Don’t Lose Yourself

Dear Someone,

If you found this letter and you are having a hard time, feeling like you’ve lost yourself instead of finding yourself, mentally and emotionally drained, and are scared of getting hurt again, that means it is for you. I am sending you this letter in the very final moments of my last evening of this glorious year 2019. I do so with so much gratitude and amazement. It is been an awesome year, and I am so excited to see what 2020 will bring for you and me.

As you know, 2020 will be another blank book, and we can’t but trust that God is going to write our story Himself. 2019 might not have started off great but you need to understand that even though you may still be going through a rough time right now, even though it might look like you have dug yourself deep in a pit that would be hard to get out of, you shouldn’t be looking for happiness from the same place you lost it. You shouldn’t be looking at where you fell, but where you slipped.

Tomorrow is the first blank page of your 365-page blank book. No one is worth losing yourself for and no one is worth suffering for at the expense of your happiness. You have endured enough pain and did a lot of sacrifices, now it is time for you to break free. It’s time for you to stay out of the dark. It’s time for you to be free from that toxic relationship. You deserve to be loved and you should never lose yourself while holding onto someone who doesn’t care about losing you. You should never lose yourself trying to keep someone else warm or trying to fit into their world. You should never lose yourself trying to live up to someone’s expectations. You should never lose yourself because you have lost a friend or a family member. No matter who may have walked out of your life, you should never lose yourself or change who you are. When you change to please your lover or anyone at all, you will lose yourself because you didn’t change for yourself. When you change to please others, your change will not last.

Don’t lose yourself trying to catch up or fit into a clique of people. Don’t lose yourself trying to impress everyone on social media or trying to be someone else. Don’t lose yourself by running the rat race. Don’t crucify or sabotage yourself trying to belong or live in a particular area of the city. Don’t lose yourself in your fears. Stop being the only one trying to fix things. Don’t lose yourself trying to prove yourself. Don’t love your relationship more than you love yourself. Don’t give out your heart without leaving none for yourself. Don’t get used to being mistreated. Don’t live another moment of your life allowing fear to dictate who you are and what you can do. Stop comparing yourself to others when you should be setting a standard for yourself. Put your trust in God before you put your trust on anyone else.

While many have said that you have to lose yourself to find yourself, the truth is that you don’t have to lose yourself to the wrong things or people. But if you have lost everything — all that you have, and not just yourself, there is hope for you. You may have lost yourself in 2019 but that doesn’t mean you can’t be found no matter what you’ve experienced, and no matter how much it hurt. It doesn’t matter who you used to be, what matters is who you have become. Take 2020 as your fresh start. Learn from your mistakes and experiences, learn to love yourself, pack your bags and run to the arms of the only person you have left — God! He will heal your pain. And if you will draw closer to Him, I can assure you that no matter how many times you lose yourself, you will always find your way to being whole again. Trust in God today and keep pressing in through prayers.

If you are among those that were crushed under the weight of heartbreak this season, be encouraged and know that you are not finished. God is closer to you than ever. Don’t allow the weight of the past to keep you from moving forward. Rest in His rescue and do your things at your own pace. Love will surely come at your own pace and when the time is right and you’re ready, you will receive love. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23). Find God and grow in faith. Be kind and be selfless. Stop chasing after people. Value your time and space by making decisions that are right for you. Pay attention to where you put your energy. Dream again, love again, know your identity and don’t forget your worth.

I would love to meet you one day but before then, please take your heart seriously. It’s what Jesus died for. Don’t allow people to think that it’s perfectly fine to mistreat you, abuse your kindness or play with your emotions. Be strong enough to set boundaries even if you disappoint others. Set boundaries even if other people don’t like them. If someone has been taken advantage of you for too long, you are encouraged to set boundaries, even if they are perceived as hurtful. Love and take care of yourself and set boundaries even if it’s from your own “family”. Set boundaries even if that will cause you to lose someone you love. And by the way, you should never be afraid of losing (anyone). Don’t be afraid of losing your spouse or partner if your life is in danger. Don’t be afraid of losing your precious possessions if they are becoming a risk to you. If you must be afraid of anything, it should be about losing yourself, it should be about losing your salvation and ultimately your life. And if you must lose yourself to anything, lose yourself to God, His Word and to the service of humanity.

You have endured, you’ve been broken and you have known hardship with all that happened this year, but it’s time for you to be thankful for where it brought you. Be thankful for all the pain you felt along the way before the peace. Be thankful for the little things. Be thankful for nights that turned into mornings. Be thankful for friends that turned into family. Be thankful for dreams that turned into reality. Be thankful for those that left you. Be thankful for those that couldn’t keep to their promises. Be thankful for the people who stayed in your life. Be thankful for the drama around you. Be thankful for the hash lessons, they made you stronger. Be thankful for 2019 even though it was full of goodbyes. Be thankful for life. And “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV.

I pray for peace over your mind and heart today as you journey into a new year of restoration. I pray that you find a depth in God that erases the deepest of pains. I pray that whatever has kept you awake in the past few days, weeks and or months, God has already overcome. Rest in Who He is! If He was faithful to you in 2019, He will be faithful to you in 2020. He will make a way. He will never abandon you. Expect first-time miracles every day and restoration to favour (2 Corinthians 5:19). Make up your mind not to cry for the wrong people again. Remind yourself that the only person you have, and you can rely on outside God, is yourself. Don’t ever lose yourself trying to fix what’s meant to stay broken — it’s draining and unsustainable!

Wishing you and yours a happy new year full of peace! As you celebrate loud or quiet, near or far, I want you to know, you deserve to be happy!

Ali Papa

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