Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Letter to a "Natural Helper"


The other night a friend of mine started talking about high school and how he had been nominated to be in a club that was geared toward peer mentoring. He said it was quite the honor.  I could not quit laughing as I thought about how I too was nominated to be a “Natural Helper” when I was in high school.  I really hope if you are reading this and we went to Central together that you are rolling your eyes as well as rolling on the floor with laughter.




As I look at that picture, there’s such a mix of emotion as I take note of the irony of where I was in my own life, the sadness over the death of at least two and nostalgia of days that have now turned into years of friendship and history lived with my brother/friend Chris. Over the past few weeks I have been so aware of the seasons of life. They remind me of seasons passing; summer, autumn, winter, spring. Repeat.  

So as I look at my redheaded self at the age of 18, what would I now want to say to her about seasons and what was to come?

Beth Anne,

1.  You roll your eyes now, but later on you will miss the people who knew you and called you that during the double name fad.

2.  Do not wear so many flannel shirts in college (with the exception of #3). 

3.  Value yourself enough to not wear a hoochie-mama-mini skirt to chapel when you are being presented for homecoming court in front of the entire student body.  Resort back to exception of #2.

4.  I love that you love your converse tennis shoes.  That won’t change and it’s okay.  You will love lipstick as much as your converse.

5.  What freedom you will find, I wish for it sooner for you, when you let someone go that was never yours to hold onto.  That pain of letting go is a beautiful sacrifice before the Lord.  It won’t be your last, and each time you will become more and more anchored.

6.  You are going to freak out in your mid-twenties, late-twenties, early-thirties and mid-thirties when everyone is getting married, married, having babies, stopped having babies, and you are still renting and have a dog that *^%& on the carpet on occasion and needs insulin shots.  Breathe.  Jesus knows.  He cares.  HE will invite you to dream bigger dreams than ONLY the dream of family.

7.  Don’t watch the movie 27 Dresses.  You will have 23 and it will not be good for you.

8.  Speaking of family, you are going to wrestle, like you won’t live through it, when you start looking at your issues relating to family.  Honestly, I would not change a thing about how you will wrestle.  You need to in order to be able to “go there” with people who will have not had a charmed childhood, adolescence or teenage years.  Don’t let anyone shame you for it.  Jesus knows.  He also knows when it is time to let go and accept family for who they are.  There’s freedom there.

9.  When you decide to go into full-time vocational ministry, don’t put your dreams on a shelf and spiritualize “calling.”  I believe it is wrong and it will lead you to being prideful.  Act, sing, dance and don’t hide that part of yourself or ignore it.

10.  You were raised in a culture of a woman not being able to do much in the church apart from childcare, choir or women’s ministry.  The amazing people there poured their life into you! It’s because of many of them that you are walking with Jesus. However, you are also meant to have a voice in Jesus’ Kingdom coming on this earth.  So, take up your arrows and ride your horse towards the passions He places in your heart.  You can do that AND still be feminine and a lady who knows to chew with her mouth closed, one hand in her lap, and not reach across the table for a dish.  You will love hearing women speak and honestly, at times, will become quite exhausted of hearing sports analogies and sound effects. Women and men alike need to hear women speak and teach.  Some dear men and women close to you will have heart palpitations as they read this, but it’s okay. Actually, those men won’t read your blog, so don't worry, and if they do they can wrestle with it. Jesus is the one opening doors for you.  You just walk through where he is leading.

11.  Be yourself.  Don’t hide. 

12.  Never forget you are a “Natural Helper.”

13.  This won’t happen to you, but don’t get stuck in the high school glory days (see #12).

14.  eHarmony is the devil. 

15.  You figure out the rest from here, dear friend.  Be kind to yourself on the journey.  You are going to need it. J

Every Season by Nichole Nordeman   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dwpdZdvCl8