I have a younger brother.
That’s a hard one! I really like listening to old school sermons! I mean REAL old school! Leonard ravenhill stuff and spurgeon!
But I love judah smith, jack hayford the list goes on!
Awww man if I had to toss up it would be ‘let that be enough’ - switchfoot or ‘small enough’ by Nicole Nordeman . *tear
No I’ve always wanted to go though! I think I’d probably go crazy and take photos with everyone and everything.
Not bad - right now I’m playing cards with some of the youth. We drove down the highway with the windows down and now I have the sniffles :( but it’s been a great day. How are u?
You’re about to turn 16! Congratulations buddy! Happy Birthday!
As I recall you’re going to have a pretty big night on Saturday – you’re actually going to pass out drunk waking up to a messy house, a girl you don’t know and a lot of explaining to do. I guess you’re wondering who this is right? Well, it’s my birthday too! Only I’m turning 26 – pretty old huh? I’m writing to you 10 years from the future – I’m you little buddy. 10 years older you, that is! Well, where do I start?
I guess I’ll start by explaining why I’m writing this.
Well, It’s really for me (26 year old you!)
I wanted to look back on our life and reflect on the many memories, the heartache, and the achievements we’ve had that got us to this point. We’ve always been quite the dramatic type!
Can I just say that you’re in for one heck of a ride Will! The next 10 years of your life will be an absolute fairytale and whilst I won’t permit myself to give you spoilers I can however give you a little bit of advice that will help you along the way - after all at 16 we were young, reckless, daring but also very stupid.
16 years old and you’ve decided to walk away from God – do you remember the many phone calls and messages you’ve received from YD? You were really lost Will – and you still are. But in a few months’ time something will happen that will bring you back on the right path. Just make sure you start answering your phone calls ok?
By the way, remember that night you tried to kill yourself – crying yourself to sleep cause you couldn’t bring yourself to do it? There’s a reason why you didn’t/couldn’t do it. Wanna know why?
There is a purpose for your life Will. I know you’ve probably heard this many a time before – but one day you’ll see why things happened the way they did. So onto some reflecting and better yet some advice:
In a few years time you’ll be given particular information that will change the course of your entire life. You’ll find that this one ‘promise’ will direct a lot of your decisions, your career choice even your future love life. What you do with this information and how you respond to it will shape whom you’ll eventually be. To be honest I look back and am a bit disappointed with our efforts – but you will soon see how sovereign our God is and how faithful He continues to be. My advice? Trust Him fiercely, Will.
Oh sure I know how easy it is to say that but in a few years time – you’ll find how easy it is to trust Him when you have nothing left. It’s crazy because this piece of advice I’m giving you is something I still need 10 years later. I’ve often found myself breaking down in tears because of my lack of faith and trust in Him.
Sounds scary right?
You will go through some really dark moments Will. Valleys upon valleys of family hurdles, financial struggles, emotional instability, broken dreams and did I mention broken dreams?
You may not know it yet – but you soon will develop a deep connection and love for a particular craft/artform. I bet you’d laugh if I told you what career you’ll end up doing – I think right now in life you still want to be in the NBA right? We always were big dreamers Will.
Here’s a heads up – pay attention to something Brother Tom says during one of your ‘counseling sessions’. You haven’t met Brother Tom yet, but he’ll unknowingly prophesy something into our life that will turn out to be something quite significant.
Which leads me to my next piece of advice – dream tenaciously, Will.
You’ve always had a dreamer’s heart. Maybe it’s the way God wired us, maybe it’s because of the family breakdown – maybe it’s just because you’ve always possessed hope. There will come a time when you’ll have to choose which dreams are to be pursued and which are to be released.
The process itself will take a great humbling of pride – but if you lead your heart to Jesus, the dream manifests into an adventure you never realized possible.
Pay attention to the phrasing of that piece of advice by the way. I didn’t say dream Will – I said dream TENACIOUSLY.
You’ll understand one day what I mean by this.
Overtime you’ll fall in love with Him and you’ll find yourself in a relationship that will govern the way you see life – the greatest adventure you’ll ever have. But along with falling in love with Him – you will catch His heart.
A heart for His people – and where there is love, there will always be hostility.
I can’t even go on to elaborate just how misunderstood you become Will. There will be people who will really go out of their way to make you feel like you’re out of place but here’s my next advice for you – love deeply Will.
Do you remember what your biggest fear is? I bet you consider yourself to be pretty fearless at 16 huh? Let me remind you what your deepest fear is:
Losing the ones you love.
A few years from now you will lose a lot of the people you love and hold dear.
It will be one of the darkest and scariest seasons in your life – only by His grace will you survive. You will lose people you’ve invested so much of your time and life in and others who you’ve opened up every single part of your soul to. You will reach breaking point and the bottom will definitely fall out of life.
I get teary knowing what you’re in for because I still up to this day don’t know how we made it through.
No matter how low your life gets and the valleys that come – I pray that you love Him deeper, love people deeper.
It doesn’t make sense right now but when you go through it – hold on ok? And love deep!
My last and final piece of advice buddy, live humbly & passionately, Will.
I don’t want to puff up your head little one but you become quite good at stuff later on in life. The danger of knowing that you can do well is thinking we can do things in our own strength.
Sorry to say but you will make this mistake time and time again in the next 10 years. But you’ll get it soon enough!
There will be people who are inspired by your passionate zeal for Jesus and life that you will see your influence grow – but always stay humble Will. Count yourself small in your own eyes.
The person who tells you to ‘have an audience of one’ will be one of your greatest friends. Enjoy this while it lasts – because losing the closeness of this friendship will break your heart in pieces yet also bring you closer to Jesus.
Lastly here’s some other random points:
- Look at your right arm – enjoy it while its blank.
- Yes you will have a pretty cool car
- You will meet her in an interesting season.
- Never give up on your family.
- Remember when dad said you’ll never travel? Don’t worry he’s wrong. J
- No you won’t end up in the NBA.
Here’s my final goodbye kid. I will end this with 8 words that were spoken at a conference close to your birthday a few years back. 8 words that were based off one of your favorite movies. 8 words that you will often scream to yourself 10 years later in the hardest seasons of life.
‘Get up you bum! Cause Jesus loves you’.
Get up Will, always get up!
Will De los Santos (26)
but tonight my heart is heavy,
and I cannot keep from whispering this prayer:
are You there?