If I had to tell myself about my life about 20 years ago, how it would all turn out, maybe I would do it this way. It’s probably good that we don’t know what’s around the next bend. It’s probably best to just have faith and trust.
Dear Annalee, (at 23 years old, circa 2003)
In a few years you will be a lot stronger than you are now. You will probably not be much physically stronger but your mind and heart will grow in leaps and bounds.
In a few years, you’ll leave this place, move to another place. You’ll weep over the loss of a child and feel your belly swollen with the life of another. You’ll fall in love with the place and the people. You’ll run hundreds of 5am miles with new friends. You’ll leave this place and move yet again. You’ll live in the most beautiful golf course and try to learn to play. You’ll still be horrible at golf. Eventually you will find the perfect job in the most imperfect school with the rowdiest group of students-middle school students! You will fall in love with them and a part of your heart won’t ever be the same.
You’ll live through these moves, a pandemic, deaths of loved ones and a sweet fur baby. Some friendships will be broken when you move and you won’t know why or what happened.It will hurt and you will be desperately sad, depressed. But you will be ok. You will continue to cling to your Hope in Christ. Some friendships will be your guide post in this season. Cling to those, to Christ, the rest-let go of; you have no room for this in your soul.
You will have days you feel like you are barely able to skim the surface with your children, yet your teenage daughter will become your best friend. (Although she won’t know that until she’s much older.) Your son will be one of your biggest joys. He will always make you laugh.
You will see your husband grow into the man God wants him to be. You will see him take a leap of faith, leave a company and join another, only to become a leader in all he does. You will see him lead well, he will eventually tell you more about his childhood and his mom. He will truly become your best friend. Remember your words matter. Cheer him on.
You will want to write a book and pray about the opportunity to do so. Maybe you will start writing one soon…
You still have so much to learn and give. You will be ok. Trust the process, Annalee. Stop trying to rush everything. Your current struggles make you who you will one day become. Just keep swimming and don’t forget to look up at the Sun occasionally. Remember to laugh and rest and just be. Stop trying to do it all because you can’t. Give yourself some grace, and give it often. Extend that same grace to others. It will make life a lot easier. Forgive people that hurt you because they will.
Love, Annalee (at 42 years old, circa 2022)