By: Kevin Jackson
Time does funny things to us. It causes us to slow down, hurt a little more, reflect on everything and miss a whole lot of things and people we have lost along the way. It also brings wisdom from experiences we have. As I get a little older, I am starting to think about what I wish I knew then that I know now.
If I could write a letter to my younger self, I wonder what I would say. Well, here it goes….
Dear Younger Me,
Everything is going to be great for you one day. I know things are tough right now, confusing and stressful. But one day, you will look back and wonder why those challenges caused you so much pain. As I think back on our life and the mistakes I have made, here is some advice I wish I would heard when I was your age.
Listen In Church
Oh, I wish I would have listened more in church. I know, when you are young it seems boring and not relatable. But if I knew Jesus then the way I know Him now, I would have made different choices in life. For too long I made my decisions based on what I wanted and not what Jesus wanted for me. Once I realized that life was about glorifying God and walking the path He has laid for me, my perspective changed and things became so much clearer.
Understand God’s Grace
You are blessed beyond what you deserve. That’s the truth and you need to understand that. It is not only the fact that you were blessed to be born where and when you were, blessed to have the family you have or blessed to have the opportunities you have. But you are blessed because of God’s grace and the fact that He sent His son to die for YOUR sins. I know this is hard to understand or accept now, but the older you get, the more you will understand what a HUGE blessing this is.
Thank Him Along The Way
What you don’t know now but you will later is you will have highs and lows in life. You will not understand why things are happening to you. You almost died at one point, but you didn’t. You have 2 beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. You have lost people you loved and don’t understand why. You have had heartache and joy. But you need to thank God all along the way. This is the journey He has planned for you. You may think you are in control but you are not. Thank God every day for the things you have, the people in your life, the lessons you have learned and, yes, even the heartaches you have experienced. All of it made you who I am today.
You Were Never Meant To Carry The Cross Alone
This is a big one. God didn’t design you to be independent. He didn’t design you to do it all by yourself. He didn’t design you to carry the weight of your sins. Jesus came and died for you and your sins a long time ago. All those burdens you have are not yours to carry, they are His. God created us in a way that we need Him constantly. We are dependent on Him. Think about what you need to by God. We have to have God to survive one minute on earth. We were designed this way by the Creator and Jesus came and died for you. Period. He came to carry the cross for you. Period. Yes, you can help, I guess, but you aren’t going to get very far along. Jesus can handle it, He already has.
Would I Change Anything?
Looking back, I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I believe they were all part of God’s plan for you. So, sorry, not sorry. Honestly, you are going to make mistakes. You are going to go on dates you wish you hadn’t. You are going to take jobs you wish you hadn’t. You are going to pull away from God at one point (although you will realize one day He never pulled away from you) and wish you hadn’t. You are going to waste money you wish you hadn’t. You are going to make a ton of decisions that that you wish you hadn’t. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way. That painful and joyous journey has made me who I am today and, more importantly, who God wants me to be. We go through life sometimes not realizing what we are doing or why. But God does.
So, while you are going through life and becoming me one day, can you do a couple of things for me?
I will leave you with that. I hope you can use some of this knowledge to appreciate your life more and look forward to your future. God loves you so much and one day you will finally realize it. But once you do, it changes everything.
One final thing....read the below Bible verse and memorize it. It changes your life one day!
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
P.S. One day you will marry a beautiful woman that makes your life so much better. Ask God for the patience to wait for her and once you find her, thank God every day for that blessing.