Dear Me: A Letter

Dear Me in High School,

It’s hard for me to face you at all. I see you on stage in that play, your nervous bones, all the fire to be loved, to be called beautiful, your reaching out in art to feel the world beyond your long chert driveway. I’m writing to tell you that you’re right about a lot of things, but your perspective is incredibly short. You’re right. There’s more. There’s more. There’s more.

There are babies, and when they come out they’ll rip a wormhole straight into your spirit. You’ll pour out, and you’ll meet God inside yourself, where everything burns. There’s a man who isn’t dark in his heart, and he’ll want to kiss you when your breath smells bad. He’ll have broad shoulders and wrap his arms round and round, and he’ll forgive you even when it makes him want to die. There’s a church, and she’ll come to know you and show you how to love and how to eat Jesus’ words. There’s singing with the church until you die, and this may be the most important thing Mama and Daddy ever taught you.

You are good at empathy in love, and you like to save the boys. You’ll always be this way, think your works can save, your body and the way you move, the way you give yourself. I wish I could tell you to see beyond. There’s more. There’ll be people step in, unlovable, and God made you fast to love that way. You’ll learn the art of yoke again and again. You were never meant to carry the weight of another heart. You’ll never grow out of feeling deep and heavy. You’re a whiplash of emotion for a reason, but it may take you a lifetime to figure it out. I still find myself crying for the boys, only they are my own. Amber. You will birth four boys. You will walk around your house and say how did I get here?

One day you will “get saved,” as stupid as that sounds to you now; you’ll be picked up off the floor and given a new mind. Your story gets really dark before that. One day you’ll wake up and lay your body on the ground and offer up your breath. You’ll die that day. You’ll leave the room addicted to resurrection.

You never confused yourself for the good girl, not ever, and that will prove to be a good thing, because your callings are lowly. God will never not meet you low.  I wish you could see far enough down the road to stop pitching fits about not being first or best, but apparently that’s a lesson that takes a while to learn.

The people who like to talk about our otherness and the deeper things for you are the potheads and soon-to-be junkies. I laugh when I say that these conversations were meant for the church, and oh there’s more. Wait for it. You’ll meet men from Ethiopia who descended from the eunuch. You’ll have friends who have seen the goodness of God even as their babies slipped away. The church is magnificent. Scripture is living. It will put on flesh and lay in the bed with you in hospitals. You’ll see miracles and filter the world like a poet, and you’ll have poet friends who believe with you.

It’s coming. Jesus is coming. Just hold on.


Yourself, Mary Amber, age 33

My dear friend Emily Freeman of Chatting at the Sky has written a book for young women. I flipped through the pages of Graceful, and I stood in my kitchen and cried. I actually cried for myself, my story, and I haven’t done that in a very long time. Oh that I would have learned from women like Emily about being graceful, pure, real, and free. If you have a young woman in your life, please buy this book for her.

In the meantime, would you want to write a letter like this to yourself? We would love to read it. Simply write it on your own blog and go to Chatting at the Sky this Friday, September 14 to link up!

This video makes me bawl. The end.

About me


What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
Where Healing Begins: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post from Sarah Jo Burch
November 23, 2015
When Home Is Within: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post from Mandy Mianecki
November 02, 2015
Dear Seth: A Marriage Letter on Your Sobriety and What it Looks Like to Come Clean
October 27, 2015
Learning to Bend: A Wild in the Hollow Guest Post from Diana Trautwein
September 14, 2015
When God Rains Grace
August 31, 2015
Findings: the Parent Circle, the gifts, and the simpler thing
March 13, 2015
Women Set Apart
February 23, 2015
Embrace the Awkward
April 09, 2014


Reply September 12, 2012

wow. beautifully written. i love the bit about people who talk of "otherness." i can relate to that in my teen years, too. glad i read this this morning. thank you.

    Reply September 12, 2012

    THanks for coming here, Morgan. Really really.

Reply September 12, 2012

beautiful...what a Redeemer....thankful for the picture of how He's working in you. He does beautiful work!

Reply September 12, 2012

Oh my heart. This grabbed hold of me this morning. Not sure I'll let it go...beautiful.

Thank you.

Reply September 12, 2012


Reply September 12, 2012

I am holding it in a little because I know if I let it go it will pour down and then people will walk into work in a few minutes and ask if my dog died or something. Nonetheless this is so, so beautiful. All of it. I want, deep down, to write a letter on Friday. But, was it hard? I mean, of course. But here's my thing: I am so. in. progress. And we all are. I am for sure in the process of sanctification--I don't feel complete. What I mean is, the end of the letter for me, right now, says, you have so far to come for the gospel to really be all it's supposed to be in your life. But the corner has peered out and you are suddenly seeing a little of what the beauty looks like. It's an unfinished letter. Like its author I guess. Thank you for sharing your spirit. Your transparency is what keeps me coming back, loving more pieces of you each time.

    Reply September 12, 2012

    oh Jess, write it! Gracious, writing this letter was way more revealing about my current state than even my condition back then. What I was learning then, I'm still learning now. It's good to see maturity. It's proof to me.

    Thanks for coming here. It's crazy that I even have a blog sometimes, much less that people read it.

    Let me know if you write for Friday!

Jessica Y
Reply September 12, 2012

Kinda felt like looking in a mirror.

Reply September 12, 2012

Dear Young Amber,

You will also grow up to still be TS (of WTS fashion), it will just be for reasons other than screaming the words to "You Oughta Know" at the top of you lungs while riding around in a white Toyota with 3 of your closest friends... :). You will still be TS, in fact, because of your strength of keeping such a beautiful family together and how beautifully you share your life experiences through your writing. :)


    Reply September 13, 2012

    Jennifer, the fact that you even know I have a blog is just CRAZY! Gracious I love you, and yes ... WTS, even still. :)

the Blah Blah Blahger
Reply September 12, 2012

If only I could tell my younger self what I know now!!!

Awesome post! I'm going to check out that book for my niece, too!

Reply September 12, 2012

"One day you’ll wake up and lay your body on the ground and offer up your breath. You’ll die that day. You’ll leave the room addicted to resurrection."

Oh Amber, so so so good.

And how often I forget it—thanks for your words that always leave me remembering resurrection. I need to write this one Friday.

Reply September 12, 2012


Darcy Wiley
Reply September 12, 2012

Feeling like a kindred in this: "You were never meant to carry the weight of another heart. You’ll never grow out of feeling deep and heavy. You’re a whiplash of emotion for a reason, but it may take you a lifetime to figure it out." And the part where you said "eat Jesus' words". :) I've been wanting to write a letter to my middle school self for a while. I was inspired first by Julie Orringer's "Note to Sixth-Grade Self" in her collection _How to Breathe Underwater_, but my soul resonates much more with the worldview behind these Dear Me posts. I'm enjoying them immensely and hope to join in at week's end.

Amanda Medlin
Reply September 12, 2012

Wow Amber! You have such a way with words. Simply beautiful!

Diana Trautwein
Reply September 13, 2012

Whenever I come here and drink your words, I wonder why in the heck I ever write anything at all. Sigh. Just gorgeous, dear Amber. Thank you.

    Reply September 13, 2012

    You are a silly woman, but I sure love you. :)

Diana Trautwein
Reply September 13, 2012

And, yeah. I wrote one, too.

Reply September 14, 2012

You have inspired me. Again.

Reply September 14, 2012

Amber, I have been reading these "Dear Me" letters all week but this one? It especially undid me. It is raw and so honest {you always are and I love that} and beautiful. I look into these teenage hearts {including my own} and I realize how fragile they all were and still are.

Reply September 18, 2012

Dear Amber,
Can't tell you how much that letter about growing up ministered to my 27-yr old self, my soul. Thanks for reminding me that there is more and more and more. And there will be a man who is not dark in the heart, how children will rip a hole in the spirit, how the Word becomes flesh and lies beside you on a hospital bed.

Jessica G.
Reply September 22, 2012

This letter is so beautiful that I cried. I love your soul and your words and seeing Jesus in them.

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