May 23, 2016
It’s been Ten Years since you wrote that letter, and stuffed it in an envelope labeled “Lisa Kaastra: Age 27”.
I can’t help but laugh a little at you, Seventeen. You were silly. But in a fun, naïve, adventurous kind of way. You asked, “Does the year of twenty-seven have all the thrills of seventeen? It was such a year, you know.”
Oh, I know. I remember. In fact, I remembered practically everything that you wrote in that letter, even ten years later. So many wonderful things began to happen at seventeen. As you put it, “for what seemed like the first time, dreams began to come true. So much true, that it nearly scared you, fearing that whatever you dreamed of next might actually come true.”
Well, Seventeen, it did. They did.
Yes, Life seems good at seventeen, but it only gets better.
I won’t lie. You will feel pain – pain unlike you ever thought possible in this world. Pain that, many days, I wish I could erase. But the deeper the pain, the more incredible the healing, the stronger the growth.
But oh, it’s worth it.
I wish that you could see it. That you could get a glimpse of just how happy you will be – those moments of real, pure joy that make you laugh so hard you can hardly breathe; that make you frantically scribble down the words before they escape; that make you stop everything you’re doing just so you can better take in the moment. So many wonderful memories to tuck away in digital photographs and undecipherable journal entries.
Because no, dear Seventeen, the words haven’t stopped. And even now, when you can’t sleep, you still pull out a notebook and write until you’ve captured it… until you realize that it’s a half hour later and you’ve forgotten to breathe because the only thing that’s on your mind is getting IT onto the paper. But now it feels right.
And then, when you are ready, He will speak to you… Just like this, through the words of your heart. Because, Seventeen, you’re only on the brink of what you’re about to discover about Him. You haven’t even imagined where He will take you from here – through all the late night papers, the lonely swing sets, the questions, and the fears… to a place where spilled milk and mismatched shoes equate to love and encouragement.
I wish I could go back and hug you, encourage you to open up your heart and step out to Become You. Because when you finally do, you will feel so loved, so joyous, so FULL – it’s truly indescribable.
“…Dear Twenty-Seven, I hope you have not forgotten… You must remember the joy of the little things, and that you really can fly.”
My dear Seventeen… this is only the beginning.
* * *
Technically, I wrote this letter. And technically, this is where it should have ended, flourishing the finale to Myself at Seventeen. But as I typed those last words, I suddenly understood that these weren’t really my words at all.
They were His. To Me. Right now.
Because in the middle of this Messy, Unpredictable Life that has been my world for the past few weeks, I needed to hear from Him more than ever before:
“Dear Lisa, at Twenty-Seven.
Life seems good… but it will only get better…
You will feel pain. But the deeper the pain, the more incredible the healing…
I wish you could see it. That you could get a glimpse of how happy you will be…those moments of real, pure joy…
And then, when you are ready, this is how I will speak to you… Just like this, through the words of your heart. Because Lisa, at Twenty-Seven, you’re only on the brink of what you’re about to discover about Me. You haven’t even imagined where I will take you from here…
You will feel so loved, so joyous, so FULL – it’s indescribable…
I hope you’ve not forgotten…you must remember the joy of the little things, and you really can fly…
My Dear Lisa, at Twenty-Seven, this is only the beginning.
Your Heavenly Father”