Tuesday, May 3, 2016

letter to me

If I could write a letter to me
And send it back in time to myself at seventeen
First I'd prove it's me by saying
Look under your bed, there's a Skoal can and a Playboy
No one else would know you hid
And then I'd say I know it's tough
When you break up after seven months
And yeah I know you really liked her
And it just don't seem fair
But I'll I can say is pain like that is fast and it's rare

And oh, you got so much going for you
Going right
But I know at seventeen
It's hard to see past Friday night
She wasn't right for you
But still you feel like there's
A knife sticking out of your back
And you wondering if you'll survive
But you'll make it through this and you'll see
You're still around to write this letter to me

At the stop sign at Tomlinson and 8th
Always stop completely, don't just tap your brakes
And when you get a date with Bridget
Make sure the tank is full
On second thought forget it, that one turns out kinda cool
Each and every time you have a fight
Just assume you're wrong and Dad is right
And you should really thank Ms. Brinkman
She spent so much extra time
It like she sees the diamond underneath
And she's polishing you till you shine

And oh you got so much going for you
Going right
But I know at seventeen
It's hard to see past Friday night
Tonight's the bonfire rally
But you're staying home instead
Because if you fail Algebra
Mom and Dad will kill you dead
Trust me you'll squeak by and get a C
And you're still around to write this letter to me

You got so much up ahead
You'll make new friends
You should see your kids and wife
And I'd end by saying have no fear
These are nowhere near
The best years of your life
I guess I'll see you in the mirror
When you're a grown man
P.S. go hug Aunt Rita every chance you can

And oh you got so much going for you
Going right
But I know at seventeen
It's hard to see past Friday night
I wish you'd study Spanish
I wish you'd take a typing class
I wish you wouldn't worry, let it be
I'd say have a little faith and you'll see
If I could write a letter to me
-Brad Paisley, "Letter to Me"

************************************************************************************

This week, I received a message from an old high school classmate of mine. She was asked to give the graduation address at our former high school next month, and since it will mark 15 years since our own graduation, she was hoping to connect with as many old classmates as possible.  
"As I think about what to say to this group of graduates, I thought it might be fun to know what has happened from our class in the past 15 years. Since our family moved from [the area] a week after we graduated, I feel as though I lost touch with a lot of people... I'd love to hear from each of you, with some of the following information: -where are you now? What are you doing? -what is your family situation like? -how have you experienced God working in your life in the past 15 years? -what struggles have you faced? -if you could speak back to your 18 year old self at graduation, what advice would you give yourself?"

Although I don't dwell much on high school, her questions did get me thinking, the last one in particular.

For our grade 12 yearbook, I wrote that my life's ambitions were to "renovate and live in an old farmhouse and marry a cute farmer, have 2 kids, and drive a red Chevy Camero." 

Let’s just say life doesn’t exactly turn out the way you plan. If you know me well, or if you have been following this blog for a while, you will know that although I did get the farmhouse renovated, I married a software developer (he is cute…and does love farm life), we only have a 1 baby on the way, and I drive a Honda Civic--ha! The things that seemed so important 15 years ago, really don't matter much any more.




After some thoughtful consideration, if I could tell my 18-year-old self just one thing, it would be this: God has a plan, even when everything inside of you screams that He doesn’t. 

Even when all your friends are married with children and you are 27 and single. Even when your cat gets killed and your new kitten drowns. Even when the man you think God is preparing you for a relationship with, ends up with someone else. Even when you lose a parent to cancer. Even when you lose a job. Even when you bomb an important job interview. Even when your best friends betray you and walk out on you. Even when your church family despises you and tries to destroy your reputation. Even when your pastor fails to see your heart and brushes you off. Even when members of your own family gossip about you. Even when your family is fragmented by divorce. Even when you experience every kind of delay and problem as you undertake home renovations. Even when terror fills your heart at the prospect of becoming a parent. Even when you yell, scream, and cuss at God because you feel like even He has abandoned you. Even you feel so broken that you can’t imagine ever being healthy and whole again. Through it all, no matter how you feel or what you experience, God is there and He does care. One thing remains: His love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on you.


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