Note to Reader: I had this idea sometime last year, the year that shant be named, and decided to run with it. I wondered what I would want to say to my 16 year old self, that dramatic, smiley, daydreaming, heart on her sleeve girl if I had the opporutinity to reach back in time and share some of my life now with her.This blog is what came from that, mostly, it’s a pep talk to the child still lingering within me struggling to heal and grow and continue to blossom. This particular post has been incredibly theraputic for me. Well all of the posts are when I actually decide to write, the moments I take time to silence the noise and sit with my thoughts. Enjoy or don’t 😉 -the messiest and most inconsistent posting blogger around, EL
So I’m going to start off with the most exciting, most relevant thing to you in your life right now. Hypothetically you would be reading this is the summer of 2000, you just turned 16 a few months ago and you currently have the album Millenium by Backstreet Boys playing on your cd player. The songs you are listening to on repeat are “I Want it That Way” and “I Need You Tonight.” You’re currently doing one of three things, writing your BSB fan fiction, hiding out in the bathroom pretending to go so you can avoid cleaning the kitchen or talking to Jennie about Harry Hotpants and whether or not he hugged you before last period on Friday. I’m sure as you read this it’s probably freaking you out because you’re thinking how in the world do you know this.
I know because I’m you, 20 years in the future. I am sitting in my apartment, it’s midnight and I live in North Carolina right now, crazy right? How did I/we go from Phoenix,AZ to a suburb in North Carolina. I’m listening to a baby moniter because I’m a neurotic parent.Yes you are a mother, the deepest desire of your heart has come true. I want to get to some of the fun stuff out of the way though because I know the question truly pressing on your 16 year old brain other than how is this happening? Is did you meet Nick Carter?!?! Are you ready for the answer, are you excited?!?!? I know your heart is pounding out of your chest right now. You did!!! You met him two days shy of your 21st birthday in Dallas, TX. Did we fall in love and get married and is the sweet little boy I’m listening to on the monitor his? Hate to break it to you Elisha but you do not marry Nick Carter. I know its disappointing but I figured I’d tell you right off the bat. You did meet him twice though but I’m going to spare you the details of the second meeting because you need something exciting to look forward to.(This will be one of your favorite stories to tell though, I bet the suspsense is killing you right now, don’t worry the moment will be here and gone before you know it.)I wanted to share with you those sweet moments of joy from the future that are relevant to you now; all your life revolves around currently are boys,friends and church.
I want to talk to you about some of the things that happen in the future. My sharing this with you will not change what is going to happen, my hope is to encourage you and equip you with tools you need to hone the skills you need to face what you will go through in the coming years. A lot of really really heavy stuff is going to happen to you. A lot. You’re going to fall in love a few times. You will go to college and find some amazing friends that you’re still friends with today. You will have an amazing career where you travel the world. You are going to be sexually assaulted on the job. You’re going to have your heart broken a lot. There’s going to be a lot of death. A lot. You’re going to get married, it will be such a beautiful wedding. You’re going to have a baby.Then you will get divorced soon after that. Not only are you going to have to deal with the heartache of divorce, you will find the you have to deal with the heartache of healing and re-discovery.
It will feel like all of it combined, is too much, too overwhelming, like you can’t handle the grief continuing to pile on. I want to encourage you to keep going. You are strong and beautiful and silly and fun and vibrant and you have so much life in you. Cling to that. Even when you feel unlovable and messy and broken, remember the one constant, God. The one who sees you, the one who sees the unloved and the ones cast out. The one who says I will never leave you or forsake you. Cling to His truths and His promises. Learn know who you are in Christ, write it on your heart.Then when these inevitables happen, when you are in the middle of your broken heart, your rejected spirit still clings to the truth of who God says you are. Don’t forget He calls you chosen, worthy, loved and beautiful. Don’t forget that when you are using food to emotionally cope, that He alone can satisfy your hunger. He craves an intimacy with you that is so sweet and so pure and so good that you will never recieve that kind of intimacy from a human relationship. Remember it’s a dangerous path to place a man in the spot that belongs to God. Not only is it crippling to you, it’s also crippling to the man you’ve placed there and it dishonors God, you shall place no idols before Him.
Your life is going to be so beautiful too, Elisha. You have the most beautiful little boy. He’s funny and loving and vibrant and smart. Man he is a pistol and likes to push buttons and he is just so sweet to his core. You have wonderful friends and most of your family is close by. You have a beautiful church home and a good job that allows you to be with your son.
2020 is a really weird year. Really weird, a global pandemic is going to happen so stock up on toilet paper in January. Weird I know. Keep your resolve strong because you are going to be with your sweet toddler 24/7. Patience is key. Another reminder. Don’t throw your pearls to the swine just because it’s the best you think you can do, rememmber who you are and whose you are. Don’t fall for the wolf in sheeps clothing. As much as you want to believe everyone is nice and everyone is trustworthy you need to be discerning and vigilant. And don’t let your heart become so calloused and so guarded that you don’t let anyone in anymore, be authentic, be transparent, be vulnerble, this requires a great deal of courage, be brave and bold.
As you relish in the joy and beauty of being 16 and as your mind is spinning at the future coming to you through this letter, cling to the truth that no matter what happens Elisha, no matter what trial or tragedy falls on you, the one thing I want you to remember from this letter is that when your world is spinning and you don’t know up from down, God is steadfast, constant, unchanging, immoveable, sovereign, present, patient, gracious and loves you more than you could ask, think or imagine. He is and always will be enough for you. You have to master the art of surrendering to God now, knowing you alone can’t carry the burden and weight of what’s to come. If you lean into God, it won’t alleviate the pain of what will happen, it will make it bearable and create in you a depth and strength and resilience that is priceless.
You Elisha Lyndsy, are a dynamic and beautiful person, don’t let anyone steal the light within you. Treasure it, value it and learn to love yourself well. You are capable and confident. Embrace your future with courage and tenacity, brave girl you can and will do hard things, allow God’s glory to shine brightly through the tragedy and trials and every single heartache will be worth it. In honoring Him you will honor yourself.
You are loved and you are enough,
Elisha from the future
I am in the process of figuring out who I am all over again. For now I know these things about myself and I am sure as I continue on my journey of healing and self awareness I will learn more about who I am growing to be. I am a single mother to the most beautiful little boy I have ever seen. I have a wonderful family of strong determined women who have poured into me and built strength and courage that I didn’t know I possessed. I love to travel and explore and discover new places. Pink is my favorite color, unashamedly, pink and sparkles. I am strong, stronger than I give myself credit for. I am who I am by the grace of God, He has blessed me abundantly and far more than I deserve. I have a heart for people and my goal in writing is to encourage them to seek God not only when they have everything cleaned up and figured out but to know and reassure them that they can come to God in the middle of their mess, the broken and their yuck. He is waiting with arms tenderly wide open willing to embrace whatever mess you are in the middle of.