A Letter to Me (at 18)
Hi! It’s, well, me – Michelle! You know me pretty well, though I have 22 years on you and have been going by the last name of “Woodman” for 17 and a half of those years.
We found ourselves a pretty swell guy and got married! He is the second man you called a boyfriend, and the third man you went on a date with. Let that soak in, because I’m writing this to you around the time you declared to Mom there would be no grandchildren from us because you had yet to go on a date at that point in time.
(Oh yeah. Grandchildren. You don’t have kids yet. It’s not to say it will never happen. But that’s for a more private letter between you and I, so I will leave it at that.)
But there is a reason for this letter beyond, “Hey – you’re married, so don’t lose heart in the guy department!” It’s this:
Michelle, you have a really hard time being, well, you. You’re trying so hard to find a spot to fit in, a place to belong. And you think if you act in just the right way or say just the right things, then presto! You’ll fill those empty spots in your heart and life will be filled with much sunshine and numerous rainbows.
Don’t roll your eyes at me – you don’t know what’s coming next. Or wait, you probably do, seeing as how we are the same person. But it’s not coming in the way you expect. (Ha!)
I’m writing to you, from my 40-year-old point of view, to tell you this: It’s okay to be you. It’s okay that you like Simon and Garfunkel, Harry Connick, Jr., and the soundtrack to Good Morning, Vietnam more than the top 40 radio playlist. It’s fine that you haven’t dated yet. In fact, it’s a very good thing that you did not do so until after you gave your life to Christ. Your friends may seem to be low in number, but that’s okay, too. It’s not the quantity, but the quality. In fact, you know some pretty fantastic people now and are blessed to have kept in contact with some from your school days, too.
And the contentedness you have being by yourself? That’s okay – you’re not weird because you enjoy spending time alone. But remember to get out there and spend time with other people often. It’s good for your soul.
Oh, and about those empty spots in your heart? They are filled (and some are still being filled). Those were spots only God could (and can) fill. And He’s not near as distant or unreachable as you think.
One more thing – quit worrying so much. Many things in your life have not turned out as you hoped or as you thought they should or as you thought others thought they should for you.
In many ways, they’ve turned out better.
The good, the bad, the parts that are still being worked on . . . Just breathe and take it a day at a time. You’re stronger and smarter than you think. And you’re not so heart-achingly alone as you thought at times, either. Because even now, at 18, God knows where you are and where you need to be.
You’ll get there.
We’ll get there.
So rest, trust, breathe, and be you. God knows what He’s doing, and that (really and truly) is enough.
Love, Me (at 40)
Photo Credit: wfabry ©2007 (Flickr via Creative Commons)