Have you ever written a letter to your future self? Maybe as part of a Bible study? I mean the kind of letter where you write about your current life and set some goals, hoping that there will be progress when you next read the letter. And maybe you envy your future self, wishing that you could know in advance what you will learn in the next few years.
Recently, the opposite has happened to me. In reading an old prayer journal, I actually envy my old self. It seems like I might have been even closer to God in my teenage years. I wonder what happened to that version of myself. It might be compared to the "first love" of Revelation that had grown cold, though hopefully not to the same extent. I constantly meditated on the Word, was earnest in prayer, was seeking to grow. What happened to those days?
So I am going to spend a few days looking back.
Here are the prayers of my 16-yr-old self.:
"Show me what I can do in my school. Where am I needed most? I will seek you in the morning, and I pray that you will fill me with your Spirit so that I can bring it to others. Give me a sign, a reminder. I know that I don't have much time, and I want to use it well."
"Lord, I pray that you would help me have unconditional love for my friends as you have unconditional love for me. I need to focus on that love, because it's the most important. I know I can do this, because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me -Phil. 4:13."
"Jesus. Savior. I don't know what to do about the summer. There are too many decisions to make. I feel overwhelmed."
"I'm discouraged. What can I do?"
March 1st, 1999
"I just came back from the [youth conference] weekend. I'm really glad I went even though I was up until 4:30 a.m. doing homework last night. I've been depressed, but, God, I feel your peace filling my soul. Thank you for everything. Even though certain things don't seem like blessings right now, I know there will be a use for them. Hebrews 12:11."
10:39 p.m. Sun. Jun. 13, 1999
"I'm dreading Monday. I feel almost afraid to go to sleep because it will be Monday when I wake up. Help me look forward to a brand new day, Lord. I confess that I haven't been faithful in coming to you daily. I want to be more faithful. I shouldn't be so concerned with the things of this world. They will pass away. They won't matter in the end, so they shouldn't matter now."
And the Lord was faithful in helping me through many years of Mondays. :)