A letter to the younger me
Your life is about to change. That's what everybody is telling you. You think you already know what they mean, and you are ready. You have imagined this life since you could hold a baby doll.
I'm here to tell you that you have no idea! Be prepared.
In a few weeks, you will find out from your doctor that the little boy living inside your womb is right side up and this will be the first time he turns your world upside down. Those 10 long weeks of Bradley classes where you learned how to be strong through the pain of childbirth? . . . a waste of time. You'd have been better off preparing your heart for the aches that come after that child screams his way into your arms. You are going to cry your selfish, helpless, little eyes out right in front of the doctor, because before he even enters the world God is going to use that boy to break you. Time and again you will say goodbye to what you had in mind, and you will take what God is giving you. You will learn and learn again that his gifts aren't what you are wanting but they are exactly what you are needing.
Those first few days are going to be a bit of a shock. You are going to wonder why no one bothered to tell you that you would never sleep again. When that insatiable mouth finally detaches itself from your still swollen body, and you place his tiny form inside the crib, rest will elude you. You will lay exhausted in your bed imagining that you will never hear his little cries again, then you will tiptoe to his room just to see his even breathing. You will beg God to spare his life, because you can't imagine living through his death.
And one day, when he is older, you are going revise that prayer as you plead with God to have mercy on his precious soul. You will experience that familiar helplessness when you finally understand that you cannot make his choices for him. And he is going to make some bad decisions that will rip away your pride, and send you to your knees. Be thankful to him! That's where you belong.
You will see him grow into a boy and eventually a man, and that little time you cradled him will only be wisps of memories. You will find yourself searching for the moments of remembered innocence, some day realizing that we all must find our way to the only way that is worth finding. It will be your responsibility to lead.
Sometimes, sometimes you will feel that you have no business raising up a child and don't be shocked to look around and see four. There will be moments when you wonder why God blessed you with this calling, and how could he think you would ever be capable. I'm here to tell you, you're not!
Then the Holy One will speak into your broken thoughts and splintered spirit to breathe his rescued breath into your helplessness. His whispers will be sweet rest to that weary, discouraged soul and will speak the truth that you alone will never be enough. He will invite you into his patiently waiting arms, and lift you up. Your tired eyes will meet his compassionate gaze, and you. will. see. hope.
So, younger self, know that the road ahead will be the hardest, longest journey you will ever travel. With each step you take, you must remember this - you can't walk it alone. Take heart now, because I am not the end of your story, and right now is not the end of theirs. The Keeper of time is still working on us and He is faithful to the end.