I wrote this letter in response to an application exercise posed in a discipleship book I am doing:
“The abundant life ‘in Christ’ requires you to turn away from the things you once expected to meet your deepest needs and then depend upon God to provide what you lack. This might sound strange, but take a few moments to write a goodbye letter to anything you once depended upon to help you feel strong, secure, or significant.” –The Four Priorities, Dr. John Tolson & Larry Kreider, p. 34.
You are a sneaky devil! You spent many years lying to me, telling me that I could only find you in some great calling, in some lofty achievement, or some reward. I’ve searched for you in friendships, in family, in my marriage, and in my service to God. I’ve wondered if you forgot about me, because I’ve always been unsure of my “calling” (whatever that even means), and thought maybe you skipped over me. I thought maybe church would bring you to me. I thought maybe through discipleship you would find me. Maybe if I had enough friends and people respected and looked up to me, then you would come. I lusted after you and the appeal of security and validation you bring. I longed for you. I hoped for you! I wished that you would come into my life. I thought if you were around, life would make sense. If I had you, I would finally know that I mattered, that my life actually meant something.
One day, I realized I already have you. You’ve been given to me freely, and I’ve been naively unaware of it this entire time! I thought you were something to be obtained, then I discovered you were handed to me long ago! I thought you took a different shape and form. I didn’t even recognize you, and you’ve been with me all along.
I don’t strive for you anymore. I don’t crave all you will provide for me. I don’t search for you. I don’t dream of the fulfillment you will bring to me. Realizing that I already have you has caused me to let go of my need for you. You don’t define me. I don’t have to work for you. The work has already been done to bring you to me. I didn’t actually do anything to accomplish it. You are a by-product of that work! A death was paid to bring you to me. An innocent, costly death. That death resulted in Life, and that Life offers grace, forgiveness, and eternity. While I wasted time striving for you, Life was given as a gift to me. When I die, your fame and value will die with me. Together, we won’t matter anymore. Only the giver of Life will. Ultimately, by losing my need for you, I actually find you, because you are truly found in that Life. That is where you will thrive the most. There is One who died to give me Life. Because I no longer need you, I have you more abundantly. Isn’t that beautiful?
I’m glad we can finally be friends.
Who or what would you write your letter to? I would love to hear about it!