Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Note to Self

Our Compassion blog assignment this month, as we celebrate Compassion Bloggers Month, is to write about what we would tell our childhood selves if we could go back in time and visit ourselves.
That's me in the back--the one with the GIANT Glasses
There are so many things I would tell my younger self. For one, I would hug myself fiercely and assure myself I am fine just the way I am. "You know that person who said you can't dance?" I'd tell myself, "Well she's wrong." I'd assure myself that all children are awkward at one time or another, and that I'd grow up to be just fine ~ that one day the scales would level out.

I'd assure myself that it doesn't matter if I can play sports well (I couldn't, and still can't and guess what?? I don't care!); it doesn't matter if I don't have brand name clothes (my mom & dad, wisely, refused to buy into the latest trends); it doesn't matter if I find reading preferable to playing the latest video game (okay, so then the latest video games were PacMan and QBert but hey, who's keeping tabs?).

I'd tell younger self that the high school sweetheart who is going to break my heart is just getting out of the way so I can find the love of my life later on.  I'd tell myself the crazy roommate who made my life miserable was just encouraging me to move into a house (albeit a really run-down, creepy house) with a friend who would become a sister and stick with me for life, and who would introduce me to my future husband and the father of the greatest little boy I've ever known.

I'd tell my younger self to wear sunscreen, that I really WOULD care later on when my skin started to show wear and tear, but that when it comes down to it, enjoying the day in God's bright sunshine is preferable to hiding inside in order to preserve my vanity.

I'd tell myself a little secret--that nearly everyone is afraid they don't know what they are doing, and that they expect to be "discovered" as incapable or incompetent at any minute. I'd tell myself it's OKAY to mess up, and that failure IS an option, and not always a bad one.

I'd tell myself not to be afraid to ask for help-that it's okay not to know how to do everything all the time the right way the first time you try it. I'd tell myself that making mistakes is not only normal when you are learning, but it's the ONLY way to learn.

I'd tell myself to treasure every moment with my dad; to record in my mind the memories, big and small, because he wouldn't be with me nearly long enough.

Most of all, I'd tell myself to really examine the life of Christ and who he is. I'd tell my younger self to cast aside who others say he is, who others tell me he is, and to answer the question Jesus asked Peter in Mark 8:29... "'But what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say I am?'" I'd encourage myself to think hard about what made Jesus different from prophets and wise men who existed during the time he was alive. What made his message different? What set his life apart? In what precise way was he a rebel in his community?

Then I'd tell myself to take that spirit of absolute LOVE and apply it to my life and to those around me.

I still struggle with all of those things today. I struggle with the negative messages that pound us through the media we consume with a passion that, if applied to the message of Jesus, would serve to transform the world in a positive rather than negative way. I struggle with the message of unachievable perfection that surrounds our culture. I struggle with the message that money is everything, that we have to look, talk, and think a certain way. I struggle with the need for control and approval. I hope to help my Compassion kids and my own son avoid some of that struggle by sharing with them the small amount of wisdom I've gleaned so far in my life, though. If nothing else, I want them to understand that they ARE loved, not just by me or by a friend or family member, but by JESUS himself. I want them to understand that they are loved JUST as they are, and that their greatest mission is to spread that love to all those around them.

Please help the Compassion bloggers this month by reading and sharing our blogs, and by sponsoring a child today! You can share the love of Jesus and change lives, one child at a time!

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful words of advice!! I think that your sponsored kids are benefiting from the words of encouragement you share in your letters. And I hope that many more kids are sponsored this month and are able to hear such uplifting words!