Dear 19 year old Ainsley...

Dear Ainsley - 

I’m going to be honest with you… 

Your coffee skills need some serious work, girlfriend. I know you can’t seem to get the water/grinds ratio right and I’m sorry to tell you that in about 5 years,  you’ll be sitting in your NYC apartment still unsure if you did it right. Thankfully there’s drive thru coffee available in Nashville, so you’re going to make it. You just moved to this new apartment where you live alone in a new city and all you know is that you felt God call you here (you were right) and you have no clue why (you’ll get your answer in due time). 

I remember the heart ache of loneliness you’re experiencing right now. A new city and new beginning is so exciting! Yet, it feels like a brick is laid on your chest every Saturday night seeing LSU game photos and the fact that you suddenly don’t have off of school for Mardi Gras break!?! Yeah, the rest of the country doesn’t get off for a holiday of parades and spoiler alert, nowhere else has drive thru daiquiri spots either. Louisiana just spoils it’s people. 

Your best/only friend in Nashville won’t be your friend forever and it’s going to hurt really bad. Just typing that feels like a punch in the gut because I remember the pain. I remember that it felt worse than someone dying because that person has chosen to walk away and allow the strongest friendship either of you have ever had to crumble. There’s no saving this one and many strangers are going to have opinions about it. Thankfully, you’ll draw near to the Lord and experience a supernatural healing. Those words “supernatural healing” feel like a warm blanket placed on a shivering body, but I don’t even think you’d believe them if I could go back and tell you. I’ll just tell you to talk to Jesus every chance you get. In church, during worship, in your car as if He’s in the passenger seat. Take Him on your hikes and late night trips to McDonald’s for a Oreo McFlurry, add hot fudge. You’re a few years from this heartbreak, but there will be disappointments and changes along the way. You’ll have to adjust and stick to your instincts and Jesus. Read the Bible more. Write more. Love others more. 

Oh, and you’ll make more friends, better friends, don’t worry. You’re going to meet some incredible people who are actual gold and you’ll feel Jesus more than you’ve ever felt in your life. You’re going to feel His nearness because quiet mornings with Him and your fireplace will remind you of how worthy and loved you are. 

One Tree Hill is not your life so stop trying to act like Brooke Davis and just be you. You don’t have to pretend to be someone else to be interesting. When someone tries to change you, walk away…and they will try. The Lord has some incredible plans for your life. 

I’m here to tell you that life gets harder and more confusing, yet more exciting and God continues to prove His faithfulness. There will be so many times the Lord extends His hand to you. Take it and hold on for dear life, every time. He is doing a magnificent work in your life and this is only the beginning. You had to make a change to get out of your comfort zone and lean into Jesus so heavily. Keep your arms and heart open for His blessings. 

He is faithful. 

I think the main thing I want you to know is that everything is going to be okay. I won’t say it won’t be hard, but it’ll all be okay and you will love again. The Lord will breathe LIFE into you like you’ve never known and He will never stop loving you. Cling to His promises. Write them down and read them over and over, until they come to mind in every day life. You’re so worthy and loved and valued. Remember this and remind others of the same Truth. 

Hearts & Rockets,

AB

p.s. - your future husband is SO HOT! & all of God’s people said, “Amen.”