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Letter to My Former Self: Dear Single Leslie…

Dear Single Leslie,

It’s been a while since I’ve seen you…over five years. Now that I’ve been married for a while, I want to tell you a few things. Confirm some of your decisions. Question others. It’s good to reflect every once in a while.

You’re doing more right than you think. You’re spending time with family, traveling, hanging out with friends – all time well-spent.

You’ll look back fondly at those Friday nights spent at your parents’ house watching What Not to Wear with various siblings. Laughter and silliness with people that you’ve known all your life is something that you should experience whenever you get the chance. Especially while you’re single, because it’ll be tougher to make the time for it later.

You wonder sometimes if you should instead be spending your Friday nights going out with this guy or that guy just because they asked, but continue to go with your gut and say no. Life’s too short to try to dredge up feelings for men that you don’t really want to spend time with. You’re not missing out on anything, so don’t worry so much.

And continue to travel as much as you can! Go on the cruise and the mission trips. Take a ski lesson in France with your sister. Drive all over Puerto Rico with your family. I only wish that you’d take some trips with friends, just for fun. Yeah, you’re a homebody and relish time alone, but an adventure with friends making memories would be so spectacular. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that it will never cross your mind.

At least you’re enjoying time with friends working out, eating sushi, and drinking many cups of coffee. Do that as much as you can. Laugh and talk and solve all the world’s problems over a venti caramel macchiato. Talk about boys and wonder about the future. Because you’re going to miss those conversations one day.

Something else you’re going to miss is the time you’re able to dedicate to Bible study and teaching. I know that you’re lonely a lot of the time, but in your loneliness you develop a truly special relationship with God. You’re going to miss how close you feel to God when you’re knee-deep in diapers and dishes. Just don’t take yourself too seriously. You still have a lot to learn about the world and yourself.

Now let’s get to what you’re really wondering about – marriage. Yes, you will get married! You’ve spent a long time wondering if you should just be content in your singleness and live your life, but eventually you’ll feel free to ask God to send you your husband. And he does! You fall head over heels in love and wonder what you were ever worried about. You’ll even become a mommy to two amazing boys.

But I’ve gotta warn you, being a wife and mom is hard work. Like, really really hard. You think you’re being realistic about just how hard it will be, but you’re romanticizing it much more than you think. Don’t get me wrong, living with your best friend is awesome, but life becomes about much more than date nights and daydreams for the future. There’s bills and car problems and moves and stress. Sometimes you’ll deal with all of that well, sometimes you won’t.

And motherhood will exhaust you more than you ever thought possible. You think you know what it is to serve because you serve in your church, but your children will teach you some hard lessons about true sacrificial service. At the same time, they’ll teach you about love and joy and living in the moment. Because when you hear an excited, “Mommy, mommy, mommy!” or see that precious dimple in the cheek of your happy baby, you’ll soak it in and try to remember it for always.

Life will be very different one day. For now, enjoy yourself. Don’t try to rush things. Turn yourself over to the work God’s doing in you, preparing you for your future. And be open to God doing things in a different way than you expected. His plans are different and better than yours. And because of that, they will make your life different and better than you thought possible.

Future Leslie

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