Today I’m doing a challenge in which I write a letter to my present self from my future self. Warning: Things get very emotional!
Twenty Years Older: A Letter Tag
Today I’m here with a super fun challenge – the Twenty Years Older Tag! Basically, I’ve got to write a letter to my present self from my future self. This should be fun! I’m excited to see what thirty-five-year-old Joy has to say. I’m nervous to meet her. I hope she’s a nice person! 😂😂
LET’S DO THIS!!
- Appreciate the blogger who nominated you. (I appreciate you, Grace! 🥰)
- Mention Gauri@BrighterAlleys, creator of this letter tag.
- Answer the question, which is a task to write a letter.
- Now, nominate five bloggers who you think are worth it. Make sure they know that they are nominated.
Well, Joy, the first thing I want to say is that you shouldn’t be nervous to meet me. I am a very nice person, and I am honored and humbled to be writing to you. Though I hope you won’t be disappointed to know that things are different from what you’re envisioning.
What I mean by that is, I’m not so fabulous. I haven’t done anything grand or miraculous or incredible. Let me clear that up to you right now. But I have done good things, which, I firmly believe, is what your little fifteen-year-old self really longs for at the back of your mind. You long to do good things. And whether you know it or not, you’re doing them now. Don’t give up on what God has given you, and then you’ll really get to meet me one day, not just read my words in this letter.
I’m thirty-five, and I bet you’re surprised, because you sometimes doubt you’ll ever really get to be that old, don’t you? Hmm? I knew it. But yes, you’ll get to be that old. You youngsters don’t know how fast time really flies. But this old lady will stop yammering about “back in my day” and all that stuff teenagers don’t like to hear. I know you’re really curious to know what I’m doing, so I’ll tell you.
I’m a pastor, Joy. A struggling one, who gets discouraged and cries out to God more than she sometimes thinks she should. But she shouldn’t think that, not even for a minute, because God is there for you to cry out to. He is the only one who understands, who won’t judge you, who won’t tell you you’re only being negative. Anyway, you know you’re called to be a pastor, so you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that I am. And you know that second to being a leader of the flock, what you want more than anything else is to be an adoptive parent who has changed a child’s life. I’m here to reassure you that I am that, too. Maybe I’m married, maybe not. That doesn’t matter, so don’t you demand to know. It doesn’t matter at all. What matters is that I am doing what you know you are called to do.
I think the most important thing you need to know about pastorship is that it doesn’t mean you stand up and preach to a prim congregation each Saturday, once a week. It means you get your hands dirty. You clean up trash. You dig dirt holes. You visit the sick and injured and dying. You speak with the depressed and suicidal, and with those feeling trapped in Satan’s devices. You wake up in the middle of the night crying out because you were remembering one of the many demon possessions you’ve seen. You do things that you hate to do. You bear people screaming at you, sending you scornful emails, threatening to leave the church because you did this or that (or perhaps just because you’re a woman), and looking like they want to beat you. And so much more.
Know that I am not trying to dissuade you. I want you to be completely informed. If you don’t think you’re up to it, you have the option to abandon God’s calling and do something that sounds more appealing to you. Like becoming a full-time fiction writer. But I beg you, please don’t do it.
About the writing. I’ll get to that in a minute. But there’s something that’s pressing my mind that I just have to tell you now.
Has the Sunday law been passed? I’m not going to tell you whether it has or not, Joy. But I will tell you that regardless of whether it has been passed or not, I am continuing to run the race that is set before me. I am worshipping on Saturday, the seventh-day Sabbath. I inform everyone who asks that I am a Seventh-Day Adventist, no matter what may happen when they learn that I am. I want you to continue in your faith, or you won’t get to meet me. I want you to follow the Jesus Whom you know is true, the Jesus Whom has appeared to you on countless occasions. Don’t believe me? You must not have been looking for Him or listening for Him.
Now about the writing.
No, The Apostle’s Sister wasn’t worldwide famous. But I heard from numerous sources that it inspired many lives (St. Paul would be pleased), so that’s all you need to know right now. Keep being patient and following God’s guidance on it, and you won’t be disappointed when you do meet me in twenty years.
Have I published other novels? Yes. I’ve also published nonfiction books and poetry that pointed readers to the true Christ. Am I still writing? Yes. I write whenever I can and am grateful for each moment I get. Do I still love writing? What a question! Do I still believe writing is God’s calling for me, and another way I can glorify Him? Absolutely! What questions you ask! Also, I’ve got another novel coming out in a few weeks. You’ll have to wait to find out what it’s about, but I thought about you a lot while I was writing it.
About the people in your life now, Joy. Some of them are still here. Some of them are sleeping in the Lord, waiting for Him to come and awaken them with the shout of the archangel and the trump of Gabriel. Cherish them. Love them, and make sure they know it. Be kind to them. Take their advice. Ask for their advice. Don’t get angry when they say tough things to you, ’cause the Lord knows you need to be chastised. And what would you do if no one was ever honest with you? It means they love you. Deeply. Fall on your knees and say thank you to Jesus for that. Treat everyone around you – even those you don’t like – in a way so that you will have no regrets when you meet me later.
I think that’s all I’ve got. It’s not much, but it’s something. Please remember me. Keep me in your heart. Pursue me. And in twenty years, you’ll find me, a godly woman beyond your wildest dreams.
The Future Joy Caroline
Guys, I literally choked up writing that letter to myself. XD It seriously was an out-of-body experience.
Excuse me while I go cry.
*a few minutes later*
Alrighty, I’m back!
- Jen @ Living Outside the Lines
- Grace @ Living for Jesus
- Kayleigh @ Kayleigh Idea
- Arein @ My Golden Shire
- Katherine @ Teen Writers’ Nook
- And I’m adding one more – any of you who want to do this! You totally should. I loved it!
As we move forward with writing and life, let’s always remember that we are disciples who write.