my letter to the younger me

hello, sweet girl.

you’re going to be ok. there is an end to this hell. there is hope. yes, that’s right: you can believe things will change. you can believe things will get better…because they will. oh, how they will.

i know it’s hard. hope is such a foreign concept to you. you don’t know what it means to feel safe or to know that you are genuinely loved.  that guilt weighing you down right now isn’t yours to carry. that hatred you have – that hatred that is eating you alive – is holding you back from the change you so desperately desire. but you can’t see that. how can you? change will come, dear one…it will come.

you are going to make a difference. you are going to pursue and accomplish things people told you would never could. you will learn how to trust again. not to say that you won’t feel hurt. you will get disappointed. you will feel so hopeless that you will want to die, even when there is so much to live for. but just know there is hope. there is always hope. in your mistakes, in your disappointments, in every breath…there is hope.

i know you feel dirty. but you are pure. it’s not your fault. i see your despair. i see your attempts to end it, but there is always something holding you back…that’s me. i’m here because something deep down inside you wasn’t going to let you give up. you couldn’t understand it then, but i’m telling you now that there is a reason for all this.

there is still a lot that even i don’t know, a lot that i wish i could tell you. you will be told COUNTLESS times that God knows the desires of your heart. and He does. He knows what is best for you. you’re going to let go of the idea of that hero that is going to come and whisk you away and make you feel better…because it’s not going to happen. i know it’s helping you survive right now, but you will learn how to stand on your own two feet. you are going to spend a lot of time figuring out who you are. you’re going to have to be brave on your own. you’re going to have to fight. i know you want to be carried, but you are going to have to open your mind to the prospect of having to do some carrying yourself. there’s a lot of emotions you are going to have to learn how to be comfortable feeling.

but it’s going to be ok. things are going to change. you are stronger than you know, sara. while all you are experiencing right now has you feeling trapped, know that there will be a day where you will look back and question whether or not it was even real. but you will always know because of the scars i still feel. because of the nightmares i still have. and when you just want to be held.

but it is all for something. there is a light at the end of the tunnel. one day, you will find yourself standing on top of a mountain and realize that i exist.

yes, i exist now.

and you are a part of me. a beautiful part of me. you are the part that makes everything i think, see and feel now so much more valuable, so much more precious. you are precious. you are worth knowing. you are going to make a difference with your life you won’t be able to fully know or measure. you will learn how to love. and, yes, we are still holding out hope that you will fall in love…and you will know what it feels like to have someone fall in love with you. it will be beautiful, dear one. because you are special, you have so much to give. you are worth being invested in.

until then, though, He will be your everything. you will come to know Him in that way you thought was impossible for you. you will learn how to value the ordinary. you will see the profound in the simple. you will find beauty when there is none. you will change for the better; in every moment of every day, He will show you how to live. to live the way you’ve always wanted…and so much more. i know you’re scared. i know you’re lonely. i know you don’t believe me. but i’m that little voice inside you in that moment you want to give up. it is going to change.

from the future you

p.s. you will forgive them.

change

looking back, i never expected that things would change for me. i felt trapped, and honestly believed i would go to the grave with the secrets i carried. oh, how i wanted things to change, but it was hard to imagine considering that the life i lived, the environment i grew up in, was all i knew. all i could believe in. all that i felt i deserved.

things did change, though. it took me all by surprise. and these last few years have been a roller coaster of growth, struggles and new experiences. it’s almost hard to believe i had the life i did…sometimes. but things DID change. it’s the life i couldn’t imagine, that’s the life i’m living now.

but being a girl who tends to go from one extreme to another, i’m all about resisting changes now. something i wanted so desperately in one chapter of my life, i’m cringing in the face of in the next. as He has set my feet on solid ground, as He’s steadied my steps, as i’ve gotten used to everything and everyone the way it is and have some sense of normalcy, He’s decided to shake things up a bit. changes in relationships, circumstances, emotions, opportunities…and my immediate response is to want and run and shelter myself. i can’t, and i won’t, but sometimes i want to, and i kick myself for it.  for the most part, it’s all good, it’s exciting, but i continue resisting. i fight the urge to be withdrawn. i have a hard time staying motivated. i look for distractions.

it’s so childish, i know. and we all do it. we all resist. i wonder how i manage to be a contradiction on so many levels. having witnessed the value of change and what God has been able to do, why am i struggling with all this? it’s life, and changes happen, but it feels like i only started living it just a few years ago. i need to hold it closer, i need to enjoy it more. it’s all going by so fast, and oh so unpredictably.

but, in the midst of it all, i had a single thought. the single thought that has kind of set me at ease.

He is changeless.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” hebrews 13:8, nasb

He has always been, He is, and He always will be. and He has always been Who He is. every aspect of Him is perfect and complete and unaffected by time and circumstance.  i have no idea how to touch that.  we’re always changing, everything is changing…but He doesn’t. i anchor myself in this truth as He is constantly working change within me. there’s something strangely profound about this arrangement, and i don’t quite grasp it yet.

sara

no good to be alone

from tea parties to hang-gliding. from antique shopping to learning the dance steps to high school musical 2. from card games to launching water balloons at the unsuspecting. from jane austen to homemade music videos.  from tears to laughter. from fear to trust. from loneliness to discovering true friendship.

i have been blessed.

i hope they know who they are. if only they knew how much i love and cherish them. they are priceless…this is coming from one who knows what it’s like to live without them. my friends.

we had been isolated growing up. cut off from our families, eventually pulled out of school to stay at home under the watch of a dominating and abusive man. any friend i had managed to get couldn’t last…there was always something wrong with them. ethnicity, denomination, family…it didn’t matter. i was never allowed to go anywhere, and they were never allowed in the house if they did come over. eventually, i gave up, and so did everyone else…they couldn’t understand. besides, christians were supposed to be hated. being friendless and alone meant you were doing something right. at least, that’s what we were led to believe.

what i’ve discovered is the beauty of God’s truth and design. we can’t walk this road alone. i thought i could do it. i really couldn’t imagine that anyone would even care…but God showed me otherwise.  He showed me His love through people. people who had no agenda, who weren’t looking for what they could get out of me…they wanted to help. they wanted to love. they weren’t trying to fix me, but God has used them to help remold me.

i’ve learned so much from them these last few years. how to live, how to love, how to trust. i value my time with them. i almost never want this season of life to end…

when our worlds collided, when your sky crashed into mine

when your shades of earth colored my world and your sun lit up my sky

oh, what a difference, what a difference you made

as color suddenly burst out from my gray

when our worlds collided…

sara

treasure your friendships.