Dear Debi of 2005,
As I write this letter, the kids are playing with their blocks and there is bread baking in the oven. The house is filled with the sweet aroma of bread and flooded with the incessant banter of the kids. This is your future home. This is where you will be fifteen years from now. Just to give you an idea of what the future has in store for you, you will choose to study surgery and be an oral surgeon. Contrary to popular belief among your friends, you will marry and have a loving husband and 2 adorable sons!
Did you ever imagine you would own an oven, let alone bake bread? I remember vividly how you had argued with Sam uncle about not wanting a kitchen in your house when you grow up. You had said that one could work longer and earn enough to eat out every day; why bother with the hassle of managing a kitchen and waste time on cooking? Dear Debi, you will grow up and realise how naïve that idea was! Uncle always quoted Proverbs 31:15, 27 and I remember your reply, “if my husband wants to have breakfast, he should make it himself”.
You will find it hard to believe but in fifteen years you will end up not just managing a full kitchen single-handedly but also look forward to cooking – 4 times a day and at least 6 days a week (you still enjoy the weekly break from routine). The joy of cooking for your family is unparalleled. The blessings associated with fulfilling seemingly mundane household responsibilities will come true in your life (Proverbs 31:30,31). Cooking will no longer remain a household chore but become a passion for you to the point that you will consider having a food blog of your own! You must be rolling your eyes now!
What I am trying to tell you is that you will change –change is probably a small word – you will transform! From wanting to win the Nobel prize to doing little noble deeds. From a career-oriented, highly ambitious girl to a woman with a balanced and happy life; you will travel an exciting journey. From a person who did not want family responsibilities hindering her future plans to someone who constantly realises and accepts that God’s plans for us are more fulfilling and satisfying than one could ever imagine.
This process of transformation will be a roller-coaster ride. You will have times when everything works right and then those that are confusing when nothing goes according to your plan. Reflecting back on the ups and downs that come your way, I have one crucial observation. The high times will be when your plan is in sync with God’s plan and the low times will be when you choose not to align your thoughts with God’s eternal Word.
Look back at the times when you endured repeated visa refusals even with a valid work permit number - Did you seek God’s will for your life at that time? Did you not want Him to work some miracle and just make it happen because that would have been the best solution for all your problems (or so you thought)? Or the times when you were experimenting in relationships with boys – were your actions aligned with His word? How I wish you could save yourself from the many heartbreaks you will have. How I wish you would trust Him (more than you do now) with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. How I wish you would acknowledge Him in ALL your ways so that he can make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5,6).
Be assured that in all these times God will be with you throughout. He will carry you through the darkest nights till you see the light at the end of the tunnel. None of your experiences, whether high or low, will go to waste. God will use each one of your successes and each one of your failures for His glory. God will use your rich life experiences to counsel and comfort your friends, colleagues, and students through you (2 Corinthians 1:4).
The kids are hungry and the bread is ready. I made the older one a peanut butter sandwich (his favourite) and got a tight hug and a salivating wet kiss in return. The younger one doesn’t like bread and is having an apple instead (his favourite) and I am back to the letter. Are you wondering how a person like you has turned into a person like me? Are you thinking that this transformation is because of life’s circumstances?
Did I give up on my dreams? Have I compromised with life? No Debi, I have not given up on dreams; I have aligned them with God’s will for me. I have transformed from my old ways by the renewing of my mind that I may prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). Trust me His plans are better than the plans you have for yourself. He has given me new dreams and new passions; God willing I may still win the Nobel Prize one day!
Life with Christ is like an adventure with new opportunities every day. You never know when your simple act of faith or your little act of kindness can take you on a whole new adventure with Him. Take delight in the Lord, dear Debi, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4)
Not everything in you will change. I have seen God use your kindness to reach out to the students you will teach and the many people who will work with you and for you. I have seen Him use your hard work to give you posts and positions of authority where you may be His witness. I have seen Him use your creativity in the projects you will be involved in for His glory. Do not resist the work of God in your life, dear Debi. He is turning you into someone beautiful and strong. Trust in Him who has begun a good work in you and will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). I remember the words of a very apt song
He is still working on me
To make me what I ought to be!
God is still working on me dear Debi. I will borrow from D.L. Moody and say,
The world has yet to see what God can do with a (wo)man fully consecrated to Him.
With God’s help, I aim to be that (wo)man.
Loads of love,
Debi of 2020