Letter to Self


There’s a bit of a trend in the blogosphere this week in which bloggers write letters to their 16-year old selves.  I’ve been thinking about what I would tell myself, and I honestly don’t know how to write what needs to be written.  At that time in my life, I wasn’t a Christian, so my letter would have to be awesome.  I don’t know that there’s anything anyone could have said to me to make me understand Jesus.  I believe that God chose me because He is good.  I didn’t want Him or what He was offering, nor would I have wanted it if it had been explained to me, so I don’t think there’s any reason to try to persuade myself… God does the persuading, so maybe I just need to come up with my best words and assume that God would use them.  Here goes:

Dear Past Katie,

You are good at so many different things – softball and writing, Math and cooking, playing board games and making people laugh.  You’re a good friend with a big heart, and you shouldn’t feel the need to hide that heart the way you do.  Having a heart isn’t a weakness.  It’s okay to feel.  You are beautiful and brilliant, and should be told those last two things every day, because they are SO hard to believe.  Believe them anyways.  And stop defining yourself by what you’re good at.  If all of the things you’re good at abandon you (and they will), you’re still an amazing girl.  You still have value and you are worth getting to know.  You are so much more than what you are good at, and until you know that, you will struggle in an attempt to earn what can’t be earned.

You haven’t made a whole lot of mistakes yet, but you will.  So far, you’ve lived a life that from the outside looks perfect.  It isn’t.  You’ll make romance mistakes and friendship mistakes and family mistakes and education mistakes and all sorts of mistakes.  It’s okay.  It might not seem like it now, but there are people out there who will love you through the mistakes.  You’ll have trouble letting them, but they will love and protect you, and you don’t have to earn their attention.  They’ll give it to you for completely selfless reasons that you can’t understand right now.

Finally, give God a chance.  This is the only advice I can give you that carries any weight.  Don’t do it because Christianity is another thing you can be good at… do it because no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be good enough.  If you throw 20 perfect games, write the great American novel, and marry a smokin’ hot millionaire, it won’t be enough.  It won’t make your family love you for you.  It won’t make you more complete.  It won’t change anything.  Life may seem like it’s about accomplishing things, but it isn’t.  You won’t be happier in a more seemingly-perfect life.  You won’t be happy until you give God a chance.  Trust me.  After all, I know you pretty well, and of all the people in this world who can advise you well, I’m pretty high up there on the list. 🙂

With Love and Adoration,

Future Katie

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3 thoughts on “Letter to Self

  1. Katie, I love this post! I especially like the part about don’t define yourself by what you’re good at because all those things are fleeting. What a great reminder for me!

    Remember that episode of the office when JIm goes to Stanford and sends faxes to Dwight from future Dwight? That’s also what I thought of… 🙂

  2. I liked this post for a lot of different reasons, but keyed in on the part about your family not loving you for who you are. We must talk about this idea. I would love you no matter who or what you are simply because you’re my “baby”, but the truth is that there is no end to the things about you that I really love. I love the big picture of how you’re an excellent, successful teacher and how you’re an independent, self supporting young woman, and how you’re a Christian and so very involved in your church, and that you are writing a book.. And I love that you’re enthusiastic and loyal and capable and that you love dogs and science fiction(even if I don’t) and that you have great eyes and hair and that you’re beautiful and athletic all at the same time. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. You’re my daughter and I’m proud of you and I respect you and I’m sorry that I don’t say it enough or that you maybe think that I’m critical of you and don”t appreciate you for who you are for you truly are amazing and I am humbled that you are my daughter.

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