A Letter to My Younger Self, Eileen Knowles

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A Letter to My Younger Self, Eileen Knowles

Yo, Younger Self, what up?!?

Okay, so maybe I wouldn’t start a letter to my younger self that way.  Unless, of course, I was trying way too hard to convince my younger self how cool I turned out.

Yep, this once clarinet-toting, marching band member who used to hide in the school library at lunch time (before she met Kerry) because sitting alone at the cafeteria lunch table was a special kind of torture. Yep, that girl, is now cool enough to write a letter to her younger self using the word yo. Okay, maybe Older Self still struggles with not being very “cool.” 

But, on a serious note, I would only write a letter to my younger self if I could be assured that any wisdom and any common sense I talked into that scared little girl wouldn’t alter the course of her life so much so that she wouldn’t end up where she is right now in life. Because, somehow, someway, God was able to take all the wrong turns and all the poor choices and turn them into something beautiful.

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Dear Younger Self,

You are so scared right now. I know you want so much to control the things in your life. You want to make a list and simply check it off.

Meet guy ✓
Go to college ✓
Get good job ✓
Marry guy ✓

You want your life and your future to be set. You don’t want to worry about what’s hiding around the corner. And, this constant fear you have? It will grow even stronger when, at 18, you watch your mom pass away from breast cancer.

I wish I could tell you the fear goes away completely.  I wish I could tell you that with age comes courage.  I wish it was that easy. But, Child, it has nothing to do with age. Instead, it all comes back to learning to trust in an unseen God. You know the One? The One you watched your mom sing and write songs about. The One you will question and doubt. The One you will yell at because, how could a loving God really think “best for me” and “a good plan” could involve a mom dying so young?

It will all circle back to this, you know.

It will all come back to learning (some times painfully) that He really does love you, that He really does want to walk with you and wants to guide you down all the unknown paths that lie ahead.

He wants to offer you peace…oh, child, take it!
He wants to be your joy, oh, child, grab hold of it and dance!
He wants to give you hope, oh, child, live with it (roll around in it like it’s a pile of leaves!) and tell everyone you know about that hope!

I know (oh how I know) the temptation to settle for things in this life is strong. I know what a temptation it is to set aside who you are and try to be someone you were never meant to be.  But that path? It won’t bring you happiness.  It won’t bring you peace.

I encourage you today, right now…in the middle of all your fear, to make the one decisionthat will change everything:  Throw religion out the window. Get to know Jesus. Put your hand in His and continue to walk with Him down the scary, unknown road ahead.

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A Letter to My Younger Self

One of God's great gifts to us is wisdom from those who have walked the road before us. Our elders offer deep insights into navigating the seasons of life, and when we take time to listen, they offer valuable strategies for leading from the soul. One day, with the Lord's blessing, we will all find ourselves entering a season of retirement, perhaps complete with grand-parenting, and soaking up years of grace.

How will we arrive at those years, and how can we plan now to live well in that season of life? We've asked a few friends to help us think forward in this series, A Letter to My Younger Self.