If I Was My Friend
Intro: I started this letter to myself during an 8-hour layover in Waikiki (poor me, right?). It was July 4th and I was solo-traveling after 10 days of hard work in Japan. Sounds exotic and exciting, but I was 100% beating myself up about my failures and how my responsible grown up life stuff seemed to be moving like maple syrup uphill in January. I'm serious.
I was questioning why God was doing things this way and with this timing. The answer, btw, is He is God and He can. I felt jet lagged, bone-and-soul weary, down-on-myself kind of grumpy, and then I realized something. I would NEVER talk to my friends the way I was talking to myself in that moment. Never. If I did, I would have no friends because this junk was RUDE. So, in a Dean & DeLuca's in the middle of Oahu, I wrote this letter to myself, as a friend...and hopefully to you too.
If I was my friend.
I'd tell that girl to go for a 30-minute walk in the sunshine, and take deep from-your-belly breaths of fresh air. I'd pour her a bottle of water because she doesn't drink nearly enough and coffee does not equal water. I'd walk along side her, and when she had shared her heart and there was a moment of quiet, a moment of waiting for solutions to drop from the sky like acorns, I'd say "I am so proud of you."
"I am, I am proud of you girl. You do hard things for the right reasons, and if its not the right reasons, you check your reasons. You love Jesus. You want Jesus-things and for Jesus' name to be glorified. I'm proud of you for fighting the sin in your life and acknowledging that its been there because no one believes that 'perfect Christian' crap. I love that you love people with a deep down, to-the-marrow kind of love. That's the most dangerous kind. You know that from experience. You've survived trauma, abuse, and some jacked up brokenness from broken people, but still show up with arms wide. Friend, I'm so proud of you."
She'd probably cry; she does that a lot. At some point after our walk, I'd make her fresh veggies and fruit because she loves those, and I'd set up lunch outside on the porch. That always makes her slow down and not plow through her food like a stressed-out, overbooked rhino.
Somewhere in the middle of salads and unsweetened tea, I'd say "World traveler. Adventurer. Warrior princess. Bossbabe. Artist. I don't ever want to hear about your thighs again. Never freaking again. You are strong because Jesus made you strong and He loves you exactly as He made you. If He wanted you to have pin-straight hair, be 6-feet-tall, and weigh 100 pounds soaking wet, HE WOULD HAVE DONE THAT. You are marked 'worthy' 'beautiful' and 'loved' by GOD. Not because of the size of your waist but because of the blood of Christ and the fingerprints of your Creator that cover you. So stop your crap and eat your dang pita bread."
See, if I was my friend, I'd totally do that tough-love stuff. Because my friend isn't into cotton candy words and fluffy nonsense designed just to make her feel better.
And I'd tell my friend to ignore everyone else's timeline because she is the one living that timeline. "Sister," I'd say, "do not let anyone else talk to you about 'where you should be' or 'what's healthy for a girl your age.' Honey, you are a grown-butt woman. If you make a decision for your life based on prayer, and no one else seems to get it, you're in good company, Noah. Build your ark on faith. Build your business on faith. Build your future and your passions on faith. Build the relationships you want on faith. Your obedience to God doesn't have to fit into everyone's comfort zone; actually, if its radical obedience with radical blessings at the end, it WON'T fit everyone's comfort zone. Good."
"Do not let other women (regardless of age or marital status) talk to you about the fact you're single unless you actually ask for advice. You heard me. If you didn't ask for help, graciously shut that ish down. It will either make your conceited or panic-stricken. If anyone makes a gosh-dang reference to gosh-dang Christian Mingle, tell them the only website your check regularly for dates is Expedia, because plane tickets are more fun than instant messaging randos to 'try and find your Boaz.' My Lord....he'll show up if and when he is supposed to show up. You wait for that. Do not panic, or get discouraged. If you settle because you get desperate, I'm going to smack you with my nasty gym-shower flip flop."
"Wait for the one you actually want to hang out with. Wait for the one you are for-real physically attracted to, and not because you 'forced yourself' to think he was cute. You're probably going to have his babies, so no phony 'maybe-he'll-eventually-grow-on-me' bull crap. Wait for the one who teases you because he loves how your nostrils flare when you get laughing really hard. Wait for the love that doesn't point and laugh when you fall on your face, but puts himself between you and the ground so you don't smash that cute face of yours on the pavement. The love that calls you out when you are being a screwy, nonsensical nut. The love that graciously receives love back. Love that says 'hey, I think you could do this awesome thing' instead of trying to think of ways to hold you back. Love that is definitely human, and not perfect, but is walking towards Jesus every day. Wait for that, and if you settle for less, so help me Holy Baby Moses...."
"And girl, stretch. You're a knotted up hot mess. Drink your water. Sleep at least 7 hours. Go to your doctor appointments. Don't watch stupid Netflix every night. And have some good, clean belly-laugh fun on the weekends because you bust that cute butt of yours Monday-Friday to make these dreams work."
I'd give her a big hug because she's a hugger, and we'd probably plan the next time we were going to get our friends together to drive to see the sunrise over the ocean. And she'd be ok. She'd be better than ok, because God's got her, and all my talk....its just telling her stuff she already knows.