Letter to Self


Way back on August 31, 2010, I published the following blog post. As I’m in North Carolina right now, I thought it might be nice to revisit the things I wrote more than a year ago, in my first few months of blogging. Enjoy!
 
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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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2 thoughts on “Letter to Self

  1. That’s a really moving letter. 🙂

    So did you convert to Christianity completely? Like, got baptized and all? 16 was the age when I started to look into Christianity seriously, and for myself. I went to church for a period of my life, and I now take it as a duty to defend Christian faith in most arguments about religion. However, I could never bring myself to becoming part of the community officially. That is not what I was raised in, and in spite of my personal beliefs, I have the same reverence to my atheist roots that some people have, who’ll introduce themselves as Christians because they were brought up as Christians, although they never go to church anymore and actually aren’t sure at all if they believe in God.

    Then there’s probably the matter of determining what kind of orthodox Christian I am, which I’m probably not at all. I mean, I know for a fact that some of my ideas fit in Roman Catholic faith, while others qualify only as Protestant. And then there’s probably those of my ideas that don’t really fit anywhere official, because I’ve had these revelations on my own and I never saw them expressed by people who claimed to be religious. But then, it’s not like I’ve done active and thorough research, so I usually give myself the benefit of the doubt. So often we believe we’re original or revolutionary, when in fact the same thing has already been said somewhere by someone else.

    • Asia – thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂 I did convert completely to Christianity, joined the community and everything. I’ve often struggled with theological issues in different denominations, but for the most part, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died to save me (and the world) from sin. I read my bible and believe what it says is true. I don’t want that to sound like a cliche, because it definitely isn’t a cliche in my life. I can’t imagine my life without the family I’ve found through church, and I know that God is making me better every moment of every day… I’m a pretty big jerk sometimes, so He has to be diligent with me 😉

      If I were you, I wouldn’t worry so much about categorizing yourself as about knowing God as best you can. He has a way of teaching us the things we need to know.

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