After reading Carly’s post earlier this week, I thought a lot about what I would have told my freshman self if I were to put pen to paper (lets be real, I typed it) and write a letter. It’s amazing once you start writing, all of the emotions that come out (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up as I wrote this). Life can be so messy and difficult when we’re in the midst of it, and it’s not until we’re looking in the rearview mirror that we begin to see a bit more clearly, hindsight truly is 20-20.
I’ve been really going through my own struggles and confusion in regards to professional fulfillment lately (which is crazy because my personal life is in the most amazing place it has ever been), so it was nice to remind myself of the blessings that came from a challenging point in my life. It’s a motivator to be content and patient in this season of waiting, knowing that there will be abundant blessings when I make it through.
I know that it is overwhelming, the number of adult decisions that you are all of a sudden burdened with now that you have graduated high school. You have goals and dreams and that is so amazing, but I’m going to let you in on a secret. Those dreams will change. Those goals will change. You will change your major (more than once), change schools, and pursue different career aspirations.
You will get Bs and Cs as you learn what it takes to be successful outside of the walls of high school, but you will learn. You will question your calling; you will be up crying multiple times because you are overwhelmed by the seemingly endless expectations life has for you. You will feel like a failure many times, and you will feel successful just as many times.
You will make judgment calls that in hindsight, might not have been the best, but you will continue on without regrets knowing that you would not be where you are if it wasn’t for those calls. And one day, despite the indecision, the fear, and the failures, you’ll find yourself pursuing a degree you love, getting As in every class your junior and senior year because you enjoy what you are studying. You will finally feel called to the profession that is right, and you will begin to pursue that career with wild abandon.
You will overcome many situations where your first instinct was to run. And along the way you will make friends that come and go, and many that become family. You will build a solid support system of people that support you through it all, through all of the changes, all of the stress, and all of the fear of the future.
You will pursue God relentlessly. There will be times when you drift farther away from Him, but each time you drift, He will continue to call you home, and you will return. Your faith in God will be your compass, your lifejacket, and your blanket. He will protect you, lead you, and support you when you do not feel like you are enough. He will continue to whisper in your ear, all the wonderful things He has created you for. You won’t always listen over the screams of your own desires, but when you take a second to silence the screams, He will be there.
You will have your heart broken many times, and you will wonder if God has a plan for you to fall in love and get married. You will struggle with this possibility, but at the same time, you will pursue God, and you will pursue yourself. And one day, when you least expect it, God will provide you with a love that is more amazing than you could ever have imagined. You will be so grateful that you trusted His plan and refused to settle.
And finally, you will find yourself in a place where you find yourself searching for fulfillment and struggling with contentment. I want you to remember the many other times you found yourself in a similar situation, and think of the results. You were in a season of waiting, purposefully created by God to teach and mold His precious daughter. He will not keep you in that season forever, but you must be patient and conscientiously choose to be content.
The best advice I can give you is to pray, be patient, and pursue God first. The times when your walk with God was the strongest, are the times you lived with contentment and happiness. Yes, you will look back and think about decisions you made with unanswered questions, and slight regret, but you really do have a beautiful life full of family and friends who love and support you.
You will probably never feel like you “made it” or that you are “successful” in a professional sense. But, you will pursue what makes your soul happy, with the support of loved ones. And that relationship with God, well that’s just everything.
What would you tell your freshman self if you wrote her a letter?
*If you blog one, post the link here so I can check it out!*
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