I’ve been thinking lately about what life was like ten years ago, perhaps because today is my birthday and I’m in a reflective mood. Ten years ago I didn’t know who I was going to marry, if paying off my school loans would be possible, or what I was really going to do with my life.
I’m amazed how far God has brought me. I’ve led a very full and blessed life at a relatively young age. The road was not always easy, and I don’t foresee the road ahead being any less so.
But if I could go back in time and talk to myself at 25, this is what I’d tell myself:
1. Not everyone you start with will be there to finish with you, but that’s life.
People will change, but so will you. Your friends will get married, move, some will even pass away. But that’s life, and the one constant you’ll have is God and the girl you marry.
Don’t ever burn bridges, but don’t feel pressure to fight for relationships that aren’t reciprocated. Some relationships are for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
The healthiest friends and mentors will allow you to be who you are becoming, not hold you to some standard they find comfortable. And you should do the same for others.
Oh, and you’ll get married in two years so don’t freak out. So much drama in life dissipates once you get married. Thank God.
2. No one is responsible for your success more than you.
You’re really not entitled to anything. You really do have to work hard, like work that sucks or you feel is beneath you. Talent is not enough, and it’s going to be lonely.
Success isn’t just one door you happen to walk through. Success is walking through door after door that’s been opened because you’ve been responsible enough to develop yourself. Start a personal growth plan; you’ll discover gifts and talents you didn’t know you had.
No one will hand you anything from here on out in your life. Even if you come across a relationship that sets you up for success, you won’t capitalize unless you’re already growing. Other people ride on someone else’s coat tails. That’s not honor, it’s being a parasite. No person is your meal ticket.
3. Don’t stop doing the things that got you where you are.
Keep carrying other people’s bags. Keep giving yourself. Keep sowing time into others. Keep going long distances to help people no one else wants to help. Keep pouring what little money you have into things that serve, even if you don’t get compensated.
Don’t give until it hurts, give until it feels good. Every man pays a price. If you get past the threshold of pain and sacrifice, your heart will be in a place few others your age find: the generous place.
People will ridicule you, even loved ones. You will face trials. You will wonder why. But avoid chasing what is fleeting, your reward is in heaven.
They say hindsight is always 20-20. I suppose it’s healthy to look back once in awhile. Maybe these little comments helped you in someway, and thanks for being a part of this special day.
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