What Would You Tell Yourself If You Could Travel Back In Time? (Apart from “Buy Amazon Stock”)

I have been asking myself this question lately, as I look around my life at things I am still struggling with and wishing I had learned some of these lessons earlier.  I think it’s because being in seminary at almost 40 is a little like getting into a time machine. There are some of my neighbors that I look at and think, “Wow! I wasn’t that wise that young,” and I wonder how they got that way. I used to think, “who gave them counsel that shaped them in this way?” until I realized quite recently that even listening to wise counsel is a sign of wisdom and maturity. Only the wise seek wisdom, or heed counsel.

That was a shocker, because I know what I said when I was in my early 20’s and someone tried to address a sin issue in my life. I said, “Bite me.” I immediately went on the defensive, most often by engaging in ad hominem argumentation (ie: “I might be lazy, but your kids are rude.”) I justified my sin, I gossiped, I let bitterness take root and flourish instead of cultivating grace. I didn’t read Proverbs because I was far more like folly than wisdom and that just made me mad.

In short: if you knew me in my 20’s I’m sorry for everything I ever said to you and did around you and thought about you.

In answer to my title question, the sad conclusion that I reached is this: If I could go back in time and speak to myself at 24 or 26 or 28, I don’t think I would have even heeded myself. That’s why I’ve learned so many lessons the hard way, and late in life – because the Lord had to give me ears to hear before I could begin to learn. I’m still far too deaf and foolish for an almost 40 year old.

So what about you? If you could talk to yourself ten or fifteen years in your past, what would you say, and do you think you’d listen to yourself?

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About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

2 responses to “What Would You Tell Yourself If You Could Travel Back In Time? (Apart from “Buy Amazon Stock”)

  • Corinna

    Ditto…..and “I’m still far too deaf for an almost 40 year old” too. I still don’t accept correction and rebuke like I should. I’m looking forward to glory and thankful for God’s grace in spite of my foolishness and that He is faithful to complete the work He has begun in me. In the meantime, I’ll keep plodding along this narrow road and most likely continue learning the hard way.
    Sadly, I probably would not have listened to myself either.
    (I might have bought some Starbucks stocks too!) 🙂

  • Sarah W.

    I would have tried to tell my 19-year-old self to get herself into a church, a REAL church, not a place where I was constantly being “affirmed,” asap. I think I would’ve been shocked and horrified to see where I ended up a decade later, but I’m so thankful to the Lord for rescuing me from my stupidity! (Which is not to say that I’m not mortified by aspects of my mid-20s now, and that I don’t expect to be shown things I need to repent of continually.)

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