by Lisa Lewis
I spent time with a young friend online the other day, listening to her words and hearing her heart: the things that are bringing her joy and those that weigh her down. Singleness is filled with so many possibilities, life directions, places to live, all of it. I remember well that season of life. When I look back to my own single life, I don’t do so longingly; it’s more with the eyes of ‘if only’.
Since ‘if only’ and ‘what if?’ are not helpful in taking action in life, I’m learning to let the ‘if only’ statements go, to lean in to ‘what is’ and the results of choices of that season. No one has perfect knowledge except God alone, so we begin taking steps of faith, trusting He will do what only He can do, causing it all to work together for good, for those who love Him, and He has called according to His good purposes.
I think what I’d want to say to my 25-year-old, single self if I could write a letter with three decades of life lived; looking over the path I’ve traveled.
Oh, sweet woman,
You are good and beautiful in the eyes of the only one who really matters. Don’t let the imperfect image of God that you see in M be the way you see God. Jesus doesn’t judge you. Remember the Woman at the Well? Or the Woman caught in adultery? No judgment.
Jesus doesn’t compare the condition of your physical body to any others He has created. You are uniquely beautiful as you are. He’s given you gifts and talents in a combination that no one else in His creation has ever had, nor ever will. Let that rest on you sweet girl.
Get close to Him. He alone will sustain you in the years to come. No man will be able to hold your heart, heal your broken places or fulfill your little girl dreams. Only Jesus. He is enough. In fact, they need to learn to lean in with Jesus themselves. However, that my dear is not your job. Let God be God. Remember what Jesus said to Peter when he asked about John? “What’s that to you? You follow Me.” Stop being impetuous like Peter and grow in your faith as Peter did.
Get outside regularly in His creation. You know you’ve always loved the beach; He put that appreciation in your heart. Not all His girls care about nature the way you do. Don’t lose sight of how you are filled up with awareness of God when you walk in the mountains or by the sea or through your garden. He is with you, present to your thoughts and longings and caring for you deeply. Look to Jesus.
Walking with Jesus doesn’t make the pain go away or magically keep bad things from happening. In fact, He told us to remember we will have hard things in this world. But the good news? He has overcome all the bad things and has the power to help us through them. One.Step.At.A.Time.
You’ll need to remember that dear one. There will be a lot of unknowns coming your way. Your marriage will fall apart. M will leave you with your unborn son. Your theology will be faulty but Jesus doesn’t falter. He will walk beside you as you continue to take feeble steps toward Him. Keep walking. There are no unknowns to God. He’ll give you just enough Light for the next step. You and your baby will be ok. You’ll be loved by some amazing emissaries of His love.
Let go of the expectations of others that keep you from looking honestly and humbly at who you are. Those expectations keep you from accepting how you’re made. You are here for purposes much bigger than the small potatoes that some people want you to believe. Let go of the lies that you’ve been told that you are not enough. Or the lies that you are too big or ask too much of people. You are enough in Him. Let it be.
Remember two things: Love God and Love Others. That’s it.
Oh, how I wish I had all this wisdom at the ripe old age of 25. This is why I am passionate about being available to speak into young women’s lives. Not because I have all the answers. No. But I know the One who does. I am confident in His love for each one of us. Just as we are. In the messy middle of our journey toward the Father heart of God.
Do you have someone speaking into your life? Are you willing to be honest and risk the vulnerability that sharing your heart brings? Don’t miss the opportunity of sharing your story and hearing another’s story. You might just see how your two stories fit into God’s big story together.
Editor’s note: Writing a letter like this can be an excellent exercise. If you try it, why not consider sending us yours?
Lisa is a native California girl married to her best friend and California transplant, Colin; they currently live and work in the Silicon Valley. They’re privileged to be parents to two fantastic grown sons, in-laws to a wonderful daughter, and Mimi & Pops for two Littles: a grand-daughter and a grandson! Lisa and Colin love riding our tandem bicycle; they’re convinced it’s the best marriage therapy tool! For my re-creation I spend time reading, gardening, or paper crafting.
Lisa works as a formation coach, helping women connect the dots of their work, life, & faith to live fully as God has made each one. She blots at www.learningalongtheway.com