Dear Self

Dear Self,

Happy New Year!  What a whirlwind this year has been!  You’ve laughed and you’ve cried.  You have forged new relationships and let some slowly fade into the realm of fond memories.  You have pushed yourself and found yourself capable of so much, and yet you know there is still so much to do.

Now, there is another year before you.  This one will, again, have laughter, joy and triumph.  But, it will also have tears, sorrow, frustration, and failure.  People will disappoint you and you will disappoint others.  I say this not so you pull away and put up a shield.  Rather, I say it so you are prepared when the hard days come and you don’t put up your defenses.  In this world you will have trials and tribulations…expect it and be ready.

But then, live in the moment.  Relish the joys you have been given.  Work hard when the opportunity presents itself, then rest well knowing you did your best.  Treasure the friendships you have been given and open yourself to new friendships.

And, when the hard times comes, remember He is with you.  When the failures come, remember that failure isn’t the end.  Recall those words from long ago, “Saints are just the sinners who fall down and get back up.”  Then, when you get back up, remember that your greatest strength is found on your knees.  Speak these truths to your soul, over and over again.

Know full well that life is full of extremes, and in this coming year you will encounter them all…

Joy and Pain
Triumph and Failure
Hope and Despair

This year, I challenge you to revel in the joy, and accept help in the pain.  Share the triumphs and learn from the failures.  Hold on to hope and run to Him with your despair.  Because in the extremes…He remains the same.  Hold on to that.


Looking back over 2013, what was one of your joys? One of your pains?

Our word prompt this week is “Letter to Self.”  Join us at The Grove where we’ll all be sharing our letters.

Photo Credit: Mattox via stock.xchng


  1. Michelle January 7, 2014

    Wow, 2013 was a year.  While living, serving, teaching full time in China, my hip began to hurt….really hurt.  It became very difficult to walk to school, get up the stairs, be the enthusiastic 3rd grade teacher I love to be!  That was my most difficult   months, May through July.  But along with that was the most blessed time, my friends and fellow teachers were beyond amazing.  They helped me in every way they could and refused to let me feel badly.  They told me it was my turn and one day I could be the one to help someone else.  What an example of the Body!  He taught me such humility and grace.  I have to say this hip pain has been the best teacher and I do not think I would skip that part of this past year.

    1. Lizzie Talcott January 8, 2014

      Michelle – I struggle so much with accepting help, which is so strange because I LOVE serving other people.  I have to remind myself so often that we are a Body and we must accept blessing AND give blessing.  Isn’t it amazing to have those people around us who not only help us when we are in need but also faithfully remind us that this is how the Body is supposed to work.  Thanks for sharing – your story reminded me again of how much I have to be thankful for in the people around me!

  2. Amy Young January 7, 2014

    Hardest thing hands down is watching my parents age. It’s unsettling knowing there is only one way out of here :). Thankfully they are both believers. But I want them to stay young forever (or until I die and then they are released!)

    1. Lizzie Talcott January 8, 2014

      Oh Amy!  I’m right there with you.  Being the only girl in my family I somehow feel that it is my responsibility to walk them through that process.  And then again, I remember that I have a family that is walking that journey with me.

  3. Debbie January 8, 2014

    My joy and pain and are linked together: the greatest joy was being able to spend time while on furlough with our dear friends whose 5 month old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia before we left for South Africa and the greatest pain was her passing just before her 3rd birthday on New Year’s Day. God is sovereign and it’s okay. She no longer is suffering and God continues to use her life and her family’s as a testimony of His faithfulness.

    1. Lizzie Talcott January 8, 2014

      Words fail as I hear of the joy and pain you and your friends experienced.  In these times we know that He is faithful…but the joy and pain are there in that reality as well.  I will be praying for all of you in this time.

  4. Jennifer January 8, 2014

    One of my joys was the four weeks I was able to spend in Chicago over the summer which was a very great blessing to me. Another was my acceptance into an online biblical studies masters program which actually begins this week. Both of them were for me, for many reasons, impossible dreams come true. This has also been a challenging year to put it mildly. I am not yet able to put it into words. I can see it more clearly now, but I am still within it too. It is also not just my story and I have made the choice to be careful just what I say. I am choosing to walk one step at a time, not denying the challenge or the pain, but also not allowing it to overwhelm me.

    1. Lizzie Talcott January 8, 2014

      Hey Jennifer – I am so happy that the trip to Chicago worked out…that’s amazing!  I hope the studies program goes well, exciting!  (and, one step at a time is good.  Sometimes that’s exactly what we need to do and then after awhile we can look back and see where those have taken us.  Keep going!)

  5. Ashley Felder January 8, 2014

    Ha. Just one? 🙂 First, a pain was learning Chinese. I mean, what a pain. But when I was finished with my 1-year commitment, it turned to joy. The hard work paid off. Since I’m the one at home with no one over the age of 5 who speaks English, I can now hold conversations and build relationships with those around me without having to whip out my dictionary every other word. My grammar is far from perfect, but I’m oh so thankful I have enough to love and share with locals in their own language. New passion: advocate for Mommas to study. 🙂

  6. Lizzie Talcott January 8, 2014

    Keep advocating!!  (language study scares me spit-less – just an FYI)

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