Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Advice to my 23 year old self: everything has been given to you from God

A few weeks ago my dear friend and sister in Christ Sarah asked me to write a letter to my 23 year old self. I am honored to be a part of her blog in this way. It has been fun reflecting the last while on what I would write to myself now that I am 48 (yikes!) to myself 25 years ago when I was so young and na├»ve. My husband and I were recently enjoying lunch in Vancouver at the harbor near Canada Place. I told him about this request from Sarah, he looked out over the Pacific Ocean as the sun was casting awesome shadows on the coastal mountains and said, “I am sure when you were 23 you never imagined that you would be living here 25 years later, eating lunch on the Pacific coast with your husband as a pastor!” WOW that just about sums it up...so here goes -- a letter from an older but still crazy and fun loving pastor’s wife, Mom to 5, MIL to one and Gramma to 3 -- to a brand new Mamma with a one-month old handsome first born son, living a life of solitude and peace on a pig farm with her slim, handsome farmer husband.

Dearest Self,

I am so happy to see you living such a sweet, contented life. Your husband obviously adores you and is so proud of your sweet one-month old son Scott. I am sure you are so grateful how healthy and strong your baby is. I need to remind you that it isn’t always like that. Someday you may have a child born with difficulties so always remember to be thankful for healthy kids. I admire the cozy home you two have set up out there on the farm. You look like you plan to stay there for a lifetime. Your plans to renovate the upstairs, so that you can have lots of bedrooms for all those kids, seems like such a great idea! 

Always remember though that a man’s heart plans his ways, the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9) It may be a good idea to leave your options open and not become to set in your ways. Hold the earthly gifts and treasures God gives you lightly; be willing to let them go. Life may not always go as you thought it would. 

Be willing to listen to your husband’s desires, dreams, plans and callings. Encourage him to be all that God would have him to be. Pray for and with him. You may just be surprised when your life takes some interesting twists. So awesome that you and your husband are raising your son in the same church you were both baptized and raised in. 

It is a huge privilege to be able to worship with all your parents, siblings and extended family and to spend Sundays socializing with family. I have a bit of advice for you about this – as lovely as that is being in church with your extended family – it may be too comfortable and stifling for you. In the future God may just call you out of that “comfort zone” so that you can grow more in the communion of saints. It can be very refreshing spiritually to become part of a different fellowship of believers. Embrace this opportunity to learn from others about their walk of faith and let them be an encouragement to you. 

Dear self, God has blessed you at such a young age with so much! Many new moms don’t have the rich heritage you have been given and the supports around them that you are privileged to have. Be compassionate and be there for the down and outs in our society. There are so many hurting people in this broken world. There are kids being neglected and abused – consider sharing your love and your home with them. Help out the moms who do not have the supports you enjoy – give them encouragement and practical help! Show respect to the homeless – speak to them, feed them and support them anyway you can. 

Always remember that anything you have has been given to you by our gracious heavenly Father. My advice to you as an older Christian woman is most of all to always remember that you are not your own, but you belong to your faithful Savior Jesus Christ. 

Live your life by His strength, in His will, always living for His good pleasure and glory!

With Much Love,
Your Older Self


Where to begin? Sue has played many roles in my life: my Pastor's wife, boss man's wife, co-worker, and friend. She was the perfect pick for a reference on my resume when I decided to apply for jobs on PEI!

We have had so many amazing chats, many when either or both of us really should have been working...but the fellowship we had together was much more important! 

Since I moved out here, Sue followed her husband's call to Chilliwack, BC, where he is now pastor of the FRC in Chilliwack after spending most of my growing up years in St. Thomas. Needless to say we are not in the same physical location any longer, so good talks are far and few between. I'm thankful Sue was willing to share her story here today! It 'almost' feels as if we are together again. :)

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