Dear 20-year-old Self,
Happy Birthday, Love! You look so cute today in your Kappa Delta party shirt strutting around ULM…oops, I mean NLU’s campus. Isn’t college so much fun? Yeah, I know. Maybe you should pump the brakes on those late nights out though. Just a suggestion. 😉
You’re a Junior in college now and it feels like you’ve lived a million years already, but I promise these next 20 years will fly by. Within the next year and a half, you’ll be entering the working world as a career woman. You’ll have to trade in your jeans and flip-flops for pantyhose and high heels. But hey, there’s good news in the fact that pantyhose will eventually bite the dust…thank God for small miracles, right?
Here’s a few things that I think will be helpful to you as you journey through these next 20 years. Take them or leave them, but just remember, I’m older and wiser than you.
- Accept and love your body. (Especially your flat stomach! You will miss it every day once it’s gone.) I know that as a woman you tend to be concerned with your weight, but here’s the reality: there will always be someone skinnier than you or prettier than you or more athletic than you. Let them be. You be exactly who God has called you to be, which is beautiful by the way. This is so hard to do when comparison is the name of the college game, but let me tell you, Comparison is the Thief of Joy and joy outshines physical beauty any day of the week.
- Enjoy your family and friendships. I know it’s easy to get caught up in boys at this stage in your life, but strive to keep your head out of the clouds. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t date or even kiss a few of those frogs before you find your prince. What I am saying is that the time that you spend with your family and friends will produce much richer memories and will have lasting effects on your life. There will be a time when you go through a drought of having close girlfriends by your side and you will ache to have that camaraderie again in your life. Don’t lose heart. God will give you another set of close friends and this sisterhood will be one of the biggest blessings in your life. In the meantime, appreciate your girls. Equally important is the time that you spend with your family. Hug them and spend time with them every chance that you get. Trust me, you will thank me on this one.
- Learn to have a teachable spirit. Nobody likes a know-it-all. I’m not saying that you are one, but learning to have a teachable spirit will provide tremendous favorable outcomes for you IF you will embrace it. Keep your eyes wide open and learn all that you can from the lessons that God is presenting before you. In order to do this, you need to get back into God’s Word. Dust off that Bible…yes, I know it’s in a box somewhere…and start to remember the Scriptures that were taught to you in your youth. They will be an enormous source of comfort to you in the future.
- Make every day count and always remember that God is faithful! By the time you reach 40, you will have gone through some pretty significant valleys in your life. There will be times of questioning God and His goodness, but rest assured that you will make it through to the other side. Within these same years you will also experience mountaintop peaks that will absolutely blow you away. And when you stand on these peaks, take a minute to look around and give God the glory. He is not only able to do immeasurably more than you ever could think or imagine to ask Him for, but He actually WILL do these things in your life (see Eph. 3:20). Your job is to make every day count as you reflect the light of Christ and also know that never once will you ever walk alone. Your God is faithful.
That’s all we have time for today, Sweetie Girl. Believe it or not, your life is pretty busy at 40. I know you’re thinking that you will have achieved all your life goals by the time you’re my age, which makes me chuckle because I’m over here praying that the best is yet to come!
With much love,
Your 40-year-old Self
P.S. One last thing: you might want to pay attention to the cute drummer in your marketing classes. He’s a keeper. 😉