A Letter From the Past

Two years ago, I started my journey with AmeriCorps St Louis Emergency Response Team. In that first week, we set out on Quest, an amazing team building experience that included late night navigation skills through the woods, the exploration of rock formations, attacks by angry yellow jackets, poison ivy, and getting to know some of the most amazing people that I had the privileged of serving with. As part of that experience, we were asked to write ourselves a letter that would be returned to us at the end of the year.

Well, a year has passed since I received, and promptly lost that letter.  I found it again while clearing out my locker at the office. It’s been two years since I wrote the following words, but I thought I should share them:

Hey you,

I’m not sure if you’ll remember me, or the person you once were, but I hope you have a chance to be still and re-read these words you once wrote. I hope this year is everything you expected it to be, both the good times, the trials, and the moments you came to find yourself stepping out into the unknown. I hope that you have embraced he friendship of those you knew as teammates and expanded your capacity to love.

I am a broken individual, torn between the events of the past and the expectations of the future, but I hope that you have come to terms with his fact of life and have made moves to heal who and what you were. I hope you have found the voice that was lost to fear, the unconditional love that was wrapped up in all your pain, and the freedom to forgive that is hidden in the darkness of your / our heart.

Know that bridges can be rebuilt and walls can crumble and fall to the power of love. You wrote it in ink on your wrist to remind you of all the times you failed and have chosen not to give up on yourself and on others. You wrote it to remind you of the darkest days that you have survived, and the days to come.

I just finished Quest, the adventure through the woods where you got lost in the darkness, but found yourself trusting those around me. Remember these lessons: You cant make it through life alone, it’s not worth the pain of never having loved. You will fail, but that does not make you a failure, it’s just part of the process to success. you will be lost, but as long as you know where you are supposed to be going, you will never be truly lost, perplexed, yes, but never lost.

I’ve known these people for just a couple of days and they are already family. I hope you have come to know who they truly are and embraced them with open arms no matter what. I hope you have also allowed yourself to be honest with yourself and with them, that they know you just as much as you know all your faults, failures, shortcomings, and strengths, as well as accepting the past which has made you who your are.

With that, I will leave you to return to your journey, but remember to reflect on the boy you once were and the man you’ve become.

God Bless and PEACE

Sometimes, it is best to reflect on the words written and the words that we have yet to write. It’s definitely been an adventure, and I cant wait to see where this journey takes me next.


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