Advent Day 12 – Thursday, December 7

I’ve wondered about the practice of writing a letter to one’s younger self. Here’s some of what I’d say to my younger self. It’s a message I want to remember in these Advent days: God with us.

Dear Younger Me,

I see you so clearly at our home church as a kid. You are so at home, so involved in youth ministry and at worship. I remember you walking to church alone one summer Sunday, and relishing how grown-up you felt.

I also remember how you’d listen to the voices of your parents and your sister during the Lord’s Prayer. Even as a bratty teenager that was one practice you consistently came back to: hearing each of their voices in that prayer, and sealing the memory away. Years later, grown up with a husband and family of your own, you still listened for each voice praying in worship, and each voice singing, too. You couldn’t have known back then that you would continue to treasure the voices of those you love the most, and that those memories would be like God’s voice in your ears over a lifetime. You wouldn’t have believed that one day you’d be a grandma, and those new small voices would ring so clear and true, praying with you, and a row full of family.

God’s voice has been in your ear, and heart, for many years, little Andrea, and I’m writing to let you know it never goes away. God’s voice sounds like all those you love, and who love you. It sounds like the voices you’ve heard in other parts of the world, praying in different languages, yet united in one faith. It sounds like the many communities of faith you’ve worshipped in throughout your lifetime, singing praises and offering up their prayers. The common thread, the clear voice, always there, has been God’s voice, in, with, and under all those voices you’ve heard and treasured. The Good Shepherd who has called you throughout your life, still calling and comforting, encouraging and loving you all the days of your life. God with us.

John 10:3-4 says, “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.”

Remember that especially in Advent, little Andrea.

I love you,


P.S.: Don’t worry so much about your hair. In the end, it just turns white. Let it go.

Rev. Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl