An Open Letter to My Past Self
To My Past Self,
As I reflect on the past five years (the years which you have still yet to experience), I sit back in awe with what has happened in such a short amount of time. Surprise! You end up dyeing your hair blonde! Never saw that coming, did you??
But out all of the things that have changed within this short span of time, I am truly amazed by what God has done. How He stepped in, took my life and re-arranged it, completely shaping it to look drastically different than what life currently looks like to you right now.
I know as you read this letter, you are having a hard time believing me. For two reasons; life currently looks like a nightmare you can't wake up out of and because deep down you've never really trusted God.
Let's just stop and reflect on what is going on around you. You'll notice that this life that you've been trying to build for yourself is not getting you anywhere close to what you are longing for. Time and time again, you've seen yourself in a vicious cycle, going from one thing to the next to find approval, joy, love, and fulfillment. For sometime you've even been distracting yourself from coming to terms with the fact that you are indeed not fine.
But please, be okay with not having it all together. Please stop acting like you haven't had your world completely flipped upside down and the rug pulled out from underneath you. Please stop trying to ignore the pain and confusion you have experienced by throwing yourself into temporary comforts that you thought would make you feel alive. Please stop telling yourself that you are going to fix this mess and some how create a complete life without fully submitting it to God, because (I'm sorry to say this bluntly) you won't. You will only set yourself up to experience more pain, confusion, and frustration as you look for fulfillment in poor substitutes (trust me, I experienced it).
There are some major misunderstandings that you have believed for sometime which have aided you in making some pretty poor choices. I'm not saying you should not be held responsible for your actions but by writing this letter, I am hoping to shed some truth on lies that have shaped your perspective on who God is, who you are, and what this life is for.
Lie #1: God is the tool you use to obtain your treasure.
Think of the times you've come to God in prayer. Most of those times it was because you were seeking something else besides Him. You were hoping that He would provide good things to build you a perfect future, things you thought would finally give you peace and happiness. For the longest time you believed the lie that God is the tool you use to obtain your treasure. When in fact, God Himself is the ultimate treasure you've been looking for (Philippians 3:7-8). Relationship with Him is what you are created for and the temporary good things on this earth are secondary, they can be great but can never bring the fulfillment God created for you to have in Him (p.s. they have a shelf-time and are not eternal). You were created by Him and for Him. If there is any tool in this equation, you are a tool used by God to extend His Kingdom, not your own. But don't let this discourage you, this is a beautiful privilege to be able to walk out what you were created for, with and for a God who did not need to create or save you, but chose to anyway.
Lie #2: Christ was sent to pay for your sin, might as well sin whenever you want.
Doing something because it "feels" good doesn't actually mean its truly good for you. I know there have been times where this thought has passed through your mind, "Well Christ took care of my sin at the cross, so I am free to sin because he'll forgive me later." Christ was sent to set you free from the enslavement of sin, not to give you freedom to chase after it (Romans 6, Galatians 2:20). The self-sacrifice and act of love from Christ on the cross should draw us to repentance and evoke a response to cherish Christ, not spit in His face and settle for temporary pleasures sin might entice us with.
Lie #3: Because you've been hurt by others and have gone through hard times, you can't trust God.
Yes, several people have trampled over the trust you easily gave them. Yes, you've walked through some traumatic and painful experiences. But please, don't look to these examples to define who God is and don't let these things cause you to harden your heart and go numb. If anything, allow these painful things to draw you closer to God. Though people and life have brought you pain, God is the one who has actually remained faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). He is with you through all of this, whether you are acknowledging Him or not. He gave Himself out of His love for you. Please don't run from Him, but run to Him and hand over the pain you've been carrying for too long.
Do you remember the story of the woman at the well?
Go ahead and read John 4:4–26.
I want to direct you to how Jesus was sitting there waiting at the well for the Samaritan woman to approach Him. Though the woman at the well was focused on external things, like the fact that Jesus as a Jew was even associating with her; speaking in parables- He was more focused on showing her the true living water she was longing for, what she would truly be satisfied by: Himself.
See, Christ has already pursued you at the cross and is just waiting for you (in all of your sin and imperfection) to come to Him and truly find what you've been longing for. How sweet is He to pursue you, in your sin, laying His life down for you to be fulfilled by Him? He desires for you to rest in Him and receive healing and comfort from those hard things you've gone through. His plan is to never leave you or forsake you but to walk with you and glorify His name through your life.
I could go on and on about what God is going to accomplish with the next five years that you hand over to Him. You will learn more about who God is and who you are in Him. You'll see Him bring incredible people and blessings into your life. You'll also walk through some of the hardest seasons you have yet to walk through. Ultimately, you'll see your dependence shift from worldly things to the true and living God who goes before you. But in all of this, you'll be able to gladly proclaim that He brought you out of darkness into His marvelous light. That He molded you, transformed your desires, set you free, and has given you a hope that can never be destroyed.
Your Future Self