Dear Future Me,
I am writing this in the midst of a very difficult time in my life, because I’ve decided that I don’t want to forget.
I don’t want to forget the tears, the fear, or the sleepless nights as I faced the shadows of the unknown. When the uncertainties came and Nathan and I prayed together, trembling with worry about the future, I don’t want to forget the words we whispered in the night, frightened of how we were going to make it through another day.
I don’t want to forget the many “No’s” I received, we received, as we stumbled along. I don’t want to forget how we fell, again and again. I don’t want to forget crawling for long enough to feel the bruising, to wonder what the point of this all was, to wonder if we would ever stand again.
I don’t want to forget sleeping in, because we had no hope. I don’t want to forget not wanting to sleep, because tomorrow held no joy. I don’t want to forget hiding tears from Nathan so that he wouldn’t take it personally, because he was already so tired and weary himself. I don’t want to forget hiding tears from myself by laughing at stupid jokes and silly pictures because I couldn’t face another moment of the reality that I, I had failed.
I don’t want to forget what it’s like to be afraid that God has forgotten me. I don’t want to forget staring at my open Bible, the words blurring, wondering who these promises are for, because they don’t feel like they’re for me. I don’t want to forget feeling as if God has finally withheld His mercies, and that all of this is probably because of the awful person I am. I don’t want to forget the feelings of loneliness and hopelessness, or the sensation that we were at our end.
Because we never were at the end. I was never without a future, just without hope for brief moments. Looking into the dark clouds that always threatened at the outskirts of our lives, it was easy to feel like we stood at the edge of a cliff, about to fall. But we never are. It’s just the mists covering the valley we are trudging through. And through it all, God won’t waver. God will not be intimidated. God will not be swayed. God will not be cowed. Nothing that happens is without His foresight, and nothing is outside His power, and nothing can’t be used for His goodness.
When I finally reach my goals, I don’t want me to forget the journey it took to get there. When a year, five years, ten years, twenty years, fifty years from now I have climbed mountains, I have tasted success, I have helped people, I have hope again, I have seen the promises of God fulfilled – don’t forget this moment of vulnerability and mortality. Because it is these painful, heart-wrenching, knee-buckling moments that force me to put my face to the floor and cry out to God. And that is more important than any success, than any reward, than any victory, than anything in all the world – my heart laid bare, broken and open to my Lord.
Dear future me: don’t forget me.