Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Letter to Myself in 1984

Fairview Park High School
Fairview Park, Ohio

Dear Me in 1984,
First of all, Honey, we need to talk about the eye make-up. If God intended you to have electric blue eyelashes, He would've made you Smurfette.
Second of all, you're not fat. Look in the mirror and memorize what 115 pounds looks like, because you will never, NEVER see it again. The little babies you will someday house in that flat belly of yours will stretch it out to inhuman porportions. And you know what? You will think it's beautiful.

You seem to be awfully preoccupied with the wrong kind of boy. Right now, the ability to block a 40-yard touchdown pass seems like a very important trait in the opposite gender. It's not. But I also know that, deep in your heart, you're wondering if there's more out there than jocks in letter jackets. You're wondering if you'll ever find someone to understand that deep part of your soul you haven't shown to anyone in your little hometown. You'll find him. He'll knock your socks off. He'll challenge you until your head spins, all while loving you just the way you are--and you will never be the same. (Trust me when I tell you you're getting a much better deal.)
You don't understand yet what a treasure your family is. You love them, and you depend on them, but you haven't yet learned how much of the world lives without the kind of support and love that surrounds you. Thank them for the sacrifices they make for you, and spend a little more time listening to them. And you know that little brother who bugs you endlessly? Someday he won't be there to bug you. Go easy on him.

You're spending a lot of time wondering if this faith of your parents is worth claiming as your own. That's okay. Don't be afraid to ask the hard questions. If God is who He says He is, He can withstand the doubts of a teenage girl. Know that the day will come when He'll be more real to you than anything you've ever known. Until that day comes, stop agonizing over your inability to truly believe. He's working in your heart, and He'll accomplish His work--in His timing.
One last thing. Your life isn't going to work out quite the way you think it will, as you sit there scribbling away in your 12th-grade English Lit. notebook, dreaming big dreams. You have very grand hopes of changing the world, and the good news is that you will accomplish this--though not in the way you're dreaming right now. You'll change the sheets of a little girl who has gotten sick in the night, and you'll make sure she feels safe and warm in a way no one else can. You'll stroke the face of your daughter after she has a bad dream and cover her with prayer. You'll share your faith with a second-grade boy in your Sunday School class and watch the light of understanding flip on in his eyes. You'll sit at the kitchen table with a girl whose confidence has been shattered, and you'll build her back up. You'll love a man more completely than you can imagine, and with him you'll build a home where it's easy to laugh and safe to speak your mind. Yes, a tiny corner of the world will be forever changed by what you do more surely than anything you could do in your big city dreams.
And it will take your breath away.


Love, You in 2008

3 comments:

Mary Jo said...

Oh Lisa, that was so beautiful! You've inspired me to write a letter to the me I was back in my senior year - 1981. Wow, do you think we really would have listened to our "future" selves back then??

Mary Jo said...

Oh Lisa, that was so beautiful! You've inspired me to write a letter to the me I was back in my senior year - 1981. Wow, do you think we really would have listened to our "future" selves back then??

Marvene said...

Thanks for writing this.