I will never forget college (obviously). I will never forget the decisions, the confusion, the struggle, the desire to be more, to do more. I will never forget struggling to keep my grades where I wanted them. Struggling to make my parents proud, and at some points even struggling to breathe because I was drowning. I needed Jesus but I felt like I needed what the world wanted to offer me. I had the deep desire to “go out”, to fit in, to be something I wasn’t. What I did not realize was in all of my brokenness and striving to be perfect, to be more. I was exactly what Jesus needed me to be…His. I wrote this letter to myself and still have it to this day. Even though I would change the situations it still applies to me today. I am nothing without you Jesus, teach me to be wrecked, to be satisfy in nothing but your everlasting, non-condemning, overwhelming love….
Dear College Student,
This letter will likely find you stressed out and overwhelmed, my hope is that you will feel my love and peace. I know everything. I know exactly what you’re going through, I know your thoughts, I know your anxiety and I am right here with you. I see your planner filled with all of the quizzes, the exams, the late night studying sessions, group projects, and I see the nights you lie awake worrying and the tears that slowly fall, and I am there.
My yoke is easy and my burden is light. You can lean on me; I am your support. You will make it through, BUT I want more for you. I want you to enjoy this time and thrive along the way. I want you to hear the words I am speaking over you. You are enough.
In my word, “do not fear” appears multiple times. That is a reminder for you to trust in me. When life is uncertain, and you’re not sure what to do, talk to me. I will listen. I care about you, the things you do, and the decisions you make. You are my prized possession, my pride and joy, my heart. I want the best for you and you will only find the best in me.
When you are worried or stressed, when you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and talk to me about whatever is on your mind. Confide in me your concerns. I want the best for you. I see the deepest desires of your heart. I see your heart break, I see your brokenness, I see the exhaustion, and I am here.
I want you to know I do not make mistakes. I do not create “ugly”. You are beautiful. You are set apart. You are radiant. I wish that you would treat yourself with more loving-kindness. Because my love for you is unconditional and never ending. I see all of the hard work, I see the effort and the striving to be better and I am so proud of you. I see the wonderful things you are and the things you do. I know about the ugly things you say and do, and in all of that, I love you. I want you to see yourself the way I see you. The courageous, smart and loving person that you are.
I see your desire to fit in, to find the right guy. I see the late nights at the bar and the emptiness you feel looking for something to fill the brokenness. I see your heart longing for more friends, for more support. I see your pain in being alone but I am here for you. I see the tears that drench your pillow at night because of regret and loneliness and my heart breaks for you, but the cross was for you, for you in this moment. It covers the deepest of sin. Quit running to the things the world is trying to offer you and run to me. I will satisfy the deepest longing in your soul, because I know you better than anyone. You are not broken, you are beautiful and I. LOVE. YOU.
You are enough. There is nothing you can do or not do that will separate you from my all-encompassing love for you. You are everything I created you to be and I will use you and your gifts. Your grades do not define you, your friends do not define you, your past does not define you, I define you. And I call you beloved.
Trust in me. I was with you in the darkness, in the battles of depression and anxiety, and I cried with you. I turned the Fathers ear to you. I also rejoice with you in life’s joyful times, too. I celebrate in your joy, I celebrate in your accomplishments. I am here for everything. I will never leave you or forsake you.
As you go through this semester, be aware of my presence. Do not despair. Do not lose hope. Do not be afraid. See my face in the people you meet, on the street, in your classroom or dorm room. Lean on me and I will give you everything you need. You are never alone. From your very first breath until now and throughout the rest of your life, I am with you. You are enough. You are precious to me, and you are loved. My love is proud to be seen with you.