A Letter to my Older Self

Dear Older Me,

How are you? Is everything OK? What’s going on in your life?

I have so many questions for you. So many things I’m curious about, so many things I want to know. Or do I want to know? If I were to know would things still work out the same? I think if I knew the answers to all the questions I have, that would affect my way of living.

I really, really hope you’re still in love with Jesus. I hope you’re connecting with him, and His word. Remember how when you were 16, how much you loved the Lord? Because I can honestly say I adore him, and I hope you can say that too. Did I find a new church to join? I can’t imagine going to a different one than the one I currently attend, but I know I have to move on soon.

How’s the love life going? Mine’s pretty nonexistent, but maybe yours is going well. I hope it’s going well. I tell myself worryingly often that at some point I will meet a nice guy who loves the Lord more than he loves me, and that God will place a person for me in this world at some point. If you haven’t met someone, don’t worry. We are incredibly lucky that we have the love of Love himself, so we don’t need anyone else. If marriage is part of His plan for us, then that’s so exciting, but if not, then that’s exciting too! There’s so much joy that can be found within the gift of singleness.

What about your – our – career? Actually, this is one question I would appreciate an answer to. It feels like there is so much pressure to make a decision at the moment, and frankly I don’t know which route to choose. Part of me adores maths – I love how formulaic it is, I love how it requires problem solving, I love the feeling you get when you solve a question you’ve been stuck on. I hope you still love maths. Even if you’re career has nothing to do with the subject, I hope it still sometimes brings you joy. We are so lucky that God gave us our mathematical brains, and the opportunities to be able to use those brains. On the other hand, I think theology could be the subject for me. I’m doing well in my English based subjects at school at the moment, and I’m really enjoying them – especially Classics. Please remember to read a myth or two every now and then, or pick up some Homer or Sophocles. Sixteen year old you loved that stuff. Theology is my dad’s subject, and it seems I have a very similar brain and personality to my dad, so maybe it is my subject too. Everyone I have spoken to who studies it, loves the subject, and why would I turn down the opportunity to study my favourite thing, my God, for four years.

How is the family? You better still be close to them. They were your support system when you were sixteen, and I’d hope they still are now. How are our sisters? Have they matured a bit? Do you still argue? I hope not, those heated conversations had a habit of ruining entire days when you were younger. Maybe you have a family of your own! I don’t know when you will be reading this, but who knows, that could be the case! Teach your children to love the Lord, it was the best thing your parents did for you – for us. If you aren’t as close with your family any more, please reach out and contact them. No matter what has happened, we have a God who encourages us to forgive, so please give them a call.

What about friends? Are you still friends with those who you were close to in high school? I hope so – I’m friends with some pretty cool people and I hate the idea that I’d one day have to live my life without them. Maybe you should contact them too, you guys were so close at sixteen, and you trusted them with your life.

What’s technology like? It scares me to think about how much it could’ve developed and grown, especially given how much it has grown just in my lifetime. Are there hoverboards yet? It feels like we’ve been waiting for those for ages. What version of the iPhone are we on now? It seems the phones are just getting bigger and thinner, so maybe phones are just a sheet of paper now. Maybe you can fold it and put it in your pocket? Hey, that’s an idea – I should probably copyright it!

What about the political scene? It probably can’t get much worse (touch wood), so let’s pray it has gotten better. Even if it is bad, remember that ultimately God has control. That’s what I’m clinging on to at the moment. Did we ever actually leave the EU? Has America woken up and actually banned guns yet? Who’s the president now? Is Scotland independent?

What about our good friend, earth? How is she doing? Have we been able to do enough to save her? We’re trying, I promise. Saying no to straws, doing our recycling, reducing our waste, getting our carbon footprint down. But part of me always fears we aren’t doing enough. It upsets me that God gave us this beautiful earth to inhabit and we have wrecked it, so I really pray we can fix it. I hope we made David Attenborough proud.

I hope you have self-confidence. It’s not something I have buckets of, but it is something I am working on. I hope you can look in the mirror and smile, I hope you can walk into a room without feeling judged and I hope you can look at a picture of yourself with pride. I hope you know that you are made in God’s image, and I hope you know that He loves you, and that to dislike yourself would be to dislike a work of His creation. We were fearfully and wonderfully made, and even though I have a hard time believing it, I hope you are fully aware of it.

There is so much I want to know about your life and about the world that you live in, but I guess I will just have to wait a couple decades and find out all the answers to my questions for myself. I’m so excited for the future, whatever it brings. I can’t wait to see what God has done in our lives, as he has done unbelievable amounts in and through me in just 16 years, so you must have so much to tell.

Please honour the Lord in all you do, and put Him at the centre of your life, as that’s all I really want in life.

Lots of love,

Your Younger Self.

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