Dear younger self,
I remember you; I remember you very well. I know that you are fearful of not knowing what the future may bring. You are fearful of not being able to control your future; you are fearful of not knowing what the next step in life should be, and you are fearful that you aren’t capable enough to accomplish what you want. I know you look at others and think they must have a secret way of knowing the future, running to it, and having confidence in their ability to make their future great. You look at them jealously and wonder why you must work so hard to appear to know what you are doing. I know you feel out of place, thinking others will find out the truth of your inadequacy and dislike you for it.
But, young girl, don’t YOU know…
God is in control! I know you hear it on Sunday and in school. But really hear it! God knows the future and every step of your future is lovingly planned by him. What’s even more amazing is not only is it planned, it is for a purpose, and that purpose is for your good! “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jer. 29:11).
Though you know God is in control, you still stress about work, school, family and relationships. You are even tempted to worry about decisions you’ve already made in these aspects of life:
What if I choose the wrong school? The wrong classes? The wrong career? What if I’m not smart enough for the career I wish to pursue? What if I don’t get the right grades? What if I don’t get the job I think I need? What if I do something wrong that might keep me from dating or getting married? What if I don’t have the right personality? What if I look the wrong way?
Guess what young girl, you are not so powerful that you can or will overcome God’s will for your life. God is sovereign; you cannot accidently be the wrong person for what he has called you to do or accomplish; it is not possible: “But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? And what his soul desireth, even that he doeth” (Job 23:13). Rest in this, young self! “Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised; there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant…that God maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require” (1 Kings 8:56, 59).
Knowing that God is in control, refuse to believe your self-doubts. Refuse to believe that the life God gave you is anything less than good! You are not defined by your grades, your school, your career or relationship status; you are defined as a child of God! Comparison to the life God gave to another only robs you of the peace and happiness of knowing that God’s plan is lovingly and uniquely created for you.
So, boldly pray to seek his purpose in your life knowing it is good, knowing it is enough. God created you for your unique purpose—you are valuable! Man’s measure of what is valuable has no hold on us when we know that we are chosen by him! You don’t need to be pressured to accomplish the goals of man if you follow God’s will. “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord and not to men” (Eph. 6:6). You worry about giving up your goals but do not yet understand that in following God’s will, your future will be more than you even dare to imagine.
The story of Esther is a favorite of mine. She would not have known what God would call her to do and the massive impact this would have on the whole nation. Read all of Esther keeping this verse in mind: “And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b). With this story in mind, witness to others, show love to others, and befriend others because you never know what God has called you to accomplish in their lives.
Confidence in God’s will for your life and your value in God’s kingdom will cause you to live in confidence, without comparing yourself to others. Without the fear of not quite making the grade, you are free to follow Christ boldly and lovingly to serve others. Understand, young girl (knowing what you know now about your insecurities), that everyone else has these same worries. So let others see your heart, encourage others, take courage, and be kind.
Young girl, girl who frustrates me, makes me laugh, brings me to tears, girl whom I now love as a child of the King: God is working in you, working out your salvation. You are learning your value in him. now trust him to bring about your unique purpose, and walk humbly with him.
*Rebecca Joostens is a member of Grandville Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, MI.