If there is anything that I could go back in time to tell myself, I could probably write a manual. Though I cannot go back in time to make better life choices, I am able to reach others that do not have to make some of the same mistakes. Here is an open letter to my younger self and I hope this blesses someone else. We are worth more.
To my younger self…
Just because you are almost a couple of hours from home no longer under your parent’s roof, does not mean you should throw out all self-respect. Keep your standards high! Do you remember when you first has a “boyfriend” your senior year of high school and you would not even allow him to kiss you? There was nothing wrong with that. You felt that if you could not do it in the presence of your dad, then it should not be done at all. I commend you for that. It kept you from a world of hurt and pain in high school. Also, there was nothing wrong with you not even wanting to hold hands. That was your thing. You are unique and you knew you did not want to be like everyone else. There was nothing wrong with wanting to remain honorable in every aspect of your character. Because of your high standards and wanting to honor God, you did not have a horrible memory of prom. We both knew you would have had way more fun going with your girls senior, but even though you had a date, you remained honorable. Because of your self-respect, your date respected you and did not pressure nor present any options that your father would not have approved of. Your parents trusted you so much that you did not even have a curfew, were allowed to go to the school-sponsored after party with changing clothes, and was dropped off at your grandfather’s house around 3 am. You knew you were worth the wait and that even then you were wanting to keep your marriage bed pure…not only to honor your future spouse, But honor God as well.
Then you went off to college, where everyone around you were talking about sex. You do not have to hang around them because they actually were not going where you desired to go. That guy that is showing you the attention you think you want, he does not have your best interest in mind. He just wants one thing. It is really not that hard to see his true intentions…just listen to his conversations. Also, if he was going to respect you, he would not invite you to his room by yourself. Okay, so you chose to dishonor God for a fleeting moment that did not even bring you pleasure, But do not turn from God now! He is not mad at you. Of course He is disappointed that you did not continue to keep your marriage bed pure, but He will forgive you if you ask with a repentant heart. All is NOT lost!! God is still there wanting to wipe away those tears of regret, hurt, and pain. For any guy that approaches you with disrespectful and dishonorable intentions, RUN! They were not sent by God, they are actually setups from Satan to lead you to death and destruction. If he truly valued you, He would not seek “husband treatment.” Also, there is more to life than clubbing and drinking. It is just a waste of time and you already would rather do something more constructive anyways. The girls you chose to hang out with are not the only people to hang around. If you have to be alone for a season until you find the right friends (friends that strive to live for Jesus Christ no matter what), then wait on God. He will send diving relationships.
Oh Carol, please know your worth. Just because you are in your 20’s, does not mean that you are “getting old.” You do not have to marry by a certain age because your mom did. You are a different person, and you only want what God has for you. You are beautiful. You are worthy. You do matter. You do not have to settle for a relationship with a guy because you think that is all you can get. You are not even attracted to him. He does not even fit your criteria for what you want in a man. Do not get so caught up in the pretenses of life, when you should be seeking God’s perfect will for your life.
As I stated, ALL IS NOT LOST! You do not need others to validate who you are. You are who God says you are. He does not define you by your shortcomings nor mistakes. He has been there through it all, waiting for you to turn to His embrace. You thought God turned His back to you, but actually it was you who turned your back to Him. He has been there with open arms waiting for you to turn back around and enter into His loving, protective arms. He has never stopped loving you, no matter any of your decisions. Do not be ashamed of your mistakes, sins, and ungodly choices. Tell your testimony. Share of God’s goodness and His grace. Not only will it set you free, but it will help others to either learn from your mistakes or to also choose freedom if they also have a similar testimony. God has great plans for you, just wait and see!
To the reader: God has great plans for you as well! He does not want you to continue on a destructive path, He wants you to live! He wants you to be free!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10