I saw something yesterday that said, “What would you tell your younger self?”
A very thought-provoking question for New Year’s Eve…
Many of the responses were predictable and pretty generic:
“Don’t go on that date.”
“Don’t take that job.”
“Don’t marry that man.”
“Have more fun. Take more chances.”
Do this. Do that. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Go here. Don’t go there.
I asked my hubs and my sister this question as well. My hubs said it was a loaded question, and he left it at that. My sister said that she wouldn’t tell her younger self anything. She’d leave well enough alone.
I thought about their answers and I thought about what my own would be.
I thought about all the years past and how many struggles and disappointments I’ve faced. I thought about the joys and blessings I’ve had as well. I thought about days spent laughing and nights spent crying. Weeks of rejoicing on the mountaintop and weeks when the world was too much and I couldn’t get the energy or desire to leave the house because of what lay outside my door.
What would I tell my younger self?
Would I warn her or encourage her or prepare her or scare her to death or…?
As I thought on these things, the answer I landed on was this: If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her to hold on and to let go.
Hold on to those good days, those days of laughter and love. Soak them up and tuck them away for later when you can pull them back out and relive them on a rainy day. Hold tightly to the days when your heart feels so full it could burst. Those moments will help you get through the times your heart is shattered and you’re left holding the pieces.
Let go of the hurt and disappointments that feel so wrong. Let go of the bitterness that will threaten to eat you alive and the comparison of your life to another’s. The things you think are completely unfair and the frustration you feel are not the end of the story. There’s so much more you won’t be able to see until later. The good news? There will be a “later.” Just let those things go.
Hold on to the promises in God’s Word. When He said He would be faithful and never leave, He meant that. Days will come when you will hurt so deeply, you’ll question if He’s really there or if He really cares. Through the tears, through the pain, hold on to His words. Reread them. Breathe them in like air and drink them in like water. Don’t let the doubts and pain loosen your grip on the truths they contain. Hold on to them tightly. They will speak truth into the lies and light into the darkness.
Let go of your ideas of how things should be. Remember that God’s ways are not like ours and all the plans and hopes and dreams you have are nothing compared to His plans, hopes, and dreams for you. Don’t be afraid to dream big, but don’t be afraid to let those dreams go in favor of the plan of God.
Hold on to joy. It will see you through difficulties with a smile.
Hold on to pain. Though it comes with great price, sorrow will give you strength and understanding.
Let go of sin. It will hinder your walk with Christ and influence in this world.
Let go of selfishness. It will make you hard and bitter and of no use to anyone.
Most importantly, hold on to Jesus. There is nothing in this world worth clinging to more than Him. But when the day comes when you can’t hold on to Him any longer, it’s okay to let go…because He is holding on to you.
Thank the Lord that it is not our responsibility to redeem ourselves. We would utterly fail every time. I can hold on to Jesus, sure….until I can’t hold on any more. At the end of the day, I’m still standing because He’s clinging to me, not the other way around.
At the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, He’s still holding on to me, so I can let go of the things that don’t matter and trust Him.
There are a lot of unknowns and question marks hanging over my head and making my life stressful, but today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year…I can let go of all those things and hold on to the fact that I am loved, I am cared for, and I am not alone. And when my grip becomes weak and I can’t hold on, Jesus is still holding on to me, so I can let go and rest in Him.
I don’t know what this year will hold, but I’m speaking the same truth into my heart today that I would speak to my younger self and to you…
Incredibly difficult, wonderful, impossible, completely amazing days are on the way. All we have to do is hold on….and let go. ❤️
Happy New Year!