It’s no secret that I love love letters. Notes of encouragement and love are the fastest way to my heart. A while ago someone told me I should try writing a love letter to myself. At first I balked because that felt silly and maybe narcissistic. But I finally gave it a try and I realized so much of what I had written could be written to so many people I know and love. So I am sharing it because I think parts of it apply to each of you too. And I think you know what those parts are because you know you. ❤️
I’m proud of you.
You’re a lover.
You’re a fighter.
You’re faithful and loyal.
You hang in there through thick and thin.
You have an almost naive optimism about the world -believing that everything will work out eventually and you just have to keep going and working hard and doing your part. You think if we all just talked a little more and fought a little less, we would understand others’ perspectives a little better and get along a little better too. The world probably doesn’t really work that way but your optimism is so hopeful and well, sweet. (I know you don’t like being called that, but sometimes you just are.)
You’re strong and you’re brave. When you fall down, you get up, brush yourself off, and keep going. (Probably learned from a klutzy childhood of running and tripping over things with your too long legs and bad balance and not really paying enough attention. Actually, if we’re honest, this still happens pretty often and it’s still kind of cute.)
You pour your heart into things you care about and are learning to count that process as a success even when the end result doesn’t turn out as you planned. The passion you devote to things that matter is moving and inspiring.
You are there for your family and friends and have decided to leave a margin in your life for interruption because you have slowly learned that people and relationships will last much longer than whatever project you are currently tackling. (Even though people are never projects and relationships are never completed.)
You know you don’t have it all figured out and you do all you can to keep learning and growing. You believe in asking for wisdom and help when you know you need it and even when you don’t because you know there are always more ways to look at an issue and a few more perspectives can’t hurt, right?
You hold onto beauty however and wherever you find it. Treasuring it, cultivating it, and introducing it to others when you can. You have had really beautiful precious things in your life marred and taken from you but that has not kept you from believing in beauty. That, my love, is really tough.
The spiritual fascinates you because it eludes you. You are more comfortable with facts and certainty but you have found that releasing your tight grip on those things opens up another whole dimension to understanding and living and loving the world. When you attempt to step into the spiritual, you are out of your depth, but hopeful and trusting and curious. And, Bethany, that is so beautiful.
I know you have so much more to give the world and those around you. I know your heart still feels so broken and your soul still feels so crushed. But you believe from the ends of your hair down to the tips of your toes that healing and restoration and redemption are just around the next bend in the road. So you keep loving and you keep living and you keep hoping. I know it’s exhausting but I’m so proud of you.
And I know some days all you really want is to be held again while you sleep. And that it’s been so long since you’ve been kissed and had someone stare through your eyes to your soul to tell you that you’re amazing and beautiful. And that the world can seem really big and scary and lonely sometimes. And really some days it feels like you’re on a team all by yourself and it can look pretty bleak and you feel so weak.
But you’re really not alone even on the longest tiring days and the coldest darkest nights. You have a family and a community who love you and value you and wish only good things for you. They want to see you grow and succeed and so many of them would be there in a moment if you asked for help or even just a listening ear.
But even more than all that, you incredibly have a relationship with God – how all that works you still don’t understand. But somehow the only Being who knows everything there is to know about you, loves you the most. The One who knows every flaw as well as every strength thinks you’re just wonderful. He has been there with you every step of the way. He has seen the things that embarrass you and the things you are proud of. He holds your heart and your soul and your future in His large strong hands and He won’t let go and He won’t forget and He won’t move away or leave you or decide He doesn’t love you anymore. And He has been through HELL to prove that to you.
So even with all of the really great things you have done and accomplished and all the fantastic things you have yet to do, none of that matters as much as you just being you. You. Are. So. Loved.
And I love you too,