Life lesson #29: Don’t grow up too fast. Don’t get ahead of yourself, racing into tomorrow or back peddling through yesterday, believe me, it can only lead to disaster. What you can do is create a beautiful tomorrow simply by living in the reality of today.
If I could write a letter to my five year old self it would go something like this:
Christie, take your time, slow down and don't rush through anything sweet girl! Please, please don't ever forget what Granny always said, “You have such a long, long time to be old, Christie and such a very short time to be young." These are words to the young from the wise, mark my words!
Whatever you do, stay close to Jesus honey, He will never, ever abandon you, and just keep your eyes on Him in everything! Always keep your faith darling, even when you feel lost and alone. This alone will serve as the sole key in finding peace in the journey ahead of you. Make sure not to let the aches of this world steal your joy! You have so much happiness ahead of you, just be sure not to close the door because you're afraid. Allow your heart to be open, but be mindful to protect it from the naysayers. Keep your head up, your smile wide and contagious because this is where your real beauty lies. Some days will be hard, if not downright miserable and yes bad things are going to happen beyond your control BUT if you believe in yourself and keep Jesus your focus, life will turn itself around.
Embrace the wildness of your heart, never let it go. Stay spontaneous, never stop laughing, and keep your sense of humor no matter what comes your way! Remember to laugh when they tell you cancer has made her way into your body, this one act alone will carry you through every twist and turn. Always have hope, keep it brightly lit so your path is never unseen. When you start to feel less than beautiful, when your body changes, when you feel discouraged and begin to compare yourself to others remind yourself you are made in His image! You may be a mess, you may lose your way from time to time and you may even lose all your hair but always remember this little one, princess or warrior, daughter, wife and mother, you my dear, are a beautiful mess. I want you to always keep this in mind, never let it stray too far from your thoughts darling. Wear it around your neck, like a diamond necklace, a reminder of your worth.
Take your time growing up, but once you do child, don’t let life become a delusion of madness and anger. Love with all your heart, embrace your odd sense of humor, follow your dreams, find your way, say I do, become a mommy times two and do it all with a full heart. Never lose sight of who you are, of your delight in the small things and your purity of spirit. Keep your innocence no matter how old you grow to be. Sweetie, whatever path you take hold on to your free, independent spirit! Listen to me when I say don’t allow anyone to take your love and joy of family away no matter how dark the days may become along the way. Stay the course of joy; take delight in every triumph, not with pride but with humility. Don’t despair because of the pitfalls this life is sure to bring your way but instead embrace these hardships allowing them to mold you into the strong woman you are destined to become one day. Above all make sure you don’t show up to every battle but fight for what you know is right letting go of everything else.
There's going to come a day I am saddened to say, you will feel betrayal as you’ve never ever known before, and yes it will sting, the pain will seem unbearable and it will crush your spirit; just remember this chaos will only last for a little while. This is where I want you to learn to allow things to rest, to breathe before walking out the door. Take the time in these moments to realize it’s better to respond, rather than react, remember what I said about battles? Whisper to yourself in these days, you are worth more than gold and your Father in Heaven has your heart safe guarded. I want you to know deeply but but I also want you to believe wholeheartedly you are a daughter of the King! Your heart will heal, life will start again and it will be far more beautiful than you can begin to imagine my dear girl. Just tell yourself, you are worth fighting for!
And when you lose what you’ve been looking for your whole life, know this child, sometimes we have to lose everything in order to find ourselves. When this happens I want you to embrace your independence, willfulness and the strength you have deep inside yourself. Don’t look back, don’t over-think things, just remember you have your own path to follow. Learn to love and let go, don’t ever allow bitterness to take root. Just keep going, take one more step and then another. Just hold on, life isn’t predicable, there’s no do –overs but there are second chances. Keep all the memories you make, they’ll carry you through both the good and bad days. And most of all, most importantly, never forget how precious life is, no matter how unruly it may be, never let it go!
So sweet little girl, I want you to take all your spunk, all your sass, all your imagination and just be you! One day when you are older, when you have lived and loved another 36 years, you will understand all I have written in this letter. I want you to stay strong because I know you have it in you. Just hold on, hold tight to your faith little one, to your family and embrace all the scars and tattoos life provides your body, mind and spirit. I promise you each one is worth it! Just believe.
Your grown up self…