Tomorrow morning Audrey starts her senior year of high school. You woke up at Sarah’s house this morning, went to church with everyone, and promised Ben, Haedyn, Benny, and Sammi that you’d take them to Cafe Rio after church next week as long as they would pay for your food. This afternoon you did your nails with Aud and Mom, and then hung out with Audrey as she got ready for school. Dad asked a knock knock joke. It went like this:
Dad: Knock knock!
You: Who’s there?
You: Queen who?
Dad: Queen the kitchen please!
You thought it was so funny that you did it.
The me of next year (you) will have a lot more experience, knowledge, and love than I do now. You will have invested a lot of yourself in the relationships at school you really value and into the freshmen. You will have gone through another NCAA fencing and club rowing season. You will have sauntered and sung with Matt, hung out with Tahnee, Lissa, and Josie, and enjoyed the ridiculousness of Kevin, Tristan, Tony, Fanny, and Jamie. You will have spent 3 weeks exploring China with Lawrence people and 3 weeks traversing Europe with your family. You hopefully will have spent 4 weeks at an elephant internship in Arkansas. You will also do a lot of things that the me of today cannot begin to imagine.
I want to write this to you to remind you of who I am today. I am coming off a high of an incredible summer full of home, best friends, sun, and country music. The only places I went this summer were Ohio and WV. I spent almost every day with Michael, Sarah, and Audrey. I went to 6 concerts, got a lot closer to JD, learned how to build a bonfire, swam quite a few times in the river at the Lokos cabin, stole a street sign, learned how to meditate, hung out on the roof of a local high school, and went to church and Bible study every week. I spent a few evenings driving aimlessly with Audrey … windows open and country music playing soft enough for us to talk but loud enough to sing along. I tried to work on my relationship with Mom, and I started learning how to drive stick shift from Dad.
This summer I learned so much more about how undeserving I am of God’s grace, and was horrified at how content I had become with my faith. Michael and Sarah pushed me to hold myself to higher standards and showed me what it was to do that on a daily basis. I spent quite a few car rides praying out loud as well as every night before I went to bed, and not nearly enough time in the Word.
For the you who’s reading this, I don’t know exactly who you are, or where this past year has taken you, but I want you to know these things that really hit home for me this summer:
- Audrey is the best friend you will ever have. She will be there for you always and will love you no matter what. She will need your love and your support, and you will need hers. Don’t ever forget that.
- Quality time with Mom, Dad, and Audrey at the same time is rare. Make the most of whatever family time you do have.
- Michael and Sarah are important to you and your faith. They are good people, and my best friends after Audrey. Make sure you don’t lose contact with them, even if you aren’t able to spend all your time with them like I did this summer.
- God is #1. Always.
Stay safe, love a lot, live life, worship the God who saved you, and if you enjoyed this write another letter for the future you.