There’s something about growing up that makes you ask the ‘what-if’ questions.
It’s the way you're seeing how everything you’ve done up until this point has left a mark on you. It’s made you who you are. And sometimes that’s not a wonderful feeling. It's those little things, those mistakes from your past you’re dealing with now, that make you wonder, ‘what if I had known?'
5 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told the Younger Me
1) You will get married one day.
This might seem like a common sense statement, of course marriage will happen one day, everyone knows that. But this is the hardest lesson I have had to learn.
Not because I was told I would never have a husband, but because I was never told to prepare for one. I never knew that every relationship I was in, especially the physical ones, would rear their ugly heads. Because one day you will get serious, and you will find your other half, someone you could only imagine walking down the aisle with, and you’re going to have to tell them about your past.
If you don’t prepare, it’s one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. So I’ll tell you something God told me almost a year ago.
If you want a future husband, act like you have a future husband.
2) You don’t have to have it all figured out.
When I was eighteen and just starting college I knew exactly what I was going to do. I was going to be a marine biologist, studying the dark depths of the water and making discoveries that would change science books. I would be rich and live on the coast.
So here I am, a missionary. The closest I get to marine life is the fish tank in my room or the Georgia Aquarium. I don’t make money, I support raise. And the only book I’m changing is my own.
But that’s what’s great. You never have to have everything planned out and color coded. You can change your mind, you can give up something good for something great, and you can let God take control and make your life what He wants it to be.
3) It’s all going to be okay.
I remember while growing up I thought the world was going to end a hundred times. My best friend kissed my boyfriend once, I moved away and would never fit in at my new school, I was dumped several times, my parents drove me crazy, and every time I thought I would never get through it. I imagined myself miserable and alone for the rest of life, starting at 15.
But everything came to an end. My so called miserable life was back to near perfection at week’s end.
This dramatic stuff just doesn’t matter. Every argument and hard place in your life isn’t cause for a mental break down. It passes, all of it. Anger, hurt, it all eventually just fades.
I see that now, but I also see an extreme amount of wasted energy and tears on issues that just don’t matter.
4) You are small, and so so big.
I learned the hard way that the world doesn’t revolve around me. I made myself the center of my focus and hurt people along the way. I was very tiny then. My goals were my own gain and I was used in my own plan. Nothing more, nothing less.
But as God took over as the center of my world I found myself growing. I found a purpose He was giving me, a part in His own elaborate plan to save the world, and I was important, and so were all the people I had made so small in my own eyes.
5) Life is Beautiful
Something I love to do if I’m having a bad day is go for a walk or stand outside. I find it really hard to stay angry when I’m out in the open. My eyes wonder and tension eases as I notice the sun dancing off the grass or the trees bending in perfect unity with the pull of the wind. No matter how hard things get, how much life pushes and drags you around, it’s beautiful.
I used to get caught up in the negativity of it all, wallowing around in my own self pity, welcoming tears of doubt and hatred. But then I looked up, lifted my eyes from the palms of my hand and just looked. I let my problems seem minuscule in a world covered in beauty. If only I’d known that little treasure in high school.
Sure, maybe if I’d known this then I wouldn’t have the past I do now. Maybe I wouldn’t be dealing with some of the hard parts years later.
But I’m not entirely sure that’s what I want.
God gave me my specific story for a reason, the ups and the downs, and the repercussions now. I’ve lived the life I did because someday it’s going to all be worth it, when the one person meant to hear my story does, and fruit is grown from that tiny moment.
So maybe this wasn’t for me to vent about all the what-if’s and should have’s. Maybe it’s to give someone else a chance to see my story, what I’ve learned, and change their own.
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