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A Letter to Myself: Hindsight is 2020

It’s now 2020, and I think for a lot of us, the start of a new decade encourages us to look back at where we were at the beginning of the one that has just ended, and think about just how far we’ve come.

As someone whose entire teenagehood fell within this last decade, this reflection is particularly poignant for me–not only am I physically practically a different person than I was 10 years ago (even though I’m not much taller), I’ve also grown radically on the inside.

Today’s post is for you, my normal audience, as you look back at the last ten years to look forward into the next. It’s also for people my age who really did most of their growing up in the 2010s. But mostly, it’s for Cricket, age 12, a small Sri Lankan kid with a lot to say and so much amazing coming his way.

So hello Cricket. I hope you’re doing well.

I’ll confess that I don’t really remember much of what was going on when I was you, but I hope that the next few years will show you why that’s the case. So much is about to happen in your life, and I think it’s fair to say that you won’t be prepared for it. It’s also fair to say that that’s okay.

For a few years, you’ll just do your best to live your life as any average Hindu teenager in Canada.

You’ll try hard in school, even though people around you will put you down because of how difficult it is for you (I hope grade 7 isn’t treating you too poorly right now). I wish you could learn earlier than I did that your learning disability isn’t a negative thing. It just means you learn differently than other people, and when you understand that, you will gain tools that can help you succeed. Heck, you thought you’d never be smart enough to get into university, but in ten years, you’ll have proved yourself wrong and been accepted to Tyndale for their Biblical Studies and Theology Program (more on that area of focus later).

You’ll want to fall in love, and you’ll look for love all around you. I can safely say that you won’t exactly ‘look for love in all the wrong places’ as the teenage cliche goes, but you won’t find the one you’re looking for until the decade is almost over. When you do though, you’ll wish you hadn’t wasted the years before with anyone else. She is amazing, beautiful, intelligent, remarkable, kind, compassionate–she’s the love of your life, and I could go on and on about her, but for the sake of time, and for the joy of discovery, I’ll let you figure the rest out yourself.

Lastly, you’ll be looking to the future–looking at me, though you don’t know it yet–and trying to figure out what your purpose is, what your place in the world will be, and what will bring you joy. Largely, you’ll try to find it in money, but I can tell you now that money isn’t everything in the world. Money can’t bring you joy or lasting happiness. (I mean, I should probably tell you to start saving now, ‘cause the housing market is garbage in 2020, but that’s besides the point.)

That brings me to the most important thing I can tell you–the most important thing that will happen to you in this decade. Not too long from now, you’ll meet a guy named Jesus, and he’ll turn your entire life around. It is in Him that you will find true joy, true purpose, and true freedom.

Through him you’ll meet some of the best friends you’ll ever have, as well as the aforementioned love of your life. Through him you’ll be given opportunities you can’t even dream of right now. Through him you will find a peace that surpassess your worrying heart. But ultimately, through him, you will finally understand what love really means.

Jesus really will change your life, and not only will you see it, but so will everyone around you. I know you’re a guy who appreciates words of affirmation, so I’d like to share some from the last decade that really show how that change has been seen in you. Each and every following word was written by someone you’ll have worked with in ministry in the coming years–people you respect, trust, and love. Grab a box of tissues; you know how we cry.

You are such an amazing, unique person and I hope that you never lose who you are becoming. You are so special–not just to God, but to everyone around you. You are an inspiring man of God and I have not seen a guy more passionate about youth. It’s so amazing to see how much the kids love you and your heart for them as well. God is so bright in you. I now know I have a friend I can count on. You don’t keep your light locked up you let it shine for all to see. You are a light in the world. And God is already using you to push away the darkness.

Man I can’t begin to say how much you’ll have grown in ten years. By the time you’re me, you’ll have been a kid, a preteen, a teenager, a young man, and…well I haven’t quite hit old man yet, but I’m on my way. You wouldn’t even believe the growth you’ll have made. Just remember to cherish the people that will help bring you to that place, as they will all be showing you the love of Christ, even if they don’t know it.

God has big plans for your future–bigger than big! I know you’re worried about what’s coming next; we tend to do that. But I can assure you that God is bigger than the troubles you’re facing, and God is bigger than your fears. Matthew 6:27 will become a powerful reminder for you: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Sure you’re going to mess up, and sure you’re going to lose battles, but you’ll win the war, because God is fighting for you. Learn from your mistakes, and get to know the Heavenly Father who loves you, mistakes and all.

What I’ve written today is only a snippet of what’s to come, and honestly, that’s because I still don’t really know what the future holds for you. Even though hindsight is currently 2020 (get it? ‘Cause the year?), that still only gives me the benefit of ten more years of experience than you have. Our future is still only in God’s hands, but I know that it is safe there, for both of us. I know that it is safe there for all of us.

So my dear Cricket, and all my other readers at home, I wish you a very Happy New Year and a bold new decade. May you see God in all the beauty that is around you. May you reflect his love in everything you do. May you approach the wounds in this world and in yourselves with the redemptive power of his grace. And may you be strong and courageous, knowing that the Lord will be with you, wherever you go.

Stay grateful my friend,



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Please be advised that this blog post may discuss topics related to suicidal ideation. If you feel that the content may affect your well-being, please proceed with caution. If you or someone you know

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