Though you will go through phases of wanting your name to be Heather (why? I surely don't know), you'll eventually come around to appreciate being named Amy, especially when you learn of it's meaning. Years down the road, when you're sitting with a minister who helps you to connect with God and the story He allowed for your life, his calling of you Beloved will bring it all together.
God chose your name. He designed your being. And He has your unique life in His hands.
You'll eventually come to see that He will make beauty out of the painful places in your heart, I promise you.
It's hard to believe it, but you will actually give true thanks for your parents' divorce and most especially for the hard, strangled up years of relationship mess between you and your father.
God will do remarkable things in your heart and you will develop empathy for your father to become one at 19, and hardly grown up enough to make sense of relationships. You'll be given an eye toward his heart that just might be battling shame all these years later, for how he might feel as though he's failed you and most especially God. Grace will allow you to love your father. And grace will allow you to choose to accept all of who he is, even if he's a different kind of dad than the one you desire most.
You will find it painful, but God will use you to help your mother grow. Her heart is very much wounded and she doesn't know grace for herself. Keep praying for her to surrender into His love and know that eventually you and she will look at your story of togetherness as nothing short of a miracle. The long road you'll live will lead to beauty. I promise.
It's this grace that will send you head over heels into a transformation that will be your biggest testimony to God,
because you know you never could have chosen to accept your parent's choices on your own.
I'd like to tell you not to rush ahead so much. Don't be in such a hurry to graduate from college...to get a job...to get married...to be a parent...for your dreams to be realized. I want to encourage you to s l o w d o w n.
But...I see that He allows circumstances for purpose and you'll grow in the process of your rushing. He uses it for purpose. Just trust Him when you want to beat yourself up.
You will go through a brief period of looking for acceptance through friends in low places because you'll feel left out among the friends surrounding you. This will make you want to run and hide, knowing that you really aren't the bad girl you tried to be.
You'll realize that being known as a goodie two-shoes really isn't all that bad.
18-years down the road you will remember how a boy you went to school with protected you from drugs, though he was doing his own fair share. You'll see grace covered you back then. And you'll give thanks for all the times He protected you -- salvaged your life -- when you gave in to the darkness of alcohol those few years. Eventually you will walk away from it and declare it unsafe for you.
Diets will be declared as unsafe for you, too. And working-out a treacherous course. He'll teach you to be careful about your passion for health and you will learn what true wellness is all about. He'll give you a voice that encourages others to exercise carefully and deliberately focus on worship.
He'll send you on a journey of what worship is all about. You'll see it living and breathing among you. It will make you smile again and again. You won't be able to stop pointing it out. He'll lead you to tell others of it, and you'll be invited to obey--allowing your life to quake for Him.
He will bring you to a place of forgiveness for yourself. For choices you'll make and heartache you'll forever carry. He will see you through that time. And you will stand straight, I promise you.
Marriage will show you what commitment to stay is all about. You'll want to walk away and you'll battle the temptation for a long time. Likely forever.
He'll continue to show you His love when you scream and navigate the emotions raging inside of you that you struggle to allow. You learned to shout and to walk away when you were growing up and He'll mature you to live better than that, and those memories will help you to chose grace for your parents -- again and again -- for their story of struggle.
Parenting a boy will wreck you. Though you'll lose a baby girl growing inside of you and experience a painful and traumatic delivery of her, I promise you that gratefulness will grow out of that moment. You will learn more from having a son than you could ever imagine.
It will pain you immensely as you fight against your own pride of wanting to be in control. Again and again,
Your Boy-Man will show you what unconditional love and acceptance is all about. And again and again you will humbly apologize for being too rough or unfair or just plain grace-less. He'll accept you, wrap his arms around you, play with your hair and want only you.
Acceptance for yourself will unwrap itself through The Boy-Man's love and you'll begin to understand your groom even more as you drench yourself in the moments of learning from this child.
Though I haven't lived far into the parenting journey yet, I do know that you'll battle to trust God that He's got The Boy in His hands. That He specifically chose your groom for his father. And that if you or he does anything that wounds The Boy's heart, God will use it for purpose. It will be a hard learning.
He'll surely grow trust in you. To let go.
Beloved, don't be so concerned about doing the wrong thing or about what people will think of you. Live for God, alone.
Choose the courage to trust, even when you want to know what's around the corner. He'll slow your visionary heart, though He'll also use it for incredible purpose.
Keep ahold of those dreams He gives you -- the ones for adoption and South Africa and a foundation for the girls, and writing. Trust He will see you through and that He designed those dreams for your heart.
Be willing. It'll change the world for His glory.
You'll see, All. Is. For. Purpose.
And then she wrote a letter to herself.
So I did, though I don't have a younger version of myself.
I don't think it matters.
Just as it doesn't matter if you don't have your own place in this blog world.
Write a letter to a younger version of yourself, anyway. Will you?