I've been getting together my letters and things for a support letter to go out soon.. I'm still feeling some "eh" moments.. LOL I really have to let it go...
Today as I was cleaning out EVERYthing in my room.. I ran across all my old letters and notes from teammates and family members and supporters. Then I found one written when I was debriefing on my Euroquest missions trip in the year 2000. We were told to write a letter to ourselves and we would mail it, so we could read it later. I received it about a month later, so my feelings weren't too different. However, twelve years later, having been through so much.. it's interesting what the 16 year old me has to say to me now. I remember wondering what would happen and where my life would go. I never imagined I would be where I am now..
Here it is:
Dear Future Jessa: 8/7/00
I don't know what you are feeling right now as you read this, but I know what I'm feeling as I write this. I feel a sick-pit in my stomach because the summer is going, and I don't want to leave. This summer has been incredible! Remember everyone? How awesome they are? remember what God taught you? Do you remember clowning? How fun that was? Do you remember the people on the street? How lost they are, and have no clue about what God can do in their lives? Remember the woman in Amsterdam, the one in Paris? The couple in Austria? The man in Germany? Jessa, do you remember what you were gonna do to change your world when you got home? Continue your clown ministry, start a d-group with the homeschool teen girls, be a light with my attitude and fire for God. Show God's love to the people of Galax by being like Jesus. Jesus would talk to them, be a friend. Be in a better relationship with my parents. That one is especially important. Dug deeper into the Bible; you should have lots to learn about. Don't stop reading the Bible. Work hard so you can go on a trip next year, darling. When you finish this letter, I encourage you to go back and read the journal I kept while on the trip. Look at all the pictures, and just remember. God is awesome, and this was an awesome summer where I learned so many cool things. Reflect on the time between us. What's happened? If you need to exhale & inhale, do that now, and get your life back to where it was when I left; totally on fire for God. I'm praying for the future me.
PS Write to everyone & keep working on verses everyday so you can go to London next year, ok? :)
LOL Oooh.. I love it!! Where my heart was.. this relationship with Christ is such an up and down journey. Things happen. Life happens. We make choices and changes. I feel so innocent and naive, and yet sometimes so strong in knowing what I wanted and where I was going when I think about 16 year old Jessa. I just wanted to share that letter :)
Asia team: 2002.
Another letter I'd like to share is one that I received from my middle school Sunday School teacher. This man is still held in high esteem. His love for Christ inspired me to walk closer to God in my own relationship. Any letters from home on a missions trip are better than presents on Christmas.. but reading this today.. also 12 years later, pulls on my heartstrings. For some odd reason, it felt like the words written a decade ago, were also written for me today:
I pray that this letter will find you in good health and spirits.
Jessyca, do you realize that God has seen fit to bless you to do something that most people will never get the chance to do? That is to share His gospel in another country and better yet, you're doing it in not only one, but several countries! I am very proud of you and your commiment to our Lord. I have always felt that God would bless others with your life ever sine I was blessed to have you as one of my students in Sunday School.
Be assured, Jessyca, that you and your group are always in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that each day of your missions work you will grow a little bit closer to Jesus Christ. For if this will be the case, then no matter what you may have to suffer through, it will be worth the trouble. You will be a better Christian for it. Plus the world will be a little bit better off because of Jesus and your commitment to Him.
I may not have understood what he meant then.. but I do now.. and I treasure these words of wisdom from the past. This just gives me more of a boost to continue the path I'm walkin' on!! :)
Counting it ALL Joy,