It was exactly 51 weeks ago when I took every single item from my tiny home in Asheville, placed them back into my Toyota Corolla, and rode home to Chicago. I remember spending that last weekend in North Carolina–hiking Mount Mitchell, getting ice cream from “The Hop” one last time with friends, and pulling out of the driveway wondering what my life was now going to look like.
I remember feeling ashamed for quitting my first job out of college. I remember questioning what job I would find next. I remember contemplating if I was doing the “right” thing, and I felt like a blob of confusion.
I didn’t want to leave my friends or my new home, but I knew that I needed to make a choice. And I did.
Now, it has almost been one year, and I cannot comprehend how fast the time has gone. I no longer question if my decision was a positive one. Instead, I feel confident in the paths I have crossed.
People occasionally mention the thought of writing a letter to their past selves. Well, I decided I want to. Below is my letter–the letter I wish I could have come across one year ago, the letter that I am sure I will need to read again when I face a wall of confusion.
You may wonder who I am, or how I have such confidence in the words I am about to write, but do not fret. I can assure you that you can trust in each sentence and each thought.
It is safe to say that your life has not gone as planned. The job, the place, the life you have imagined for so long is not what you are currently experiencing. You feel unsure, and maybe even hopeless. You pray and pray about what to do, but you still can’t decide what God’s response is. Stay? Leave?
It is okay to feel this way. After all, you are learning big lessons. We all assume that we can control our lives, but isn’t that foolish? Don’t we know that God has guided our path, that even when our plans aren’t carried out, His are? It may have seemed like this place was your destiny, and maybe it was. I have no doubt. You met incredible friends, you experienced your first job, you learned what you can and cannot handle on your own. And most of all, you learned to lean on God in the presence of fear. Perhaps you were meant to be here…just not forever.
I can assure you that if you place your trust and heart in God that you will be able to accomplish great things; that you will be filled with joy and that answers will emerge. God will guide you to the next job, the next set of friends, the next role in life. And He will remind you of the support He has always provided through others.
You see, you may not be able to see the future, but I can. Over the next year, you will experience some of the greatest joys. You will also encounter some troubles. But when you lean on the Lord, you will feel confident in the path set before you.
You will find a new home. You will determine a career path. You will feel blessed beyond means. I know that right now you are leaving what feels like everything behind; I know that you have no idea where the future may lead. The truth though? We will never know what our next days or weeks or months will look like. We must live for the day, surrender our attempts at control, and instead, pray.
Ask for your dreams to come true. Be thankful for each breath. And fight through the hurt.
You’ve got this. You always will. God has your back.
The Future You