Last summer was my 10-year-high school-reunion. I didn’t get to go, (which I’m not all that disappointed about. I heard it was lame anyway) but it did get me thinking. On the last day of our senior year we were instructed to write a letter to our future selves, which would be sent to us exactly ten years later. We could write about whatever we wanted: what we liked, what our plans were, what our favorite memories of high school were. My letter started like this,
Gretchen, by now you’re 28 years old. Congrats! I can’t even imagine what your life is like right now. Let me just say this, if you aren’t married with a career and family by now…you’re a total loser!
Wow! Even then I was super sarcastic and feisty. It’s funny the expectations we have when we’re teenagers. I thought the whole purpose of life was to have a career, a husband and a family. Boy am I glad the Lord had bigger plans for me than I had for myself.
I’m twenty-nine years old now and I don’t have a single thing I thought I would. And you know what…I’m glad I don’t. Not that I think those things are bad. They can be the biggest blessings and joys in a persons life. It’s just that, my ambitions were so small and selfish; my creativity so limited. I mean hello! I used to want to be famous. Yes, in the beginning of the letter I talked about a husband and family, but probably just because those things are expected out of a person. Later on I talked about how I wanted to be like Mariah Carey or something ridiculous like that.
I’m thankful every day that the Lord didn’t give me what I wanted back then. Instead He saw a much bigger potential in me, grabbed a hold of my heart early on in my life, and steered me onto a path much more magnificent and satisfying. It’s like I’m doing all the things I was created specifically for.
I agree with my good friend Micaela. She says “potential, is something we should spend like currency”. God fills us with potential, and we were meant to spend it on worthy things, invest it, give it away for others to enjoy, and consume it all so that when we’re gone from this earth people don’t have to say, “she had so much potential”. How much more noble if they could say instead, “She sure lived up to her potential; spent everything she had”?
I want to live up to my potential. The Lord could do so much in me. He could do so many amazing things; things I never dreamed could happen. I could be part of His incredible story and live the life I was created for. Or I could set the bar super low, set my sites on the good ‘ol American Dream and let that be enough. If it’s all the same to you and my 18-year-old self, I think I’ll take my chances and spend my potential.