Identity

Letters to Younger Me- Age 10

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.

Dear Younger Me,

WOW! You are a busy boy! Quiet, inquisitive. You love playing with your Matchbox cars under the swingset. Building cities out of any leftover wood blocks or Pringles cans you can find. Using mud for paved roads. The hoe digs good rivers and dams. Mom’s garden hose makes an ever-flowing river and lake. Everyone wonders what you’ll be when you grow up. Maybe a civil engineer?  A city planner? An architect?  

It’s Summer

You just finished grade four. Time for tank tops and playing in the dirt. Honestly, I get not taking baths. They take away time from being a boy. But, you stink! I don’t know how else to tell you. The older you get the more you smell. So, try taking more baths, or at least running through the sprinklers more often! You could even take your favorite Matchbox cars into the shower with you. Giant carwash!

Embarrassed

I heard your birthday was rough. Turning 10 and only getting underwear as a gift. That’s a bummer, man (pun intended!)  Money’s been tight at home. Your folks love you and guess you needed some essentials. I’m sorry, dude. Like, what did you tell your buddies at school you got for your birthday? Between that and getting glasses, kids can be so mean. Those nerdy glasses jokes are painful.

Grown-up Talk

One thing I’ve noticed about you, David, is as you get older, you’ve started recognizing grown-up conversations around you. Like that time your aunt and uncle stopped by with pizza one Saturday night. While you were playing with your Matchbox cars and enjoying pizza, you noticed them talking about big people things like money and work and farming and the government. Kinda scary. Put a pit in your stomach. A twinge. “You mean things won’t always be fun and games?” I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but there are layers to life that get complicated. But, I want you to know that you do have what it takes, David. As you grow older, God is there to help you step into whatever you face.

Changes Coming

Over the next few years, you are going to experience a lot of changes. You’re going to get bigger, taller, stronger. With that, you will also take on more responsibilities, but enough of that for now. One day at a time. Even if you feel alone, I want you to know you can talk with me about anything. Most of all you can talk with God. If you feel happy, or funny, or low, or down, or even if you want to cry, God understands.  Part of growing up is becoming more aware of who you are and the emotions that come with life. 

Pesky Lies 

There are some lies that come with growing up. Two that you are particularly prone to are thinking you are not good enough and that you are always in the way. I want to tell you straight up, David, you are neither of those. Sure, you’re a boy who makes mistakes, but that does not mean you aren’t good enough. Good comes from God who lives in every believer. You are growing in your faith and I want you to know God’s every thought towards you is good.  As for being in the way, I realize some people live in a grown-up world with no room for kids. Well, you are not an inconvenience. You matter. You are an intriguing young man and getting to know you disproves any notion that you are in the way. You are a delight, a joy, even if you need to take a bath!

Let’s get together soon!  Older you wants to hang out with you. Maybe I can get dirty with you under the swingset. Can I bring my Matchbox cars over too?

Love from Older You.

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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