Yesterday I heard an interview on NPR of a young twenty-something blogger who invited older women blogger friends to write letters to their own twenty-something selves. Of course this sparked my imagination, because I have more than a few things I'd like to say to that younger me. Man, oh man, how I'd like to say them. So I'm taking this opportunity.
Dear C, or C-squared (as you sign every letter),
You're 23 years old, and have just driven back to the town where you went to college to be in a wedding--the seventh time you'll be a bridesmaid. Tonight you and some of your college friends went out for a pina colada. You were laughing and enjoying life. It was a great night. But as you walked out of that bar, someone called your name. And here's what I want to say--KEEP WALKING! Don't turn back. Once he walked out of your life, don't ever, ever, ever let him walk back in. Not tonight, not tomorrow, not ever. Stop listening to the large part of your heart that still clings to him, and listen instead to the whisper that has been trying to tell you (maybe for three years) that he isn't enough, isn't right, that he actually embarrasses you. I mean, he embarrasses you when he stands up too preach, he embarrassed you when he told your dad he wanted to marry you. Seriously, he embarrasses you. Let that tell you something. You're better than that. You deserve more. And no, you won't be alone, if you don't have him. He isn't your last, your only, or even your best chance at love. Not by a long shot.
And, if you're willing to admit it, you actually know this. Anyone who thinks he has the right to tell you to lose weight--and is willing to pay you to do so--before he'll marry you is DEAD WRONG, abusing you, and hurting you in ways that will last far longer than he will in your life. Run for your life, C-squared. Right now, before it starts back up again, before you fall off the wagon (because if it looks like addiction and acts like addiction, it's a darn good bet it's addiction--er, that he's an addiction!), and he starts controlling your life again.
But here's the good news, C-squared. Not two years from now, in a land across the world, you'll renew a friendship with the boy across the street, and that is the relationship of your life. It's coming. You won't end up alone. That's who God is. He knew all along that this man was out there. You aren't going to miss it. Listen to me again--you aren't going to miss what God has for you, no matter how much you mess it up now! That's not how God works. If He has a plan for your life (and, I might add for someone else's whose name might be Beve, and for three yet unborn children!), and you earnestly, earnestly seek Him (and I know you do, even when you think you're seeking Him for a specific someone!), your future is secure.
So, hang in there. I know you have a few more mistakes ahead of you, including the whopper you're about to make by answering that voice when he calls your name in the bar. But in three years you'll be a wife to the real man of your dreams, and in four years, you'll be a mother. You can't see it now, but everything you're afraid you won't have, is right around the corner. Really, in the long expanse of a life, it's so close you could almost touch it if you just lean in.
Instead of worrying about this ridiculous boy who you'll be laughing about a decade from now, why don't you enjoy these last few years of freedom? Lean into that. Take some risks, let your imagination run wild with what you and God might do together. Soon enough it'll be all diapers and babies, and there'll be no time for even a thought of your own then. So don't waste these years. Enjoy them. Love being who you are in them...then enjoy being who you are in the next years.
SO KEEP WALKING!
I'm here waiting for you,