Identity

Letters to Younger Me-Age 8

MW Editor’s note.  From time to time we will present a series of letters to younger me. Every Warrior carries with him some form of wounds. Some stem from his boyhood. Some inflicted on him, others he’s done to himself: a wound from a wound. Writing a letter to younger you can be therapeutic. The awesome thing is God wants to restore you. That’s what the core of the Gospel is about.

Letter to 8-year-old Me

Dear David. 

You’ve just finished 3rd grade and it’s summer!  “School’s out and the teachers let the mules out!”. Isn’t that how the phrase went? Muscle shirts, shorts, running in the sprinklers. Riding bike and playing with your favorite toy, Matchbox cars. 

It was going to be a great summer until things suddenly threw you a curveball.  Your mom is going to have a baby!  In fact, she was 8 months along when you finally figured that out!  Too busy playing to know otherwise.  

“Boy!” “Girl!”

You and your one sister would have shouting matches on what the baby would be. Somehow you both thought that the number of times you shouted out your preferred gender would be the winner.

The day came and your dad announced the great news!  “It’s a girl!” Your sister jumped for joy!  You ran to your room balling your heart out.  Life just threw you a massive blow!

“Now, now, she’s your baby sister.” Grandma consoled. “I don’t care!  I wanted a baby brother so much!”

What I Would Tell Younger Me

What you didn’t realize at age 8 was you longed for a brother because you longed for delight and validation. You wanted to know that someone wanted to know you, to be with you.  Sure, dad was there and he gave you the attention he could. He loved you, but your heart wanted more.  It really wasn’t that you had another sister. After all, over the years you enjoyed playing and growing up as siblings.

I want to tell 8 year old me that being a boy and wanting a brother is a good thing. It shows your heart is tender and open for the normal things growing up brings.  

If I could have been there then, I’d hold you close. Play ball, ride a bike, and create dream cities under the swingset with old Pringles cans, wood blocks for houses, and Matchbox cars. I’d give you a nooky on your head, look you in the eyes and tell you straight up how much you are loved. I’d take the time to know you. To really know you. To help you see how much you are loved by God.

So, David, want to go see a baseball game this weekend?

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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