I wrote this over 6 years ago, and while revisiting it this morning, I tried to think of what I would add… Not too much, and I honestly needed to read this for myself again today.
I’ve seen some blog posts lately that were the letters from the authors to themselves at a much younger age… The, “if I knew then, what I know now” wisdom posts. So, to be a “follower”, and to impart some learned lessons, I thought I would have a go at it too…
At this ripe old age of 44, I can look back at myself at 22, and see a completely different person. I’m actually amazed at the work God has done in my life thus far! If I could write a letter to myself at 22, I would say;
I know you feel like you have the world on your shoulders, and you can handle it. I know that you think perfection is expected in this life of ours, and I see how you strive for it in almost everything you do. You worry too much, and care too much about things that aren’t going to last… You clean too much, and expect too much from everyone around you. The time spent trying to earn approval and love is in vain my friend. So, to save you a few wrinkles, and a couple of prescriptions, I have some advice…
God loves you. Period. He created you, and cares for you like no other. He really is all you need – I know that sounds silly, but when you spend time with Him, you will see… All peace and joy – as well as acceptance, can be found in Him… So, open that Bible more, and get to know the One that made you.
Humans were never meant to be “your everything”… No man, woman, friend, parent or even your children were designed to fulfill you completely. The only person that will complete you is Jesus Christ. The sooner you grasp that, the easier the let downs and heart breaks will be. No one is perfect, and don’t expect them to be.
Marriage isn’t about warm fuzzies and romance all the time. It’s about commitment. It’s about remembering that the word love is a verb, not a feeling. Your marriage can be more than warm fuzzies and romance, if you have Christ in the middle of it. Seriously. When you can pray with and for your spouse, it takes the marriage to a new level. When you share the spiritual, as well as everything else – everything rocks… Really.
The Bible is relevant! Anything and everything is in there! It really has instructions for life, from the Creator of life! Don’t ever think you know more than the one who created you… His ways may seem restrictive sometimes, but it’s really for your own protection! You’re greatest blessings will come out of obedience… I promise.
The grass is never greener. Just water yours and plant some flowers… Then yours will not only be greener, but it will be prettier and smell good too.
Pets are a full time commitment. Dogs are even a bigger one…if you can’t feed them well, afford the vet or have time to walk them, don’t get one… It’s not fair to them or to you.
Enjoy your children when they are little! Don’t rush the walking and talking thing! (Potty training – you can rush) Don’t hurry your babies through, and wish for them to grow up fast… I know it’s hard sometimes but it will be gone in a flash – and parenting young adults is WAY harder…
You really don’t know it all. I promise, you will be embarrassed when you get older and see how much you really didn’t know, but thought you did… Really.
Don’t drink too much. It’s really a waste of good money and brain cells. It doesn’t make you cooler, and it can be pretty dangerous for you, and for others. Money is better spent on so many other things! (missions, books, massages, netflix… coffee…..)
Life is short and no one makes it out alive … Try to think ETERNALLY. What kind of legacy are you going to leave behind? Stop thinking you have plenty of time to do those “grown up” things… NO one is promised tomorrow.
Cherish Every Day. Every single morning is new shot. A do over. A brand new shiny opportunity to try again. Actually, every minute is new too. We never get one back – time is the one fleeting thing that can’t be bought, borrowed or stored. You have been giving this minute right now… Set a daily reminder to stay aware and grateful.
Everything matters. People matter most – more than jobs, houses, entertainment, technology, sports and even shoes… When the stranger in the coffee isle starts telling you her life story, listen, because she matters.
Self control, patience, gratitude and humbleness are a few of the greatest qualities you can have, so strive for those… No matter what the culture around you is doing! It will bless your life, and be a blessing to others.
Wear sun block. Just do it. Trust me.
Communication. This is the key to all relationships. Knowing when to be quiet, or share the truth… Don’t assume someone knows your intent. They rarely ever do, even those closest to you. Be clear or be quiet – always. This issue has never been more prominent than in this age of texting. A text message doesn’t convey emotion, no matter how may emoji’s you use. Have something important to discuss? CALL or MEET in person! Really.
Mani-Pedi’s and massages are not weird or indulgent. Sometimes they are just what you or a friend needs.
Date Intentionally. Whether it’s intentional for marriage or for just friendship… those are the only 2 acceptable reasons. Know someone’s spiritual identity, friends, family, temperament and goals before you even kiss… saves you from kissing too many Mr. Wrongs. Sounds near impossible in todays culture right? Well, you were made to stand out, not blend in… and your kisses are really, REALLY valuable.
Last, but not least, Pray. Pray as often as you can. The more comfortable you are talking to God, the easier it will be for you to hear Him answer you.
Growing up isn’t that bad. You’re going to like it. Really.
What would say to the 22 year old you?