This post is inspired by a recent Rags to Stitches coffee date topic.
I'm often reminded of the effects of time when I look at my old driver's licenses. I'm weird and like to keep them, so I can see how I've changed.
Of course I'm still me, but there's something in my eyes where the change happens most.
Because I know more. Things I wish I didn't know and things I'm glad to know.
Eyes carrying memories of things I wish I'd done and things I wish I hadn't.
Pride in those eyes for accomplishments.
Love in those eyes, for my husband and babies.
Sorrow behind those eyes, for the hurt experienced.
Exasperation behind those eyes, for the position our sinful world is in.
And always a hope and a joy in those eyes, placed there by Christ.
If I had the chance to talk with a younger Mindy, I'd tell her (while trying not to scream so she gets the message clearly):
1) You have much to offer this world, sweet soul. You are not defined by the pain in your past. May it not govern you. May it have no effect on you except that it give you increased faith in the power of the cross. Don't let it cripple you. Indeed it is part of your story. Use those experiences to encourage others who fight similar battles.
2) You are beautiful. You don't see it, but you are. Do not strive to be like the women you see in the media. It sounds cliche, but you will reap greater rewards for gardening your inner beauty, than your outer.
3) Pursue the Lord with every ounce of your being. I know it can be easy to only go part way, but I challenge you to allow God to take you far, to take you to places of beauty and adventure. Allow him to have and heal your heart.
4) Don't place so much of your identity in your relationships. Friendships will come and go, and it's sad that it's that way, but other people, in their humanness, are going to fail you. That doesn't mean you can't be the loyal friend you were raised to be. Still be that way. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in your friendships. But be mindful that your identity doesn't rest in their opinion of you. Your identity is in Christ.
5) Don't stress out so much! Much of your tendency toward anxiety/depression has to do with the genetic chemical makeup of your brain. Please don't be embarrassed by that or give into any stigmas attached to that. Just take care of yourself. Do the things you need to do in order to stay healthy. The little things are not worth the worry. The Lord can easily handle those things.
I can only imagine what I'd want to tell myself in TEN more years.
Thank you, Lord, for wising us up, even if, sometimes, we have to learn the hard way.