Monday, April 23, 2012

Dear Twenty-something-year-old Me

Oh my dear Theresa, you will have grown so much over the next ten years. Your faith will have deepened. Your marriage will have grounded you and your four children will have changed you. These will surely be the best years to come.

You'll write more after a long break and you'll sing less after pursuing that for a while and you'll find much contentment with those decisions. You'll have big aspirations. However, nothing will be more important to you than you and your husband's call to raise your children up, fully present to training and molding them into the persons God created them to be for all eternity.

You'll have learned, in raising children and loving your husband, that those empty places you've felt in your singleness were meant to be filled by God alone and poured out through service, generosity, and sacrifice - the very opposite of what you may have imagined. Somehow, through turbulent waters, you've learned to give little in order to hold on to what you have.

Yet, you'll learn quickly that that is not at all how fulfillment operates. You'll learn that the more you give of who you are and what you have the more you will have and the fuller you'll be. And never can you give from empty places. You'll remember how much you need and love your quiet time. It will remain true that you cannot give what you do not take in and what you do not give away will eventually go away.

Oh dear one, if I could offer you advice now, I would tell you that the sooner you make Christ your all in all the sooner you'll discover all that you were created for and the sooner you'll know joy in spite of your circumstances.

There are roads, my dear, that you do not have to travel to find the right one - to discover who you are - your purpose. It's simply and will always be the road less traveled. The road meant for no one else but you, with Jesus as your companion and the beautiful people He puts on your path. Simply set your eyes on Him.

I know how we can make life complicated. How all of the answers to life we try to intellectualize. How we can put ourselves on a pedestal when we believe everything we need is within ourselves and yet, I know how it is difficult to understand the addictions, depression, and discontent in the midst of it.

Because, although you believe in God, you've been blind-sighted by subtleties that are counterfeit to the truth. The truth that we were never created to be own master, that the power is not within ourselves, and that we are very destructive in this world with that thinking.

I know it can feel like we need to try things out for ourselves for a while, in order to "find ourselves" and to think independently, and we do have to figure things out and think for ourselves; yet, dear one, you will never find more satisfaction in anything more than in Christ. He alone is the weaver of your dreams. He holds the power over heaven and earth and it is His Word and His Spirit that is the true source of power within you. It's really that simple. And yes, simple can really be that difficult to accept.

The world is ugly when you spend your time jumping into arenas you were never meant to combat. But the world is beautiful when you live it through the expression of God's perfect design for you.

You'll have to choose.

And because of God's great love for you and your hearts desire to know God, he will take every circumstance on this journey and use it to woo you to Himself and you will fall passionately in love with Him all over again and He will give you the desires of your heart - including those you don't even know yet exist.

You don't have to look so far anymore. Beautiful and most beloved daughter, you've already been found.


  1. "You never can give from empty places." So true! God's ways are definistely not the world's ways! This is beautiful! patsy

  2. If I could only have given myself advice when i was 20. It would have been similar: to just love God and have a heart for him. Maybe you can give this to your daughter when she is 20.

  3. The world is ugly when you spend your time jumping into arenas you were never meant to combat. But the world is beautiful when you live it through the expression of God's perfect design for you. <---- True, so very true!!

    lovely, wonderful letter. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Theresa,

    Love your wisdom. Love your honesty. Love a God who grows us day by day. And that one line- the world is ugly when you jump into arenas you were never meant to combat.. wow! Gotta muse on that today and figure out which arenas I need to run from. Think I may be in a few of the wrong ones!

  5. Such an awesome post! Wonderful words!

  6. A beautiful letter, Theresa. It's a keeper, and something to share with your children. And the exciting this is that the next 10 years will also be full of unimaginable truths, that can't be fathomed right now.

  7. This is beautiful ... I too have thought about this ... the advice I would give to a younger me, if I could .... and in doing so all the other young girls out there. Hoping that this inspires and lights the way for all the beautiful young girls who need to find their way! Lovely thoughts Theresa.


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