Dear Younger Self

Colleen Elisabeth Chao is an editor and author. She enjoys dark-dark chocolate, side-splitting laughter, and half-read books piled bedside. She makes her home near Boise, Idaho, with her husband Eddie, their son Jeremy, and Willow the dog. 




Dear Younger Self

Dear Younger Self

Dear Younger Self

Dear Younger Self—
I know it’s cliché,
But I would go back if I could
To say:

Make yourself small,
Don’t resent being weak—
Humility before God
Will set you free.

Practice his presence:
Listen and rest—
A quieted heart
Hears his voice best.

Don’t go it alone.
Seek wisdom to know
Who to keep close
And who to let go.

Gratitude strengthens.
Counseling helps.
Measure your beauty,
Measure your wealth

In joy,
In friendship
In laughter
In pain.
In losses
In crosses
In waking

Love as he loves you,
Don’t fear what folks think.
Forgive (you’re forgiven!),
See what he sees.

Don’t be surprised—
More suffering’s to come.
Grief will undo you
And seem to have won….

But his Word will grow sweeter,
His nearness will be
Your joy and your good—
Your everything.

And when Death comes knocking
You’ll look back and see
Life had more purpose than
All your first dreams.

For each pain invited
You into his Love
Further and deeper

And more than enough.

(Written between March 2020 and Fall 2022)