When I graduated high school, one of the class traditions involved burying a time capsule where we had to leave a letter to our future selves. I have no clue what I wrote in mine, but I’m pretty positive that I will be humored the day I open that seal. I probably made ridiculous predictions and the lines of the letter I’m sure are coated with a mixture of both excitement, naivety and inside jokes that I don’t even remember. It was supposed to be a way to look back on who you were and how far you have come.
Well, I’m at the point where I just graduated college a few months ago, and I’m finding it’s been a common occurrence to relearn the same lessons over and over again, specifically lessons of trust. Some days, I think I have it down, telling other people to live day by day and trust in the God who urges us not to worry about the long-term. Then the next day, .. or hour, I’ll be planning out the next five years of life and swirling around in my thoughts full of panic and restlessness with the unknown.
I have a lot of questions that only time will provide the answers to, and I’m sure that five years from now, I will look back yet again and think, Oh silly, naive, Calah. But it seems that now, my naivety is often partnered with fear rather than excitement. Maybe it’s because the world doesn’t feel like my oyster most days.
So, today, I thought it was fitting to write a letter to my future self, in hopes that its arrival will remind me of what I was feeling throughout this season.
Dear future Calah,
You are happy right now for the most part. You have your days of confusion, but for some reason, you feel peace, and in your gut, you know that you will be okay because today, you trust in the nature of your good Father.
You are watching your friends start new seasons and end ones that you never saw closing. You are learning that nothing is predictable; sweet surprises and unavoidable disappointments could be just around any corner, but still you feel steady.
You are learning to let go of the pressure to do things perfectly because you know you’re humanness and you know you fail, but in the midst of your failure, you know there is grace.
You feel like a hybrid between a grown up and a baby all at the same time. You spend more time emailing than texting, and that’s weird.
You’re really into avocado toast and La Croix right now. If this was only a fad that ends in the future, you should bring it back.
You still want to go deeper into God, but it seems that recently, you feel like you’re finally starting to get some of the things that haven’t stuck in the past; maybe it’s the discipline that you’re building. Maybe it’s just that you need Him more. Regardless, Jesus is more than an acquaintance again. He feels like a close friend.
Some days you feel like you’re supposed to make music full-time, some days you feel like you should go to grad school, some days you feel like you should move to Africa, and some days you wonder why you think choosing one thing means abandoning the rest.
You actually care about the coupons that you get from your Walgreens savings card because the $2 makes a difference.
Every time you look at your news feed, someone is engaged or pregnant, and you are excited for them, knowing that you have your own timeline to live by, and there is not an expiration date on your dreams for your future.
You are thankful for the good things in life: your house, your roommates, your friendships, your mentors, your church family, and your blood family because you know that some of these things will only be here for a season, and you are not entitled to them –t they are gifts.
You are thankful for the simple things in life, like chocolate covered pretzels from whole foods, chips and guacamole, and spontaneous stops to the gas station for candy. Never stop treating yourself to these things. They brighten your day and make you happy.
Never underestimate the power of sending an encouragement text or letter to someone because, in the past few months, these have shifted your entire day, at least on the days that you really need it.
Because some days, you still doubt yourself. I guess it’s inevitable that your flesh will cry out for control and understanding of things that are unpredictable, such as opportunities and life predictions. But you’re learning the difference between the voice of fear and the voice of faith, and you are trying your hardest not to let fear have the last word. On most days, you get there. The determining factor is whether or not you believe that God is not a God of second best and He is everything that He has promised and said he will be.
Read that again, because I’m sure you will need to hear it again.
Calah, if you are reading this right now and the future is still unclear, and you know nothing else, remember this:
God is not a God of second best, and He is everything that He has promised and said he will be.
That’s true, and there is nothing you can do to change it even though you and your desires seem to change at the speed of light, so you are going to be okay. Keep on keeping on. Give yourself grace. I’m proud of you. God delights in you.
– 21-year-old Calah
**Join me! Write a letter to yourself about where you are right now, seal it, and tuck it away somewhere. Write the date you want to open it! It doesn’t need to be poetic or perfect. Just be honest! Whether you open it three months from now or 3 years from now, I think it will make you laugh, maybe cry if you’re like me, and realize how much you are changing and growing. Or maybe it will remind you of something that fear tried to make you forget.