Dear Sam

IF YOU COULD WRITE A LETTER TO YOURSELF AS YOU STARTED UNI, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

Dear Sam,

Finally. Freedom.

Yes, you’ve come this far, but I’m writing to you now to prepare you for the best years of your life. Interestingly, no matter what our life-stage, we always believe we have finally become our true selves but I can say that University’s abundance of opportunity definitely will provide a lot of fuel for you to discover so much more about your contribution to the world. Who you are is about to blossom and slowly be drawn out by a massively life-defining few years to come.

A quick tip to get it in the correct order this time. Commit to an expression of God’s family that you think you can best serve and then feel free to throw yourself into the biggest culture clash you can possibly ever experience (but this time adequately equipped). You’re about to find out what it means to belong and be unconditionally invested in by the church, tenfold the amount that you could ever hope to give. With that, you’ll have learn the vital art of saying “no”. God can’t effectively use an exhausted worker, but you’ll inevitably experience that one soon enough.

Don’t think anything is beyond you. In most cases, people can only view you to the standard that you truly view yourself. Take up the mantle that God hands to you and put your all into those commitments. Use the many quality resources and people that will form around you to discover who you really are, then look in the mirror and joyfully embrace what God’s put in your hands. You can then use those gifts to make the world a better place one step at a time.

Just remember, all the things in life worth waiting for, you have to wait for. So don’t limit yourself by striving to be something you’re not. God’s got plenty of other people gifted at those things so dig a hole in some good soil for them, to give them the opportunity to grow.

People are amazing. Learn from their life experiences. Try to treasure each and every person to the level God does and you won’t go wrong. Give them your full attention, that thing you were supposed to do can wait for what could be a priceless moment. Just watch out for receiving sustenance from human approval, you may fool yourself into thinking they’re in line with God’s work but if it’s not done for the right reasons it eventually only ends in lack. Better to learn that one early! Remember, a man can’t get healed if he doesn’t know he’s sick so identify something in your life that isn’t righteous then take it to Jesus, that’s why he went through all the pain on the cross after all.

I’ll leave you here with the most important part. Get the basics right. Faith is actually quite simple, it’s just life that complicates things. Anchor yourself deep into the one thing that will never disappoint you. God can only work with you as long as you’re listening, so read your bible every morning, pause at the start of every day by just sitting and breathing in the presence of the Lord. While in that space, remind yourself the miracle of life because a heart of gratitude is difficult to sway.

Oh, and pray! Chat to God all the time. He picks up instantly every time without hesitation, even though you’re a mess, it’s fantastic! If you’re feeling like things are out of control then go straight to the one who controls all. Evil and temptation are simply just an absence of Jesus’s light. Locate where your gracious master is, sprint as fast as you can in that direction and you can only make me proud.

Alright, now over to you. You’re going to have to learn the art of living cheap fast, as you won’t get your student finance until February next year. But you can’t do anything about that now,  so get the lederhosen ready for your German-themed, first night of freshers with 400 total strangers. It’s going to be wonderfully chaotic. God created the universe out of chaos so what can you do with him by your side?

Love, Sam

 

Miriam Swanson

Global Student Mission Leader

Miriam helps equip the church for student mission internationally. She's based in the USA and hungry to see young adults follow Jesus with all of who they are. 

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