Dear younger me,

I’ve done a lot of reflecting lately. 10 weeks of a world-wide pandemic tends to cause one to think about life.

(Note: You will get through the lockdown, it will feel hard at first – then become a new, weird, normal way of life.) 

Older me has learned a lot. If I could go back, there are so many things that I wish younger me knew.

Like:

  • If there is anything keeping you up at night, go and deal with it right away. Running away from difficult conversations and confrontation seems like the easy path, but it ends up robbing you of peace. (And you don’t do well when you bottle things up inside) 
  • Don’t wish away any moments or seasons. Even if they feel hard and you don’t understand their purpose. Everything that happens in life is part of your story, and there is hope even in the middle of the greatest challenges. 
  • Give yourself grace. You’ll never be perfect, or do everything right. Learn to give yourself a space for grace in your life – because you are going to need it.
  • Love your family even when it gets messy. Family is where you’ve come from, and the legacy of what you leave behind. It’s never perfect, it’s usually complicated and it takes work. Love through all the chaos.
  • Stop saying SORRY for everything. You don’t have to apologize for who you are, what you care about, and what you pursue. Choose confidence.  
  • Learn that your value is not based on the reflection you see in the mirror, the size of your clothes or how you compare with others around you. Embrace who you are, and the unique gifts that only you have
  • Wear more sunscreen. Your 40-something face will say thank you. 
  • Choose a word for your life. Decide what you want your story to be. Find a word to reflect your legacy purpose and live it every day. 
  • There are going to be days when you walk through pain, and you won’t be sure if you’ll get to the other side of it. Press in, look to God, surround yourself with people and don’t give up. You are stronger than you know.
  • Take off any limitations you have placed on yourself. When you want to give up and you think your plans are ridiculous, remind yourself that you are no quitter and that you can do ALL things. Then, do the hard work. 
  • Learn to laugh when you have completely and awkwardly embarrassed yourself. This will happen a lot in your future so you might as well embrace it. 
  • Don’t worry about what other people think about you. You can waste a lot of time caring about what other people think, who likely aren’t even thinking about you at all.

And:

Go to the beach. Drink all the coffee. Become the eccentric lady at the community pool. Date your husband. Surprise people. Adventure with your kids. Do your weird wheeze laugh. Watch the sunsets. Hang out with your friends. 

Be kind.

Say thank you.

Spend time with your Maker.

Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

I wish I could have told you all this in the past, but it’s never too late for the future. 

With much love,

Your older self.