Dear 33-year-old me,
Hi there, friend. I see you standing there, forcing a smile with that precious 8 year old girl of yours and all I want to do is sit down with you and have a chat.
You’re carrying a huge burden. Or rather, lots of huge burdens.
You’re still struggling to forgive your dad. It’s been just over a year since his death and you desperately seeking closure. I wish I could tell you that healing was coming. The process has started. Someday soon the anger is going to simmer down and it will be replaced with a deep sadness for the person he was. For the person he became because of choice and perhaps circumstances beyond his control. You’re always going to wish that things had been different. You’re going to wish that he had loved and honored mom and your brothers and sister. You’re going to wish the abuse hadn’t happened. But, you’re going to learn to forgive. And that forgiveness will free you from so much bondage.
You won’t want to hear this next part. I know you all too well. Criticism in any form stings for you. Believe me, I get it more than anyone. But, you’ve checked out big time, girl. You have put a huge burden on your husband. Losing your job last year sucked. You were hurt. Lots has happened in the past twelve months and most of it bad. You couldn’t control any of it. But, you have been acting like it was no big deal to go from two incomes to one. You haven’t looked at your budget in months, probably close to a year. Your husband is carrying the entire financial burden of making ends meet, paying bills, etc while you’re still trying to “find yourself” or whatever crap you’re going through. Girl, it’s all coming to a head soon. I wish I could keep it from you… but it will be for your own good. You’re going to have to go back to work, eventually full time. You’re going to have to learn to live well below your means, but God will give you every single thing you need. The job will happen at the worst possible timing, but it will be the biggest blessing. And that leads me to my next warning.
June… June is going to suck, honey. There’s no other way to describe it. Your marriage is going to face it’s toughest trial yet. You’re going to finally have that financial “coming to Jesus meeting” I was telling you about and then you’ll start looking for a job. And then. Oh friend. You’re going to ignore some health issues. A urinary tract infection, in fact. I’m not sure why in the world you did this. I wonder sometimes now what would have happened if you went to the doctor when you first noticed the symptoms. Oh, but Nora. In true, selfish, stubborn fashion, you will put that doctor visit off. For weeks you will wallow in the worry and stress of that month and feel sorry for yourself and neglect your health and then, things are going to get much worse. You’ll always remember June 27, 2014. The days following will be some of your lowest. As you recover, you will be optimistic that this was a freak/one-time thing. Unfortunately, this is not the last time you’ll deal with this.
I know. I’ve just dumped a lot on you all at once. But let me tell you the good.
God… You’re going to know Him in a deeper, fresher, brand-new way. You’re going to see Him clearly in all of these circumstances. You’re going to learn to trust in Him for everything.
Your marriage is going to come out on the other side so much stronger. With hard work, you’re both going to be so proud of how far you’ve come and what you’re able to accomplish together with God.
Your health is going to grab your attention. But girl… you’re stubbornness is going to come in handy. You’re not going to recognize who you become four years from now. You’re going to become a runner. Like a real runner. Now, don’t think you’re going to win any races or anything, but you will be fit enough to train for a full marathon. I mean, that blows your mind, right? Crazy.
Your friendships are going to deepen. You’re going to discover just how amazing those friends are and you will learn to be more grateful for godly friendship. You’re going to meet a ton of new friends, too. Try to be cool, okay? I know how awkward-excited you get. And some of these people are just really the coolest ever and they will actually think you’re kinda cool too. Don’t let it go to your head and try to not be a weird, okay?
All of this good is going to happen because you’re going to finally surrender to God. It stinks that He had to use all of this crap to get your attention, but trust me. You’ll be thankful on the other side. You will have this new perspective on life. You will see how God paved the way for you where there was no hope.
I wish that I could ease your burden. I wish that it wasn’t going to have to take a storm in order to get you where you need to be. Friend, we have to admit we’re broken in order to be fixed. I think we’ll always be in some stage of broken/mended. But you know what? That’s okay. God will make a way and He will draw us close and make our focus on Heaven rather than on the stuff of this world. You’ve got some stuff coming your way. But I promise, God will see you through.