Dear, Lewie… A Letter to My Younger Self

by Max Andrews

Dear Lewie,

I wanted to write to you with my best intentions of preparing you for the life to come.  I have so much to tell you and so much to prepare you for.  Don’t worry; I’m not ruining any surprises.  It’s like when you read the ingredients of your favorite dinner on the menu of your favorite restaurant.  You know what’s coming but knowing just that never seems to ruin the experience, does it?  You still experience the joy of the meal.  It’s a bit like that my friend.  This letter will only foretell you of things to come.  My purpose in writing you is to make sure you understand what it means to experience life.

I’ll cut straight to the core issue–your life is going to be good and I have nothing but good news for you.  Despite what you’re about to read it’s all beautiful.  Your life is going to change.  Okay, before I continue I know what you’re wondering and yes, you will get married.  You’re going to meet this beautiful girl in college.  She’s going to distract you from everything.  You’ll have a romantic tunnel vision.  Everything else is going to blur and you’re going to focus in on her.  Her smile is going to capture you.  Her eyes are going to melt you.  You’ll learn to love.  This is the love that can never be adequately expressed in words.  Actions and experience is the only sufficient way of knowing this love… a love that helps you understand God.

This brings me to my next point.  Sooner or later you’re going to become a Christian.  The thing is, this doesn’t make your life any easier.  You’ll go to a university and study philosophy and you’ll learn to love science.  Pay attention in school.  Please, if this finds you please study physics more before university.  It will make things easier for me here!  You’ll eventually aim to make a career in academia.

You will experience excruciating times with family dealing with divorce.  Spend time with your brothers and never take brotherhood for granted.  Sometimes you’ll feel like they’re all you’ve got.  You’ll have a great relationship with your parents and it’s these trials that make your relationship with your brothers and parents stronger.  Family is very important and don’t neglect to tell them you love them.

Well, sometime sooner or later you’re going to get your first tattoo.  This one tattoo will evolve and you’ll be covered in tattoos soon enough.  Your tattoos will tell a story about your life.  Many people tell their stories in words or in books.  You’re going to tell your story in pictures and will become so intertwined with who you are (literally).  You will learn to value your existence and this will be your story.  You’re going to struggle with knowing whether or not your life has any meaning or purpose.  Honestly, I don’t know what it specifically is but just trust God when he says you do have meaning and purpose.  Value your existence.  Be careful with medicines and alcohol.  I’ll tell you shortly why you’ll have so many different types of drugs but these are mind altering medicines.  Sometimes you won’t have complete control and your mind will feel like it does not have complete control over your body. This feels like you are being robbed of your personhood.  You’ll need to take these drugs but many goods have a cost.

Look Lewie, you’re going to know things many others don’t experience until years later in life.  You’re going to have friends die–many of them.  You will know what it’s like to feel the sting of war on the home front.  Friends will die in a war.  Family will fight in this war.  Death won’t be a foreign idea to you, Lewie.  Family members will pass away.  The hardest day of your life will be a funeral and it’s not your pain that you will be suffering through.  You’ll suffer the pains of your family as they have their souls crushed and estranged because of the loss.  Many times you’ll never have answers or closure.  Death often chooses to keep its secrets.  The absurdity of life will be ever-present.  You’re going to get very sick at some point (and this is why you’ll have many different kinds of drugs).  Your lifelong dreams will be shattered before your eyes and there will be nothing you can do.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re asking, “I thought there was good news and my life will be good?”  It’s true, your life is good.  The point to all of this, Lewie, is that you need to learn to value your existence in this life.  Life will always be filled with pain and suffering.  You will continually face the absurdity of life even as a Christian.  However, it’s because of your trust and hope in Christ that you can climb the mountains of the absurd and see the hope that lies before you beyond the evermore mountains of absurdity that stretch across the horizon.  Be thankful for all of these experiences for they will be means of perseverance, Lewie.  I have much more to say but this is the one thing I want you to know: Value your life and experience the joy and experience the pain for they are all of a meaningful and beautiful design.

Until later,

Max Lewie


2 Comments to “Dear, Lewie… A Letter to My Younger Self”

  1. Dear Lewie,
    This is your Dad.
    You have a talent for writing!
    Know that I am sorry for the pain of divorce. Hopefully the short term pain has gone away. Your Mom and I love you! Hopefully everything you observe in life you learn something.
    Ever since you and your brothers were born I have dedicated my life to raising all of you. Now that you are all grown I am beyond proud of all of you.
    My goals were to teach you certain values and principles. Among them, Honesty, Respect, Work Ethic, Politeness, Manners, Responsibility, Accountability, Persistence and Love to name a few. I believe you and your brothers are experiencing and learning many of these.
    You and Leah have a future that is so bright that you might think the Sun has moved closer to the Earth. There will be many more challenges in front of you and many more disappointments. You know they are coming.
    “How you react to a challenge is more important than the actual issue”.
    The bottom line is that the future is going to be the results of all the decisions you and Leah make every day.
    Your past is history, your future is up to you, your present is just that, a present.
    GO FOR IT!
    You will have a full and fantastic life!

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