As another year of college comes to a close, I find myself packing up my life back into boxes and suitcases as I prepare to move out and move onto the next season of life.
Through the process of my packing, I came across an envelope with only three words written on it "open April 2018". I blew off the dust and held this letter in my hand, a letter I had written to myself at the beginning of the school year...a letter I had completely forgotten about.
During the first week of school back in August, I sat with my life group; full of girls who would eventually become some of the most important people in my life and the closest and dearest of friends. During this first life group, I had all of us write letters to our future selves to open at the end of the year.
We sat there while writing about our hopes, prayers, and the situations we were currently facing and so on. My thought process behind this was that when we opened these letters 8 months later we'd be able to see how much we've grown and overcome throughout the year, but when I opened this letter to myself I was completely blown away by the things that have changed and how much God had and has been working within my life over this span of time…and once again He left me sitting in complete awe of Him, as I sat reading the words I wrote to myself.
When I read through my letter I took in each word written, from my hopes and dreams I had for the future, to the prayers I prayed deep in my soul, and to the situations, I had been facing at that moment of time. Little did I realize, at the moment I was writing this, all of the things that would happen in the upcoming year that was about to unfold in front of me. This was a year of unpredictable life...Moments of growth, healing, friendships, relationships, and opportunities.
I wrote this letter while being surrounded by a bunch of girls I had yet to know, however, at this moment, the amount of love I already had for them was real in which I even mentioned in my letter “currently I am sitting here in our first small group and wow am I just blown away by Gods goodness and grace right now and the way His Spirit was filled this room.
How wonderful and unique each and every one of these girls is, I just feel so much love towards them already” and this love only grew throughout the year as I got the chance to get to know each and every one of their beautiful hearts and stories. From the random dancing, pancake dinners, and bachelor nights, each moment I got to spend with them was the biggest blessing and each minute spent with them is a minute that is cherished in my heart.
I wrote about the hope to create new friendships and strengthen the current ones I had and wow did God truly place the most impactful and needed people into my life at the perfect timing. Some of these people came and went, some came and stayed, and others…well I know they’ll never leave my side nor me theirs.
I saw His hand at work not only with getting to know new people but also through the strengthening of friendships I desired to grow and the restored relationships that I thought were done for. He allowed people to come into my life that helped guide me, hold me accountable, and encourage me in my faith; in which was one of my biggest prayers I had: that I wouldn’t lose sight of God again and that I would put my complete trust in Him always.
For this was something I struggled with for the longest time. Yes, being honest here, I still struggle with at times, but through this past school year I have been able to grow so much deeper and intentionally in my relationship with God. This is because of the situations I went through, the people that were put into my life, and the mistakes I’ve made that He has allowed me to learn from.
“I'm excited to meet more people, to grow more with others, and strengthen my relationship with Christ”
Within this letter, I wrote about situations and struggles I was facing, one of which was the stress and confusion about a guy, but just, in general, the concept of relationships overall. I was spending time stressing about who I was meeting if they were worth my time, and mostly if I was going to fall back into a toxic and unhealthy relationship that pulled me away from Christ.
But by stressing about this, I realized I was putting all my trust in myself to ‘figure it all out’, that I wanted answers then and now when in reality you can’t rush these things.
I knew that God had a plan much greater than what I was seeing right in front of me in HIS PERFECT TIMIN and that He already has it all figured out. Through this, I began to let go and put all of this into His hands. For this isn’t something I need to worry about because that’s not even what this life is about, I was losing focus!
The focus is on the life I’m living and the reflection of Christ, not whether or not I am going to end up in a relationship. That would come in Gods timing if it is within His will, and when I really internalized that I instantly felt peace and things just naturally flowed without worry.
Lastly, as a few of you know from some of my past articles, I struggled with body image and an eating disorder in which I started a recovery program over a year ago for. When I began this school year I was still in recovery and not yet to my goal weight and as I read this line in my letter I was brought to tears at the goodness of God and the strength He was given me throughout this process.
“I hope to continue to get better in my recovery, I’m currently 111pounds and I hope soon enough I'll reach 120 pounds with confidence and assurance of my self-worth and beauty coming from and being defined by Christ and who I am in Him.”
As I rewrote these words just now tears rolled down my face once again because through God and everything He has provided me with this past year not only have I hit my goal weight of 125 pounds, but I have gained confidence in who God made me to be.
I’m not ashamed of the body He perfectly designed for me. I am free from the lies that held me back. I have been able to live a life for Christ that is so much fuller and more purposeful now that my body is strong, providing me the energy and strength to serve and reach out to others without giving out on me. From this, though I realize once again, it is by the grace of God that I am here, breathing and making it through each day.
This letter reminded me of the girl I used to be, of the struggles I used to have and how things were then…and that it's okay to reflect on the past every once in a while because sometimes you need to do that to really realize, "wow my God is good".
He is moving in amazing and powerful ways and He hasn’t let me down nor will He ever.
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 1:6