An Open Letter to the World

I am entering Josh Irby's Open Letter Challenge. The following is my response to An Open Letter to You from the Rest of the World.  

In elementary school I was accidentally let into the “smart kids” class. Each day was mind-bending. I knew I was out of my league but the grown-ups in my life seemed to find it a “good fit” so I had to keep going.

My teacher, Mrs. Brackney, was roughly 147 years old when I was in her class. She had used those years to create assignments to stump children. The rest of the class, the actual smart kids, loved it. Their pencils wagged over the paper excitedly when she asked questions.

I would look at her and shake my head. Daily, I walk around unintentionally scowling. I have a pretty wrinkle to prove it. That scowl was birthed in this class. Looking at this teacher.  She would approach me smiling sweetly and waving her ancient little hands saying, “Oh, Emily. Keep struggling!”

I’ve thought of Mrs. Brackney and her words to me a million times. She skillfully crafted situations that would stretch me and created space for me to struggle and grow. I wanted to give up and get the quick answer and she knew I could be more.

I struggled. I had to. She was too precious to resist. In all her years she had undoubtedly seen some things. If she thought I could eventually get it, I would try. So I did. In her class and throughout life.

Through abuse.

Through infidelity.

Through divorce.

Through grad school.

Through depression.

Through infertility.

Through several possible adoptions that didn’t materialize.

More recently, Mrs. Brackney’s sweet words have rung in my ears as I struggled with actually getting what my heart desires. I had never expected this to create a problem. I am currently in a pretty darn sweet spot. I have what I always wanted.

I am still here though.  So my issues are too.

I am driven and focused.  I have achieved much. I am a rock star on paper.

It’s disaster though when you’re fixated on a road headed to the wrong destination. I had a friend once get on the right highway going the wrong direction and ended up on the opposite end of the state than she wanted to be. She did it once, I have figuratively done it seven million times.

You get a lot done, but some if it is a waste of time. I loathe wasting time.

So how to leave a mark? Live a better story? Benefit others?

I have not mastered this but this is my plan: *Trust that God has a plan.*Read the Bible to learn more about His character.*Struggle through our challenges. He promised we would have struggles but He also  promised to be right there smiling at us, knowing what we're capable of; anything with Him.

His word says you will be comforted so you can comfort others. Sometimes the bleak disasters which comprise our daily lives are so overwhelming we become passive or long to give up.

I challenge you to fight for the next guy who has that same issue. It might be your children. Your spouse. The dear friend you haven’t met yet.  He will fight for you but you have to show up.

I have fought through many battles to bring you these words. Please fight with vigor to bring your story of hope to the ears that need to hear it.

Mrs. Brackney says so. God says so.  I find them both pretty hard to argue with.