Dear Freshmen Adam,

You don’t know everything. You never will. You can’t see the full picture right now. That’s not the point. You look at life as if it’s something you have to figure out so that you don’t get hurt or left behind, but really you were created to live out the things that scare you the most. You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you that the most important thing in life is to exchange love with your Maker and the people He made, but I’m not worried because you’ll find out soon enough.

I don’t think it’d do you any good for me to just give you all the do’s and don’ts because that’s what you get hung up on already. “I should do this.” “I shouldn’t do that.” You’re living life afraid, Adam. Trying to figure things out from afar. Expecting yourself to be perfect at things before you ever even try them. There’s this heavy yoke around your neck because you put it there. Nobody else did. I give you permission to look like an idiot. I give you permission to fail at things multiple times without every succeeding. I give you permission to step into a group of strangers and trust that they want you there. People want to know who you are, because you’re already good and amazing. Let them know you. They’ll be better for it. They don’t expect you to have all the answers to stop expecting that of yourself.

You’re about to enter into one of the most difficult times of your life. But again, I’m not going to tell you what to do. Let God show you how to be fully human. Let Him Shepherd your soul and comfort your heart. You’ll learn to lean on Him. You’ll learn that He speaks. Show yourself grace. God has given you grace in place of grace. It’s your life’s aim to receive that grace every day. You cannot live without it. God’s grace is to you as bread and water is to your body. Your life will be marked and sustained by the grace of God. Don’t trick yourself into living self-sufficiently. Thinking you don’t need something as lowly as grace. You’re in constant need of it. Receive it.

You’ve been set apart. Not to do great things though. You’ve been set apart to become a part of a family. You’ve been set apart to know your Father. You’ve been set apart to bring other people into your family. Make it your life aim to exchange love with your family and to make it bigger and more unified. Your calling isn’t tied up in your major, your job or your future wife. Choose to be with people more than you choose to get things done or do school work. Go have some fun and make some messes. Learn as much as you can but don’t think for a second that your intellect is your identity. So be willing to admit when you’re wrong and when you’re in over your head. Last of all, don’t be afraid. God is closer than you think.

I love you. God loves you. People love you. Love yourself. Love God. Love People.