I love taking afternoon stroller walks. When we lived in Utah, there was a nice sidewalk around our block that I walked on. I thought that would be one of the things I missed the most about Utah because Tennessee is full of hills, and there aren’t very many neighborhood sidewalks. God knew how much I loved those walks, so He has allowed us to live in a home that’s within walking distance from a lovely paved walking track. There are still some hills involved, but I am so thankful to have a place to enjoy some fresh air and movement.
The track where I take my walks is right next to a tennis court. Aside from the fact that it’s absolutely incredible that we live within walking distance of a tennis court, there’s something quite interesting about this particular tennis court. This tennis court is the one where I use to play tennis every afternoon in the springtime. It seems like that must have been just last week, but the reality is that it was a decade ago. So much has changed since then, and not in the ways that I imagined it would. I assumed I would be living somewhere on the other side of the world by now, not within walking distance from that tennis court. I certainly never would have imagined myself walking laps around that track with a toddler in a stroller. Life certainly has come full circle in a way that I never envisioned.
My teenage self never would have believed this was the future God had in store for her. But God has a way of changing our plans. As a teenager, I wanted an adventure. I never would have imagined that I could be content living less than two miles from the house I grew up in. Even when God changes our plans, we can trust that His plans are far better than ours. He knows our hearts, and He wants us to have absolutely full and abundant lives.
If I could reach back in time and talk to my teenage self on one of those spring afternoons on the tennis courts, these are the things I would want to tell her:
- Your salvation does not depend on anything you do; God has already done it all.
No prayer that you pray and no good thing that you do can save you. Only Jesus can save you. Just trust Him.
- You can’t change the world.
Only God can change the world, but if you allow Him, He can still use you. It might not be in the way you imagined, but He knows what He’s doing.
- Change isn’t a bad thing.
You’ll never grow until you leave your comfort zone. I know leaving your comfort zone isn’t comfortable (it’s called a comfort zone for a reason), but that’s where you’ll become the person God made you to be.
- God has a good plan for your life.
God has some amazing things in store for your life. And no matter how that plan may differ from your own plans, you can trust that His plan is better.
- God will always be there for you.
Through all the changes, God will be the same. You can go to Him any moment of any day, and He will be there to give you a sense of stability no matter what you’re facing.
The truth is, I can’t tell my younger self these things. But maybe you needed to hear them. And maybe my adult self needed to hear them too.