April 25, 2007
I hope that you loved every second of college. I hope you loved being in [this a-capella group that would have put Pitch Perfect to shame], that you had the opportunity to be on Program Board, and that you excelled academically. I hope that you remained friends with Carly & Hailey. You might still be dating [an ex-boyfriend]. You will be an amazing nurse. I hope you will stick with your job, and become a mother and wife in the next few years.
I hope you're still an encourager, that you are trustworthy, and that you are a hard worker.
I hope that you've learned to be happy with who you are, and that you've learned that you don't have to change for everybody or anybody. Stay true to who you are, and keep on smiling!
I remember writing that letter. It was a sunny day, about 75 degrees, I was with a group of other people who were on a freshman leadership board, and we were sitting under the trees in the middle of the main lawn at Belmont University in Nashville. But more than the beautiful setting, I remember where my heart was.
I felt so lonely. I only had a few good friends. I decided to become a nursing major so that if things "worked out" with my boyfriend at the time, he could pursue his dream of being a musician, and I could support us. Of course, I had no desire to be a nurse (that's why I had to tell myself to stick with my job! Ha!). As you can see in the last paragraph, I was unhappy, and I was trying so hard to be accepted and loved, to the point where I changed the way I looked, the way I dressed, and my personality. I lost 30 lbs in one semester, and I got to the point where I could wear a size 0... and I'm 5'7". I spent all of my money on expensive clothes that were pretty, but uncomfortable. In spite of the pretty clothes, I still felt disgusting and unworthy of love. I was a mess.
When I received this "time capsule letter" in the mail a few months ago, I felt overwhelmed by God's grace and His divine plan. I learned a lot from my time at Belmont, but I am thankful that ultimately, there was a better place for me where I would come alive, make a TON of lifelong friends, and meet a man who loved me as I was, and still loves me unconditionally to this very day. I was so broken before, but I was healed and restored during my time at Ouachita. I am forever thankful.
So if you're reading this and feel trapped, rejected, and alone, know that you're adored by the Creator of the universe and many others, whether you realize it or not. There is always, ALWAYS hope.