Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dear Me in Ten Years…

I “met” Kara through a co-worker that used to attend the same church where Kara and her family were at during that season of their life. I’ve followed her amazing cancer journey and can tell you her writing is some of the most refreshing I’ve read in a long time. Kara has started a new series, entitled Tuesday Grace Letters. She’s invited other bloggers to participate, and I was excited to join in this journey. Grace letters…what a beautiful gift! If you click the Tuesday Grace Letters button at the bottom of this post, it will take you to Kara’s blog where you can see her grace letter in addition to links to other participating bloggers’ letters. I trust this series blesses you to read as much as it’s blessed me to participate in as well.

This first week’s assignment…write a letter to myself in 10 years and include as many pictures of my today as possible. Without further ado…

Dear 52-year-old me,

Wow! Fifty-two-years-old…that seems SO far away and yet 32 seemed like it was just yesterday.

Before I can think ahead, I need to take a very quick glance back. Remember your thirties Leah. Don’t dwell there. Those were the years of HARD…actually the years of IMPOSSIBLE. Those were the days when you couldn’t believe that life had dealt you that particular hand of cards.

You were divorced AND widowed within that decade. Neither of those life events did you ever see coming. And yet…when they did…you thought you would never survive that kind of pain. But, you did TWICE! Each event brought its own version of pain, but you not only survived…you thrived dear one! But…never forget how!

It was Him…your first Love! He is the only reason you survived. He was the One that made you and hand-crafted you into the woman that you’re becoming. It was Abba who carried you…your loving Daddy who has been with you through each step of life’s “impossibilities”. It was Jehovah Jireh who has met and continues to meet all your needs. It was El Roi, the God who saw you then and caught every tear…who sees you now (in 2024) and is guiding your daily steps…and sees you even a decade from now in 2034 and is preparing you for His incredible plans!

You know first-hand how God took a lonely widow, single parent of an equally lonely young girl and grew your family into what it is now.

Joel_Leah

Amy is now 34 – a beautiful wife to Wes and incredible mother to her babies! Remember her in 2014 as she prepared for Micah’s arrival? We couldn’t wait to see grandbaby number two that year!

Amy

 

Justin is 32 – an incredible man after your own heart. Ten years ago, he was faithfully serving our country in the Air Force and trying to figure out his “next steps”. You’ve enjoyed watching that process but know God has even more incredible things prepared in the days ahead for him.

Justin

Caleb is 28.  It seems so hard to believe that you met him when he was 16 years old. Remember when he got his driver’s license for the first time? Wow…those days flew by so quickly. Caleb’s work ethic hasn’t changed, however. He’s just as motivated now as he was playing basketball in 2014 and working those long hours at Brahms!

Caleb

Anna, my dear, you are now 27. You are the one that traveled the years the most with me. I stand amazed at how God has used your own life’s tragedies and turned them into beautiful nuggets of gold for His glory! Your compassion for the least of these has only grown further through the years.

Anna

Aaron – I can’t believe you are already 23. You were such a young innocent “young man in the making” when I first laid eyes on you. You were always so loving towards me when I entered your family, and I’ll never forget that. Even now, you are still very “others focused” and tenderhearted to those that God puts in your path.

Aaron

My other children…I know there are more…writing this in 2014, I don’t know the specifics, but I know God has already planted you in my heart. Maybe you’ll be the ones we’ve fostered or adopted. Perhaps you’ll be children we’ve simply had the pleasure of sharing life in some other capacity, but God knows you by name, and by 2024 I will too.

My precious prince Joel! We’ve traveled these years together well. We’ve picked each other up when we’ve fallen…we’ve wiped each other’s tears…we’ve laughed at our goofiness…and smiled when the kids have filled our hearts with joy. We’ve watched God do things that seemed impossible, and we are more in love today than the day we first said those three words to each other. If the Lord should allow…I look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries together. You will always be…my prince! I love you sweetheart!

Joel

Leah, take in every single breath that God gives you and exhale love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness to those He places in your circle of influence. May you exhibit gratitude for these 52 years that He’s blessed you with. May you anticipate even greater blessings in the remaining years of your earthly life. And…may you continue to look forward to, with hope-filled anticipation and excitement, to the day He calls you home!

Mundane Faithfulness
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Comments

  1. Robin Stirewalt says:

    Right now I can’t see much beyond the day I am living. I imagine I am much like you were during those dark days. You know my story, so I won’t repeat it here. I do have to say that this year has been so much better than last year. Our Faith, our Families, and our Friends have gotten us through some very dark days, and will continue to do so.

    Your post gives me hope for the future!

    • Leah Stirewalt says:

      Robin – I am so glad that you see refreshment in this second year already, and yes…the future holds much hope for you, because you know the One who holds that future! Keep looking for those glimpses of His hand in your daily life, and you’ll be amazed at just how close He’ll reveal Himself to you during these difficult days.

  2. Carrie Adams says:

    Okay. Why do I read your blogs?? To get teary-eyed, that’s why!! Fighting tears now…this is so sweet! :~) Thanks, again for sharing, again!

  3. beautiful, simply beautiful and full of grace. thank you for writing your heart! I simply love this!

    • Leah Stirewalt says:

      Thank you Kara, and thank you for dreaming up Tuesday Grace Letters! Jesus looks so good in you!

  4. Leah ~

    We have never had the chance to meet, but through She Speaks I cam across your testimony. Your journey has been tough but beauty has been born of it. Loved this one!

    • Leah Stirewalt says:

      Thank you for your encouraging words Beth! It has been a tough journey indeed, but God gets all the glory for His redemptive work! I stand amazed at how He’s breathed new life into this once broken shell of a woman.

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