Letter From My Older Self

By Holly

Last week, I quit my job – the job that brought my husband and I to Washington, the job that I thought would carry me through to retirement, the job that I have let define me at points in my life (my Pridentity), the job that has given me 13 years of more opportunities than I could ever imagine to grow and learn and influence. 

This Pridentity Girl is putting her own words into practice – letting go, then letting God.  It’s a decision from the heart and I don’t know what will come next.  This process of letting go is painful, and I have plenty of fears about waiting for the miracles to come.  But, I am pretty sure that when I am 79, looking back at this time in my life, I will be writing words like these…

Dear 39-year-old Holly,

I know you are filled with questions:  Who are you without your career and a big title?  How will you manage without the security of a paycheck?  What will you do without the feelings of significance that meetings and responsibilities and leadership and decision making bring?  And what will you say the first time a stranger asks you that dreaded question, “What do you do for work?”

I sit here, 40 years later, holding the answers to your questions.  I know that you had to leave that job behind.  You had to live those words that your heart wrote – let go, then let God.  Your words were true:  He was right there with you in the letting go – He held that office door open for you like a proud father as you walked out of your familiar life for the last time.  Then, He opened your car door like a gentleman, took the steering wheel and chauffeured you into a life of new miracles.   That’s why the route you always drove home seemed foreign that day:  He was making old roads new.

It won’t always be easy, you won’t always be sure. 
But choosing your heart is what keeps it pure.

The smallness that you think may come from life without a big job title?  It will come.  But, it will also go.  And in its wake will be much bigger things – precious years of being fully present in motherhood, a marriage refined, and seeds that planted the fields of relational abundance for you to run in over the next 40 years.  It feels like loss now, but in the end it is gain.

It won’t always be easy, you won’t always be sure. 
But choosing your heart is what keeps it pure.

The paycheck that you are worried about missing?  You will miss it.  But, you will learn to live well with less.  And, you will learn that missing out on a paycheck is better than missing out on being a mom, a wife, a daughter, an aunt, a sister and a friend.  You will learn the joy of trusting in a new enough.  I know that security comes with feeling like you can provide for your family on your own.  But you will never truly be “on your own” – all these years of faith has proven this to be true.  With braces and college and retirement in your future, it is hard to see money for what it really is.  I wish you could see that it’s about trust and giving and wisdom – not security.

It won’t always be easy, you won’t always be sure. 
But choosing your heart is what keeps it pure.

The emptiness that you think you will feel without the significance that work brings you?  You will feel it.  But, He is about to replace it with new significance.  My 79-year-old eyes see His plan clearly.  I see how He has used each and every skill from that career in the most unpredictable ways over these past 40 years.  I see that it all makes sense.   I see that God has wasted nothing – successes, failures, time at work, time at home.  I see that, while your plans didn’t pan out, His purpose for you did.

It won’t always be easy, you won’t always be sure. 
But choosing your heart is what keeps it pure.

And, how to answer that dreaded question, “What do you do for work?”  Try these:  I wait in wonder.  I listen close.  I look for miracles.  I risk in faith.  I let go, then let God.  I choose my heart.

You’ll get some funny looks.  But, I know these things are work – the best kind of work.

And I can tell you, for sure, that in 40 years, you’ll be glad you had those answers.

You didn’t choose easy, you didn’t choose sure.
And this old heart thanks you
For keeping it pure.

Thank you,

79-year-old Holly

**The idea to write a letter from my older self was not mine.  It came from James Prescott, who wrote a beautiful letter to himself and inspired so many of us to do the same.  Please take a moment to read his letter at: http://www.jamesprescott.co.uk/blog/letter-self/.  And, try writing a letter from your older self to you! 

17 comments on “Letter From My Older Self

  1. Love this Holly..”.He will never leave you or foresake you”….life for you is about to gain a whole new meaning…it is called “living”

  2. Holly,
    I love this. This is amazing. You truly have a gift. Wonderful that you let go and let God! You will look back and be so happy that you did this.

  3. Wow, Holly. What a big change. You are a very wise person, but truly believing your own words is the hardest part. Isn’t it? I loved reading your words. It touches on so many of the feelings I have too. I know for me, when I let go of my career, the one that was so important for me to be defined by, I had a very difficult time. Through a lot of soul searching, prayer and meditation, I have come to realize that we are not in fact our careers, our bodies, our accomplishments etc… We are truly the love that we give to those around us one moment at a time. I know that you will do just fine with less financially, and you will find peace in being the strong, loving person you are.

  4. You are blessed because your words will Bless so many. You have a splendid gift as His messaging vessel.
    PS your letter surely understated the endless bounties to come from your choice to act on His new direction for your life.

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