I've gotten the opportunity to listen to just Christian music every day while I've been in Bentonville, and it has been wonderful. It may sound odd, but I've found that I've been more optimistic (not all the time—I'm human), less stressed, and more settled. Okay, I know I'm sounding a little bit like I'm trying to sell snake oil...but there's a purpose to my story.
The station I've been listening to is holding a contest right now called “Dear Younger Me,” based on the song with the same name. The idea is to write a letter to yourself, and the winner of their contest gets concert tickets to a show at the AMP in July.
I've decided to hold my own contest. In the comments, submit your own letter to your younger self. It can be written out in the comment, it can be a link, or you can send me an email—it's entirely up to you. I'll leave the contest open through the weekend. Then, the winner will get to pick a couple of my books for free.
I'm going to post my own letter to get you started:
Dear Younger Me,
You think you have life all planned out. You think you have everything all together—and that's just how you like it. Oh my goodness, you have no idea what's coming. There's something you need to learn: life doesn't go according to plan. You don't get to have all the answers, as hard as that is for you to accept. You are getting ready to run into more dead ends and detours in life than you ever would have thought imaginable.
I know you want to have a road map. I know you want to be able to see God's plan laid out before you, all the “i”s dotted and the “t”s crossed neatly. The thing is, God doesn't work like that. His plans aren't your plans, and there's no way for you to even begin to understand His mind.
Your life is about to veer so far off course that you'll think it will never get back on track. And if you're only considering the track you're on right now, I guess you're right. Life will never be “normal,” at least not with your current definition of normal. But you know what? Life will keep going.
There are so many things I want to tell you, to prepare you for, so you aren't knocked off your feet so much. The thing is, if I told you everything right now you would think there would be no way you could handle it.
And on your own, you won't be able to handle it.
You need to learn to let go of control. Because, you see, you aren't really in control to begin with. Your life is in the palm of His hand—and like His hands, your life will be scarred and pierced. The suffering will be agonizing, so much so that at times you'll think you can't take another breath.
Let go. You aren't holding onto Him; He's holding you. He doesn't need your strength. You don't have to be strong for everyone all the time.
He's got you, and He'll get you through.
An Older, Slightly Broken (and more humble) Me