In a few places lately, I've come across letters people wrote to their younger self - the most recent time being over at The Single Woman. It's interesting to read their thoughts of what they would tell their younger self and it's prompted my own thoughts on the topic.
I've been thinking about what I would write to my younger self - specifically myself ten years ago. Ten years ago, I was just finishing up my second to last semester of college. I was five months away from graduating with a business degree. I had my plans for the future - plans that were ultimately different than my reality now. There was nothing wrong with them; they just weren't what God had for me.
Dear Younger Self,
Right now, you're looking at your graduation date with excitement and a bit of fear for what the future will hold. The culmination of four years of hard work. You have plans for the kind of job you're going to get, to get married. All of them are good things, but don't hold on so tightly to them that you miss God's plans for you. He has some things in store for you that you could never dream of on your own.
Take the time to enjoy your last semester of school. Go deep in your classes. Soak in all you can learn. It will be a long time before you can embrace studying and learning this way again.
Invest in the friendships you have with those in the dorm. Don't take your studies too seriously to go on adventures with them and have those late night conversations. Some of the friendships you are investing in now, will continue to be important ones in future years. They're the people you will call when life gets hard and you need encouragement or advice. Take the time now to go deep in those friendships.
Some of those friendships will drift apart after you all move on from living in dorm together. Invest the time you have in those friendships now anyway. Those people are in your life for a reason right now. They will impact your life now for the future. You will become who you are going to be, in part, because of the time you spend together now.
You have your plans for what you want to do for a career and where you want to serve at church when you go home. Be willing to allow God to take you in a different direction - to show you something different. You'll save yourself so much frustration and boredom if you go with God in His direction right away - rather than fight for your way. Don't hold onto your plans too tightly. Let God change them.
Your plan to get married and have a family of your own won't happen in this time frame of ten years. You'll have two choices in how you deal with this: 1) You can get frustrated with waiting and stop living life because you don't have what you want. Or, 2) You can choose to live life to the full, to do what you love and what God has given you to do, all while still longing to get married. It's your choice what you do, but one will give you a life of meaning and one will give you a life of regrets.
Your life in ten years is going to look very different than you imagine it will right now. But, you will know God's faithfulness in a way you can't understand right now. Whatever happens, don't allow the storms of life to cause you to doubt or turn away from God. Keep holding on to God and trusting Him with your future. You'll never regret doing that.
Your Older Self