you need the next 10 years to get to this place.
You need the next 10 years before you can grow from "girl" to "woman".
And that is okay. You are okay. The time it takes to get here is okay.
Just keep putting one foot in front of another. Just keep taking that next step. You are going to be all right, you really will.