Today, I bring you another installment of Conversations with Ourselves, a series of posts in which every Thursday the author addresses the Past Self through the Present or vice versa (or sometimes totally not this, but something equally cool) concerning matters of Faith, specifically.
Hilary is obviously no stranger to this blog space. I'm thrilled to have her here, though, reflecting on herself. Hilary write beautiful things, old, wise, gracious things, and fumbles gently and sometimes loudly toward a wile heart of grace. That's pretty much all that needs saying. I commend her to you.
Dear Younger Self,
Four years from where you are, you will be a college graduate. You will have lived in the warm and safe space of good friends and you will have made space for them in your heart, too. You will not know what you want, but you will know what you dream of. You will know what you love. This will take some gut wrenching talks and some fights with yourself. Let Italy inspire you. Let ambition take a backseat to joy. I promise you the doors open wide and surprising and suddenly the Lord, He is with you and quick to bless you. Wait for that moment- wait for Him.
I write this to you because I need to tell you something: I forgive you.
I forgive you the long agonies of insecurity about dating and not dating, the hours you spent in the mirror with your sad smile and your harsh words to yourself about not being chosen.
I forgive the jealousy you felt at the valentine's dance towards the other girls slow dancing while you slumped against the wall. I forgive you wishing you were other than you are.
I forgive the nights you didn't study, the days you hid in your heart and didn't offer love to those who asked for it. I forgive how you exhausted yourself junior year trying to earn love and approval. I forgive that time you got dehydrated and fainted from exhaustion in an airport in the Midwest.
I forgive you, sweet girl, because your heart was full even then, and you have given me the gift of all that you learned. You give me the gift of looking in that mirror and seeing me now, grown up and changed. You are the gift of the years of striving for excellence and sometimes finding it and yet also falling short. You are the gift of learning to run to God with big problems and learning not to make everything an emergency.
You are the gift of the questions, those that stayed right at the surface of your self, and you are the brave Hilary who asked.
You teach me courage and compassion and truth. Yours are hard lessons, full of skinned knees and tearful phone calls, with fights over hairbrushes and the tv and alone time with mom.
Four years from now, Hilary Joan, you will remember that your name means cheerful strength of God. And it will sound just right. Yours are the first lessons in grace.
I love you for it.
Love, Older Self
Hilary is a student of politics, theology and ethics, writer, runner, cupcake-eater and lover of poetry and plays. She chases after what is beautiful and believes that writing it down is the best way to see it. She lingers in coffee shops, trips over almost everything, and loves to make space in her heart for stories. She blogs here.