Dear Rachel

8:26 PM

    35 days to go and I'll be leaving my beloved America one more time. I'm not really sure why, but this time feels different. I have this deep, down gut feeling that something's out there that's going to change my little life on those wildly distant shores of Oz. It's an entirely new chapter in my story and one I intend to savor. And yet, it's got me thinking about that little wide-eyed 18 year old who was as shy and naive as Bambi those first few days leaving home. With that valuable asset of hindsight and the inspiration from a friend's blog, I write this letter to me.

Dear Rachel,

     It's your first day of college and you're a wreck. You're dying to go back in time to your little life instead of facing this enormous world of possibilities. Don't worry so much. You know that music director who terrifies you to your bones? Don't be afraid to show him you can sing. It's okay to put yourself forward, just do so without attacking other people. And that girl, the one with the crazy haircut, from your town? She's the good kind of crazy. Get to know her, she's going to be your best friend and ally, and your main source of fun and sanity these next four years.


     Stop worrying about what other people think. Do get a haircut. I know you're heart-breakingly attached to that rump length hair of yours, but there can be too much of a good thing. Get thee to a Supercuts! On that note, it's okay to change your style, but not who you are. Don't bust your parent's bank accounts with shopping sprees, and do get over your fear of thrift stores!


     When you don't make that audition that first time, don't beat yourself up and don't malign other people, just work hard. Next year you'll make it. And you know that trip to Europe you didn't get to go on? Relax. You're going to live there for three years after school and have the time of your life. It is true, when God takes something away, He will give you something even better.



     Mmmm, that guy you're crazy about? Take a better look at his character and trust your friends on this one. He's bad news and going to cause you a lot of heart ache even after college. On that note, don't worry about guys at all during this phase of your life. Trust me when I say you're really not a person yet and don't know what you want! Go to Disneyland with your friends, sing your heart out in choir, take risks in your performances, and enjoy every blessed moment that to you seems only fraught with chaos and stress. You'll make it and you'll graduate with honors (though they might have been higher, if you put a little more effort into that last year, just saying ). 

P.S. When you go to China, don't eat the fruit. It will make you want to die. 

Dear Rachel,

     You've made the best decision of your life. You're going to Ireland. This year is going to rock you to your core and change everything about you, because Jesus is in that church. He's going to get under your skin and into your soul and there won't be anything you can do about it! So, stop being cheap, buy a quality umbrella, and ENJOY! 


     Get to know the German girl across the street. She's going to be another one of those life changers. In a few months, one of her friends will come visit ; the cute one with the sweet, broken English and hazel eyes. You will love him. Go ahead and steal everybody's computers just so you can Skype with him, in fact, take in every moment. He's only got a couple years left on this crazy earth, but don't be afraid to let it go when the Lord tells you. Don't look back. God knows what He's doing. 


      Start learning how to handle money. You'll save yourself oceans of heartache in the future. Let go of the little hurts and tiffs with people. I promise you, if you hold onto them they'll just damage you. Learn to love people with abandon. 

Dear Rachel,

     You're in Germany now! You've come a long ways. This is going to be the toughest yet most rewarding times of your life. Keep strong in the Lord. He's going to be there even when you don't feel like He is and at the moment when it all hits the fan, He's going to scoop you out of there and carry you home. Don't feel too trapped. DO throw your life into these people. Let me tell you Rachel, you are going to LOVE them. Be prepared to make some of the best friends of your life in the midst of all the challenges that face you. Hold on to those moments with Natalie. She's not going to beat the cancer, but you both will love those times planning her wedding and talking about Elkie. Speaking of, that little girl is going to need lots of loving. Don't be afraid of doing it all wrong. You'll learn. Just hold her when she cries, take her on the swings whenever she wants, and regale her with stories of koalas and wallabies. It'll be the high point of the day for both of you.


     Enjoy teaching English. Tell your students about Jesus whenever the opportunity presents itself. Quite a few of them will be going through a rougher time than you can imagine. Hang out with those awesome guy friends every chance you get. You'll have the time of your life with them.

 Help people even when you're down, but don't be afraid to get alone with Jesus. Climb up to the castle as much as you can. You'll only have so many chances. Travel, live, pray, dream. That's all I can tell you. We haven't gotten much further in the story than that. Your times are in HIS hands and you're going to make it. Dear Rachel, hang on.

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  1. This is so beautiful, and just...captivating. Thanks for sharing, Rachel. This is really great.

    Blessings to you, sweet girl!


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