Letter to Myself

At the leadership camp I direct each summer, the students are assigned to write a letter to themselves. This letter is encouraged to motivate the student to consider future goals and dreams. It allows the student to answer such questions as: where do I want to be in 10 years? Who will help me along in my journey? What kind of person/leader do I hope to be some day.
Recently, I considered what it might look like to write a letter as an adult, addressed to a younger self— a sort of how-to guide in reverse. If I had the chance to talk to my teenage self, what would I say regarding the future? So below, I have recorded an open letter to myself. I ask you, my readers, to consider what you might say in a letter to your younger self. What sorts of things would you warn yourself about or what advise would you offer up?
Dear Cassie,
Today you graduate from high school. Congratulations! You have accomplished a great deal, especially this past year, and I am excited for your future. Enjoy your time at Crown, but keep in mind that your stay at the college will be brief. In order to complete your English degree, you will need to transfer. 2004 will be an emotionally taxing year for you and your entire family as you leave your childhood home and continue your education at Dordt. You will experience a great deal of relational struggles during this season of your life, but hold on to Jesus during the turmoil. It will be easy to give in to loneliness and despair, but keep in mind that the best is yet to come.
Regarding “NC/DC” and the many talent shows you enter, remember who you are in Christ. It’s not about the fancy clothes, VIP treatment, or notoriety. You are singing for Jesus, and these experiences are only preparing you for a fiture in music ministry.
As you prepare to graduate from college, you will have many doubts and fears as to your calling and vocation. Take each bump along the way with the knowledge that God holds your tomorrows. Although it will be difficult and emotionally taxing at times, enjoy the journey of publishing your books and releasing your first CD. Linger in the glow of each performance at the Hazelnut Tree, every book signing, and each talent show entry.
In 2008, things will begin to get rocky. You will face the challenge of putting together a mini tour to share your music, and although you will plan to release your second book, your heart will not be engaged in the process. You will endure confusion, overwhelming fear, and deep depression. You will question everything you thought you knew about God’s calling on your life. You will spend numerious hours in conversation with your parents, Karen, Pastor Anson, and Pastor Tim as you seek to discern God’s leading in your life.
In 2009, you will enroll in the online program at Crown and begin working toward yoru Masters in Ministry Leadership. The journey to obtaining your degree will be rewarding, but at times you will want to give up due to sheer exhaustion. You will succomb to numerious allergies, your breathing will be weakened, and you will lose your voice. You will be inclined to lash out at God, railing at Him for taking the only thing that matters to you. With tears, I beg you to first consider Your Greatest Treasure. Indeed, your voice is a gift from God, but it is not everything. Let Jesus be your everything as you weather the storm of illness and depression. Cling to Jesus as He leads You forward.
As you participate in Immerse, do not look at the experieice as a waste of time. No, you will not make it to the top 3, but take into account the tremendous accomplishment of making it into the top 20 out of nearly 200 contestants. Hold onto the words the Holy Spirit spoke to your heart in that Belmont University classroom. No, you are not meant to obtain a record deal or sell your written music, but you have been set apart for something far more important.
When Pastor Tim calls you in the summer of 2011, don’t freak out over what is on the horion. Instead, bask in the peace that comes with the certainty of God’s call. Work through each hurdle, one by one, until you move into your office at FRC in November of 2011. Although your first few weeks on the job will be crazy-busy, don’t forget to treasure those first moments in this new role.
In the coming months and years, you will be immersed in an ever-changing worship and music department. Don’t ever let any of this be about you. Allow God to enter into each worship encounter and practice session. May your first times with OneVoice be marked with the Holy Spirit’s leading and guiding. May you be blessed by each girl that crosses your path from Patty, your first OneVoice member, to Brooke, your most recent.
Don’t forget to value and appreciate the members of the other worship teams. Consider the creative elements they bring to worship, and always be a cheerleader and supporter of their worship ministry. Never take Pastor Tim or Joan for granted. Love your co-workers and ministry partners with no strings attached— not for what they can give you but for what you can give them.
This letter only takes you to 2014. I cannot predict your future or protect you from anything on the horizon. But Jesus holds each day from here on forward, and He will be with you every step of the way. Let Him be your refuge and strength, for He is a very present help in time of trouble. Keep strong in your faith, and you will experience a life abounding in eternal promise.
With much love,

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