Today marks the end of a decade. A DECADE, guys. 10 years. It seems crazy to say that “10 years ago” is 2010 and not 1990. I’ve learned that time really does speed up as we get older. I used to think my parents were kidding when they say that time only goes faster the older you get, but I see that now. My kids are 11, 7 and 2. My husband and I were talking the other day about where we would be in 10 years…the fact that we would have a 21 year old, a 17 year old and then our daughter will be around our oldest sons age.
I started thinking about all of the things that have happened over the last 10 years and what I would say to my 22 year-old self if I could go back. The last 10 years have been good, but they most definitely haven’t been easy. They’ve been hard and full of a whole lot of difficulties and trials. So, I thought I’d write her a letter…things that I wish she knew going into the decade.
I know that you are going into this decade, this new venture, with high hopes and expectations. You have dreams and visions and a whole lot of expectations for what is to come. You’re newly married, you’ve got a beautiful new baby boy. Things look like they should be the fairy tale you’ve always envisioned. Now, I’m not going to tell you that it’s all terrible, because it’s not. But, it isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to be WORK…like really going to be a life you’re going to have to WORK to build. There will be things that happen in the next 10 years that you never would anticipate. There’s things that you’re going to have to endure that you wouldn’t ever expect. You’re going to get hurt and you’re going to hurt others. While that doesn’t sound the least bit exciting, I promise you you will survive.
You’re going to overcome and conquer the things that you think you can’t overcome. The things that hurt you are going to make you into the person that you are—10 years later. If I could give you one piece of advice it would be this: don’t turn your back on God in those hard times. It’s going to be easy to believe that God has turned his back on you, but I assure you that He hasn’t.
You’re going to need him as you move through the next 10 years. Things to come are not going to break you. It’s going to feel like they are, but they won’t. Keep your head up, your heart focused and your eyes where they belong—on the Lord. I promise you will come out of this. You’ll be stronger than you know. You’ll look back and you’ll be able to see where God was working.
It’s okay to be excited. There’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, the excitement is going to be the only thing that keeps you going. There are going to be times that the BIG dreams you are dreaming are going to be the very thing that carries you through. It’s okay to dream. That’s a good thing. God made you a visionary. He created you that way. He knows that you have the biggest dreams and the greatest hopes and he wants you to dream. Don’t be discouraged when things don’t pan out like you hope. Just because you dream it doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee. It will take you time to figure that out. But, don’t quit your dreams.
You’ll look back over these years, see where you’ve hurt…see where you’ve struggled…seen the things that were hard…but you’ll also see the good things that have happened. You’ll see where God has revived relationships and saved loved ones. He’s protected you and guarded you from things—many of them things you got yourself into. Take a deep breath, inhale the good, exhale the bad and just believe that there’s a reason for it all. You don’t understand it all in 10 years…maybe not even in 20 years…but there’s a reason. Have faith.