Dear Past Self

Hello Rachel,

It’s me. Yourself. From the future. Or I guess, if I make a copy of this then it could also be a letter to my future self. MIND BLOWN. Okay, anyways. Moving on. You’re 20 years old now and a junior at your dream school. No, you don’t have a boyfriend. And that’s okay? Sure. Let’s go with that. Anyway, you’re majoring in Professional Studies with an English emphasis. And guess what, you actually have friends. They actually care about you. And you didn’t make them just to gain popularity or to feel like you have some sort of significance in the world. God has helped you make leaps and bounds in managing your anxiety. It’s still something that occasionally rears it’s ugly head, and for that reason, is a bead on your prayer bracelet, but you know that quote that you recently learned from Princess Diaries, ” Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the realization that something else is more important than fear”? Yeah, that became sort of like your life motto. Not that courage comes from your own strength. In case you’re still too young to realize it, you’re totally inadequate in your own strength. In one of the Bible studies that I go to, one of my friends told the group that God told him that he was “a child of weakness, nothing more. But also nothing less.” I’ve learned what it means to rely on the strength of the Father, not completely, but more than you currently know now. And let me just give you a bit of a spoiler( like I haven’t done that already), it’s super great. Because of this, you decided to try out theater( totally out of your book-loving comfort zone, I know…but don’t worry. You’re still a total book nerd), which led you to be more comfortable trying new things in general. You ended up working as a camp counselor at that theater camp. And guess what, you went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic without mom and dad. God used you to lead 12-15 kids to the Lord. You spoke in front of hundreds of Spanish speaking kids, and, using a translator, presented them with the gospel! You did prayer ministry for ladies in the Dominican. You even did door to door evangelism. Talk about getting out of your comfort zone. I know that seems like a lot, because right now you’re trying to avoid anyone suggesting anything about sleepaway camp, which while you never do as a camper, you end up spending 7 and 1/2 half weeks as a camp counselor for at-risk inner city kids in Pittsburgh. Don’t worry, you come home for the weekends. But, Rach, you get to lead them on ropes courses and watch them conquer their fears on the rock climbing wall. You get to lead them on nature hikes while sharing about how nature relates back to Jesus. You get to sleep in a cabin as you listen to the rain falling softly on the roof. You get to help a little girl find peace after a panic attack. And Jesus uses you to lead six little girls to the Lord. Not only that, but the school that you go to is super great. They host Christian concerts, they have Unchapel every Wednesday( where you get to worship the Lord through dance, drawing, singing, etc. and listen to the Word being preached), you go to morning prayer on Weds, Bible study on Fridays and Saturdays, and you get to be a life group leader. As a life group leader, you get to lead lessons and events with your life group partner. You get to listen to the stories of the girls on your hall and be a good friend to them. You get to help them to understand the strength of God which you constantly have to rely on. So, I guess, I just want to tell you that while you may be burdened by anxiety right now and contemplating why you’re even alive, just know that in a few years everything works out. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the future holds for us with God in control.