You are now tiny, unknown souls. Unknown to the world, at least. Your Father in heaven knows you even now. Maybe you will never come to be; maybe you will live here only a little while, maybe you will breathe here long and fully, and bury me. God knows.
I have so much to say to you. Let’s be honest, I’ll always have so much to say to you. The trouble is that I won’t always know how to say it, or when to say it, or I’ll know that I needed to say it after it’s seemingly too late. But let me tell you what I do know, in case I forget even the general stuff.
There is nothing more important than your soul being saved by the Lord Jesus. Nothing, not one thing. Let me go ahead and say it again, in case you read that too quickly: there is nothing more important than being His. No piece of advice I can give you will save you if you do not receive Him. It’s the foundation of life, honey! The foundation of life. Without Him you stand in a world that’s full of promises it doesn’t keep, in full and just condemnation for your many sins, and finally eternal judgment that is reserved for all those who don’t believe in Him alone.
Let’s touch that first, because I want you to be scared of that. The world will tell you that you’re not attractive or amazing, then that you are. It will tell you that it doesn’t matter what you believe, but then that it does. It will tell you that you’re fine how you are, as long as you’re fine with what it’s fine with. It will offer you pleasures and things that are so tempting. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that the earth isn’t so hard to resist. Because it is. The problem with this is that the world doesn’t know what it wants, doesn’t really know what it can promise you, doesn’t much care if it keeps those promises it does make. It will tell you to chase the stars, but it will not pick you up when you don’t reach them. And I’m sorry to tell you, sometimes you won’t.
So seek truth instead. That doesn’t change. God is truth. I spoke of Him before, and I’ll keep doing so. He doesn’t change. He’s promised to stay the same, to keep His promises, and He has. What He says is real. His presence is real. The longer you wait to seek Him, the more time you will spend chasing the wind. And darling, you can do that until you take your last breath. That road has nothing but failure at the end of it.
The right road? He places signs of His love and presence everywhere, and He gave you a book to read of His thoughts, intentions, and commands. His revelation to you of the truths in that book is His gift to give. The Lord Jesus Christ gave his life as a ransom for many, and it is my deep hope that He saves you. Let me clearly tell you one thing: He must save you, for there’s hope in no other. Turn from the sin you were born into! Believe in His finished work! Darling, there’s nothing else. Receive. And know if you have received it, that you have received it. It’s a gift that can only be received. You can’t buy it with money, words, or works. Salvation is gifted by the Father, and by Him alone. If you know Him? The secret to living on this earth is NOT a secret: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself. The Bible and the Holy Spirit guides you in specificity.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” The Bible will tell you how to love God, how to obey Him. He commands you to submit to Him, obey Him, praise Him. He is a jealous God, but He is not a selfish God. He’s a fountain running over into all mankind, all undeserving of His many mercies, and He asks you to be a cup that runs over into others.
So be nice to people. Don’t make assumptions. Always hope. Look people in the eye. Keep your word. Keep it! If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Be on time, for the sake of people who wait for you. Don’t yell at people. Be angry at the right things, but don’t take it out on souls. Pray for people; don’t just assume others will do it. Don’t place individuals into categories, and even if they do that to themselves, avoid limiting them to that in your mind. Give to anyone who asks of you, and never keep a tally. Be generous, over and over again, even when you think you can’t. Be generous with your things and your time. Listen. Think before you speak, because your words will roll over in a person’s mind more times than you know. If someone hurts you? Forgive them, again, and again, and again. And again. Still, don’t keep a tally. Tell people the truth. Love them regardless of whether or not they love you in return. If you’re scared to put your heart on the line, ask yourself if it would do them good? Yes? Then do it. Never forget that all of these things are a display of the love of Jesus, so leave Him out of your interaction with them and every ounce of the rest is in vain. Tell them of Him, continually. So love your neighbor as yourself.
Some general things: Ask God for humility and wisdom; ask Him all the time, because you’ll never have enough of either. Be courageous enough to keep on, and be courageous enough to quit the things that need to be quit. Work hard, but don’t work your life away for money. Never ever live for money. Never ever live for inanimate objects. I mean, really.
Forgive your dad, and pray for him. This applies no matter what kind of earthly father you have. If you don’t have one, know that I hate that reality, but that God will love you enough for all the earthly fathers that He could ever have given you, so don’t be afraid, and don’t be bitter. If you have one, he is bound to be angry sometimes, maybe inconsistent, maybe he just tells you “No.” too much. Maybe he’s much better, maybe he’s much worse. But he was where you were, once. So forgive him anyway. And he’s carrying the largest burden he’s ever carried, so pray for him as soon as you know how. He needs it as well as the rest of us. Cherish him for all that he does right, and when he is wrong, accept his humanity, and look for the right answer where it has been all along: in the Bible, in the guidance of the Holy Spirit inside you. Love your dad. Love him as much as you can, for as long as you can, because chances are his life has never been the same since you walked into it, and I just know that a kind word or a hug will always go a long way. Don’t neglect him. And last, but never least: respect him.
Forgive me too, please. I’m not the most patient person I know. And that’s a flaw. Don’t emulate it. It’s not cute. Hear my words and judge them, by God’s. If they don’t match, He’s the right one, every time. Tell me when something is on your mind. Ask me the hard questions. I know what it’s like to not know, to want to know. (I still do). No matter when you read this, I still do. Trust me. Know that I always have an ear for you. Reject grudges and bad attitudes between us. Let’s come together after a fight and make up, every time. We will fight. But I will always love you. I know that because of the love my mother always had for me, no matter who picked the fight, no matter who won it. The forgiveness she gave to me? I’m going to pay it forward to you. I promise. The Lord has commanded me so.
If you want to get married one day, seek love, not lust. The one stands the test of time, the other doesn’t. The one is selfless, the other perfectly selfish. And be patient. But do be brave, and don’t think of yourself. Worry about the other person, let God worry about you.
Seek godly dreams. For that matter, give God your dreams, beg Him to define them for you. And chase them with everything you’ve got with full faith that He has purpose in them. Never live in fear, never be lazy, never give up on what He puts in your heart. Don’t worry, it only causes harm. Put the good things in front of your eyes, because there’s much that you just can’t unsee. Keep your heart pure. But still take on the burdens of others. (God will help you carry them.)
Go crazy, and know that since long before I knew you, baby, I was praying for you, asking the One with the world in His hands for your good, your peace, your abundant life, your humble submission to His perfect will.
P.S. Hot pan for pancakes, metal in microwaves is no joke, you really should look left-right-left before crossing or turning left, and for the love of all that is holy, use your blinker and don’t change lanes in an intersection.
Have I said that I love you? I love you.