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  • Writer's pictureLindsay Bruce

Dear Younger Me...

Dear younger me… Five things I wish I could tell younger me!


1. The days are long but the years are short.


I wished away my teen years because I couldn’t wait to be qualified and working. I wished away the baby years because, well, sleepless nights, no spontaneity and smelling like sour milk for years! See a pattern? But if I could tell my younger self that time really does fly, and you rarely ever get a ‘‘re do’, I would. Wishing away the days, especially in hard seasons, can steal joy (which can absolutely co-exist with pain / disappointment), and rob you of the here and now. It’s a bit like being at an amazing event but missing it because you were filming it on your iPhone.


Sure, you were there, and even have a record of it. But it’s not the same as living - and being present - in the moment.

John 10:10 ‘‘the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but I have come to bring life in all its fullness”

 

2. Faith it ‘til you make it


I wish younger me knew the difference between ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ and FAITH it ‘til you make it. Younger me - with great intentions - tried to just put a smile on it and forge ahead. Often through self imposed standards and expectations - that nobody else had given me - I’d feel like a failure but pretended I was ok. The thing I’d like my younger self to know is that by doing so I ignored the reality and everything the Lord wanted to teach me in the stretch. It’s a form of dishonesty.


I took myself out of learning to lament by thinking God wanted me to subdue my soul. In reality what God wanted wasn’t me to polish myself up to look like I was managing everything; what He wanted was for me to yield myself and my will to Him. In that zone of being entirely reliant on the Lord you can ‘‘faith it” through the darkest days without feeling like a faker AND your relationship with Him will grow, as you worship with your whole self. He wants all of you all the time, not the shiny bits some of the time.

Romans 5:3 “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

 

3. Take counsel but not leadership from your feelings


I wish my younger self knew that when it comes to handling feelings and emotions it’s not a binary process. Ie ‘always being led by feelings’ or ‘always ignoring feelings’. That would be like feeling hunger and deciding to eat without question or automatically ignoring it . Neither is healthy. Instead I wish I had understood that I should listen to what I’m feeling... to try and find out why. Then make a decision on how to respond based on truth.


Why do I feel hurt / sad / disappointed / disconnected? And what is the godly response as an apprentice to Jesus? We’re called to worship with our whole selves so denying feelings isn’t truthful, but allowing them to put a lid on our lives means we’ve given them Lordship over our lives.

Matthew 6:1 “For wherever you have put your treasure there your heart will be also.

 

4. ” the grass is maybe greener. But maybe you’re not made for grass.



Younger me was forever in a comparison trap, never appreciating what she had for believing others had it better or easier. The grass always looked greener in someone else’s world. Living like that causes resentment and jealousy. Who am I to question what the Lord has blessed another with? You may have even heard ‘the grass is greener where you water it.’ That can be true too. If all we do is look at another’s success but do nothing to make our own then of course their life will look healthier or more successful.


But in reality, what if you’re called to live in a place without grass? I wish I had known when I was younger that as long as I’m where God has put me - grass or no grass - is the BEST possible place to be.

Philippians 4:11 “it’s because I don’t have need, but I have learned to be content with little or with much.”

 

5. You’ll never look back and wish you had bought the curtains


Yes younger me, I know you felt with every fibre of your being that you couldn’t live without the thing… the new jeans, the trainers, the GHDs (okay maybe you did need them, frizz is not your friend), the car, the Starbucks… but trust me, you’ll never look back and think if only I had got more of the ‘stuff’. You will however look back and wish you had gone on the missions trip, or said yes to an opportunity that never came around again.


You’ll wish you had been in the room when something special happened, you’ll realise there will always be more stuff but the moments and memories only come once.

Ephesians 5:16 “Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!”

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