dear me


“Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.” – Luke 12:24, The Message

In three days, I will pack up my joyful, sun-filled, relaxing summer, and head to senior year at RNHS (Residential Nerd High School, duh).

And I am SUPER excited…. but I am also nervous.

Let me tell you why:

I have this thing that I do… and you might do it too.

It’s like, when things aren’t going the way I plan, I get upset. When there’s scheduled a meeting at 4:00 for Future Physician’s of America, but swim practice is at 4:30, and it’s already 4:12:37, yet the speaker isn’t there yet, my day has crashed and burn right then and there. Or say that I ran out of stay-in conditioner (#curlyhairprobs), and I JUST went to the store yesterday, only to find out I that I don’t even have time to pee today, much less run to the store, so frizzy hair will be my crown for the next six days. Or that the quiz I studied 2.78 hours for returns to me with a 46, and I’m like that’s out of 50, right? (Wrong.) In these moments, I just want to scream “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE WORLD WHY NOT MY WAY AGHHHH!?” (If that makes sense…)

Yeah, basically I just get stressed out often.

And so, with the up coming year, I want that to change. I want to be the Mary Madeline that trusts her time is in Jesus’s hands. I want to be the MM that spends more time praying than worrying. I want to care more about how I am serving God and my neighbor than how I am serving my GPA.

So, in the spirit of preparation, I have decided to write my future college-application-writing, work-service-doing, Campus-Crusade-running self a letter to read during those moments where I am trying to choose between pulling my hair out or sobbing into my pillow. And maybe you’ll find it a good idea to write the future (fill-in-your-name) a letter for those moments too.

Dearest Stressed-Out Mary Madeline,

Firstly, I need you to take a big, deep yoga breath.

That’s right, fill those lungs up with O2, baby. And let that CO2 go.

And again.

There you go, that’s better. Breathe.

What is that I hear? Oh, yeah. That’s your blood pressure and forehead wrinkles thanking me.

Right now, the world is not turning the way you desire. There are 241 things packed into one 24-hour period when you only have room for 103 things plus four hours of sleep.

Or maybe the ACT is tomorrow and heaven knows that four #2 pencils and six erasers will never be enough for all the bubbles and mistakes.

Or perhaps your dorm room looks like Dorothy’s twister just came through, and you are wishing it would come back and take you to Not In Kansas Anymore because anything would be better than this physics test tomorrow.

I’ve been there. I know that feeling.

But let me make a suggestion:

Maybe an FPA meeting isn’t worth valuable time in prayer.

It could be possible that instead of the extra 30 minutes of cram-study-review, you need 30 minutes of Jesus.

God could be whispering that your plan for today isn’t as good as His.

It’s even probable that right now, in giving in to all this madness, you are missing out on His opportunity to love someone else today.

So let go. Unclench your fist from the control.

Because you are holding on to nothing but air, darling.

Don’t buy into the Enemy’s lie. Jesus pays little attention to the events scribbled into your planner. He is looking for the time spent with Him and serving Him.

He does not measure us by the commitment to our club meetings.

His love isn’t dependent on the ACT score on your college application.

Your Jesus doesn’t care if your hair is a mop or a spitting image of Taylor Swift curls.

Don’t sacrifice great communion with Him for adultery with the world.

Because your strivings are not enough, and they won’t ever be.

You were made to live in a thriving romance with a loving God, but you have a choice to either join God in your purpose of communion or to reject a day at the beach for making mud pies of your plans.

So take another yoga breath and decide:

Who will you serve today?

The false god of control, stress, anxiety, and worry that won’t change a thing


the God of peace, hope, and love that is in control?

Who will I serve?

Make the right decision, love.

(Literally) yours,

Mary Madeline

“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. 

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

“Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

– Luke 12: 29-34

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