Friday, June 24, 2011

dear future self,

I think about you a lot. I think about where you are going to work, who you are going to love, what you are going to look like, who is going to love you. In short, what your day-to-day life will be.

Mostly, though I think about who, exactly, you are going to be. Someone strong, yet deeply sensitive? Someone who does not compromise the right, yet forgives and empowers? Someone who is true to herself, yet makes sacrifices to bless others?

I demand a lot of you, Future Self. I see you as a person of deep strength and profound calm, unruffled by the obstacles and pains life throws at you. I know that you hold people to your heart, absorbing their hurts and loving them tremendously despite their weaknesses. I know that you are fearless, in a quiet way; infallibly serene in your knowledge that your God is firmly at your side, and therefore you can do anything.

Oh, but dear Future Self, I just don't know how to be you yet. I am so far away from fitting your description, and so I question, all the time, whether or not you and I are actually the same person. Whether or not I am capable of being you. I hold my now-self to your standard and I just fall so short of it. Yes, in my best moments I resemble you, and that briefly gives me hope. Mostly though, I am overwhelmed by the knowledge that you are so far away still, and I don't really know how to get there.

And yet, it's your faith, Future Self, your gospel-attained brilliance, that reminds me to love my now-self too. I don't know much about the long road between me and you, but I do know that it requires steady, simple choices in favor of the Lord over everything else. If I am ever going to meet you -- the giver of hugs to small children, the cooker of nutritious meals, the tranquil and delighted lover of a good man; in short, the heart of her home -- then I need to be okay with meeting me every day as I look in the mirror. And as mixed up as my now-self is, the only way to do that is via the Savior.

And you know that, too. You know that the only way you became who you are is to take it one day at a time.  I know all too well that there are a million things that could go wrong before I get to you, but focusing on that doesn't increase the likelihood of getting there - just my anxiety about it. And, wouldn't you know, Future Self, that anxiety just distracts me from the real work of living up to the potential that is you.

Future Self, I'm so excited to meet you one day. I'm sure you'll arrive in my life quietly, gradually. By that time I'll probably have another Future Self to look forward to. Regardless, you know yourself well enough to know that you can give yourself a big, grateful hug on my behalf. You are the goal, even while you are the one who reached for the goal.

Because I know that, I'm going to try to think about you a little bit less. I know you're there waiting for me, even if I don't know how long the road is between us or how many times I'll get lost along the way. I do know that Jesus Christ is as excited about you as I am, and He's my unfailing guide, shining a light and teaching me about Him along the way. I know you wouldn't want me to be afraid, and I'm not when I'm really listening to Him. And I know you forgive me for being distracted sometimes. That helps me to keep coming back.

Thank you, Future Self, for knowing Him and knowing me...for finding joy in my weakness because it demonstrates His strength.

"Hold on thy way. ...Fear not...for God shall be with you forever and ever." 

I'm taking a deep breath and hoping to be a little more like you - today.



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