An Open Letter to the Woman I Used to be

To the woman I used to be just over a decade ago…

You’ve come a long way in eleven years. Back then, at the tender age of 25, the future felt fresh. New. You were confident and upbeat. But it was only a surface confidence that was frail and rooted in sandy soil.

You thought your life story was all about one thing: overcoming an illness. You took pride in the talent of singing and were convinced that was the proof that you had overcome the insidious beast hiding inside your lungs – cystic fibrosis.

But you were wrong.

You had no idea how close you were to stepping into the hardest, darkest season of your life. You had yet to go through the fire of refinement that forges the resolve that true overcomers embrace. It is those scorching flames that will test your faith and ultimately build a strong, firmly rooted confidence in what matters most – God’s Truth.

If I could go back in time and warn you of anything, it would be this:

You are braver than you realize. This season, which will last several years, will be the most rewarding experience you’ve ever gone through.

Your current risk-taking optimism and willingness to dig deep and uncover your insecurities matters more than you know. It is this eagerness to go after a bigger purpose for your life that will drive you, for without it you would never take the first step and forever be stuck in the same spot.

Your journey unfolds in ways you can’t imagine.

There will be dark, lonely moments where you want to give up and you question if God is even there at all. In those moments, trust that He is; because He will be. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope.

You will be faced with the decision to hold on to your pride and ego so you always feel comfortable and superior, or let it go so you can be molded into a woman who sees things from different perspectives. Always choose to let your pride and ego go, dear one. It will only suffocate you and keep you insecure if you don’t.

You will have moments in your marriage that break your heart and make you feel like quitting. Don’t. Your husband is the love of your life. He will be everything you need and more when the darkness comes. You will both hurt each other though, and the path of healing will take some time. I promise you, it will be worth it.

You will experience loss in depths you never knew was possible.

It will hurt, Sweetie. And depression and anxiety will come with it. They will try to kill you in every way possible. It is imperative that you hold on to TRUTH during those dark days with everything you have. It will feel like you don’t have the strength. But girl – you DO have the strength. You have exactly the right amount of strength so use it – God will show up and supply you with the rest.

You will overcome these trials and find that your faith is deeper. Stronger. You will look in the mirror and be proud of yourself. That day is coming! And you will find deep friendship with two women who become the sisters that your only-child heart has always longed for. Together you will laugh, cry, and help each other blossom as you each step into new dreams.

Speaking of dreams…

Your story is deeper than just overcoming cystic fibrosis and singing. In fact, remember that dream you buried in junior high of becoming an author? Well, it turns out that this is the dream that you want most. With it comes the dream of being a speaker and right now, at age 25, you are terrified to speak in front of people and you doubt you are capable of it. This is the dream you fear. I’m here to tell you that the day is coming where you will break free from that fear! Writing becomes the way that you heal and make sense of the things that happen to you. It also becomes the way that you encourage others. So use it in every way you can! Your story is multidimensional and it matters. Never be ashamed or afraid to tell it.

To the woman I used to be eleven years ago…

I just want to say that I am proud of you for not giving up. Turns out, I was afraid to really get to know you – but once I did, I chose to fight for the life God designed for you.

And I’m so very glad I did because…it gets better. (Oh yeah…and I’m so proud of you for rocking the purple magenta hair!)

Much love,


P.S. Hello dear Friend! I just want to add that no matter what your life story is, you matter too. It’s quite possible that there are parts of this letter to myself that brought tears to your eyes as you thought of your own story. It actually brought tears to my eyes as I wrote it!

Maybe you realized how proud of yourself you are. Or maybe you realized that you’re not where you want to be and you wish you could look back and be happy about your journey so far. Wherever you are at, I want to personally invite you to join Coach Raychel and I at Beautiful Wholeness this February. Click here for tickets and details.

P.P.S. I encourage you to write a letter to yourself too. It’s such a healing process!




1 comment on “An Open Letter to the Woman I Used to be”

  1. Sharon

    Mandy you have grown so much, for one I see you growing in having good judgement, second sand the most important, I cannot tell you how proud and blessed in seeing your growth with your Lord and Saviour and what mor could make a grandma happier, as nothing on this earth is as important with your relationship wit,h the Lord, and last I see the work you are doing in serving the Lord and the help you are doing with other people. All I can say is you have been such a blessing and it makes my heart sing. May God bless you and the work you are doing for the Lord.

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