Often times at night I have a hard time falling asleep. Sometimes it's because I drink too much caffeine during the day, other times it's because my mind simply won't shut off. It's in these times when I'm laying in bed that I tend to get inspiration for my articles. Recently, I was inspired during another insomniac bout to write a letter to my future self. Yes, that's right. Not my younger self, the self that I can currently look back on and be like: "Oh, you were an idiot." No, I wanted to write some words to my future self, and so here they are: 10 things I really hope my future self knows, understands, and learns about fear, faith, and forgiveness.
Future self, I hope you're not afraid of change.
Photo by Ross Findon
I hope you don't fear the change that so often comes with life. Don't be afraid to move, to start that new job, or to be vulnerable when the time is right. Accept change by moving forward in faith.
Future self, this brings me to the next "F", faith.
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You have to have faith in God for your future. When you were writing this you had no idea how long you were going to be living in that dingy apartment. You had no idea when you were going to get married. You had no clue how that summer trip to Eastern Europe was going to change your life. That all took faith. God doesn't give us all the answers for a reason.
Future self, I truly hope you look back on your years and can say that you have forgiven.
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There are no grudges to hold and no painful years of bitterness that need to be righted. Forgive and be free of those burdens.
Future self, I want you to be able to say that you punched fear in the face.
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It's scary, but as my pastor once said, "Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real." So punch with courage!
Future self, I hope you let go and said, "Ok God, I'm done trying to control."
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It's my kneejerk reaction, but it's exhausting. You know what is best because You are in Heaven and I'm down on earth." Do you truly want no regrets? Having faith is something you'll never regret.
Future self, you've been shown such grace and been forgiven for much.
Photo by Max Hofstetter
Do the same for others. I want you to be able to look back and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you extended the same gracious attitude towards others that have messed up. You were a rookie once, too, so I hope you don't act like you know it all.
Future self, speaking of punching fear in the face, please look back on your life and know that you sang your heart out in front of people and didn't care what they thought.
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You love to sing, and some people have said that you have a good voice. Whether you actually do or not doesn't matter. Just sing!
Future self, it takes guts to live this life. It takes guts to keep moving forward after failure.
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It takes guts…it takes faith. Not knowing the future is scary. But I hope you think of it this way: Remember when you were a little kid and you used to jump to dad in the pool? You couldn't swim at the time, but you had faith that dad was going to catch you and not ever let you go. It's the same with God.
Future self, remember when you were so angry at those girls who left you out when you were in junior high and high school?
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And you held on to that anger for so long? I hope you don't do that with others who have wronged you. You know better by now.
Future self, through fear, faith, and forgiveness I hope you can say you lived.
Photo by Rob Bates
You lived your best life. And while there will be pockets of regret and times when you should have done this or that, I want you to be able to say you lived for His glory.