Letter to Me
Our RAs asked us to write letters to our future selves, to be sealed and returned to us at the end of the year.
Time went by, seasons changed, and in due time, I got my letter back and opened it. I was shocked at how encouraging and well-timed my own words were, in ways that I simply couldn't have anticipated.
I was hooked.
I started writing myself letters for important days, or ones that didn't seem that important. When something big happened, I wrote about it, let it sit, and then thought about how much had changed (or not changed) since I'd put pen to paper.
I do this still. There is one, somewhere, to be opened on April 15th. Normally, I would wait, knowing that the contents will bring encouragement.
But my year ended with loss, with pain, with emptying. The first two days of the year were marked with great discomfort, disappointed hopes, and flashes of the panic and despair I thought I'd left behind last summer. I need some words, so I'm writing some out.
Feel free to listen in, maybe they will encourage you, too.
Dear lovely Cara,
It has been a hard day.
I want you to know, first off, that you are loved. I love you; your passionate, intimate God loves you; your community of friends and family love you. Today, you saw that love in action, read words, felt hugs, and heard whispers.
You are so very loved. Please don't forget that.
I know you feel like you made a mistake. You were so happy, so sure, and now you're second-guessing everything. How could you have known that there were mice in the oven? I know you're wondering how you will ever have the courage to try again.
I know this feels like just one more thing on the tail end of this year. I know that you're worn out from hoping and trying and holding on. I know you're exhausted and that you want to go to bed and sleep for weeks. I know that you are trying to put a bold face on, but that you are concerned that there isn't enough for you as well. I know that you are shrugging a little inside and saying oh well, there must not be enough blessing.
That is a lie, my darling.
There is nothing too difficult for the Lord. There is no limit to His love and care for you. I know that doesn't always look the way you think it will. I know you don't want to hear that God has something better for you.
(But baby, He does.)
I know that when you cry right now, you're not even sure what you're crying about. I want you to know that it's okay that you're tender, it's okay that this hurts. I want you to know that it will get better.
It's easy for you to think that this was your window, and that you ruined or missed it. But that's not true either, and you know it.
I want you to know that you can take your next steps slow. You don't have to rush out and find a new place to live (preferably one not already inhabited, by anything). You don't have to "put yourself out there" even though you're hoping that 2014 is your year, even though singleness still feels bleak. You can take your time, wait until the shaking stops and you start to feel safe again. You can fall back into all-encompassing arms and sleep.
I know it doesn't feel true just now, even though you keep repeating it over and over, but it is: it will be okay.
This isn't the end: not of anything essential, and especially not of your happiness or your abundant life.
Don't forget to press in for the release (as Sarah Bessey says). It will come.
In the meantime: make tea, allow yourself to feel how you feel and be how you are.
Who you are is lovely, darling one. Please don't give up.