I love my age. Who am I kidding? I love all my ”ages”!
Each stage of life has brought me closer to my Savior. I have enjoyed great family memories. I can show you my life scars from trials endured because God is my healer. I have friends that I share my life with. I love what I do. I love to teach. Is life perfect? Nope, not even close. But as I grow older, counting my blessings becomes easier. What really matters becomes clearer as time passes. I look back at myself through the lens of fifty years, and I wish I could travel through time and encourage my younger self. I would tell her some things I’ve learned along the way.
Dear Twenty Something Year Old Beth,
You are a wife and mother of three little boys. I know this is what you have always dreamed of since you were a little girl. I know you received advice about cherishing every moment with your children. Even though household duties get in the way, I can see you really trying to capture every moment. You say you won’t forget the antics and the moments your little children made you laugh, but I am sad to tell you, you will. Some of the stories survived but now that your children are grown, you will long for more. I know you are busy, but if you could just write down those memories I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much. Oh, one more thing, lose the 80’s perm, it looks ridiculous. Just be yourself. By the way, I know you don’t think so, but you are doing a great job.
Fifty Something Beth
Dear Thirty Something Year Old Beth,
I know you are going through a really tough time right now. I know…. your dreams seem to be fading. I just want to tell you that God will give you a garland of beauty instead of the ashes you see before you. He will. There is something else you need to know. Everything, and I mean everything, yes even that……….. is for a purpose. I know you don’t believe me. May I dry your tears? Beth, not one painful experience will be wasted. One day, you will whisper your story into the ear of a brokenhearted woman, and it will restore her hope. You will share with hundreds of women how all of this shaped and molded you into the woman God wants you to be. They will be strengthened by your walk of faith that is so painful right now. I don’t have to tell you to lean on God’s strength. You are already doing it. I just wanted to tell you that morning does come after the night. Don’t give up. You are beautiful, and you are enough. You are not forsaken, and God delights in you. I see your hair is straight again. I like it. You are going to make it through this.
Fifty Something Beth
Dear Forty Something Year Old Beth,
Oh Beth, this is beautiful. What a joy to see what God has done! I see you enjoying your loving husband and beautiful children…… eight beautiful children. Who would have thought? What a story of redemption! You are so blessed. And….Oh!…. all the opportunities to serve in ministry. But Beth, I need you to sit down….. just for a moment. This is really important. Please listen; your worth is secure. Your worth is not in what you do or don’t do. You are hiding behind masks you have created. I know you are still afraid to let others see who you are. You feel judged. But I have to be honest with you, some of that judgment you feel is being created by you. Remember, your worth is already determined. You. Can. Rest. Beth. It’s okay. One by one, let God unpack the hurts and bitterness of the past. God carried you through before; He will do it again. One more thing, I know you are weary. It is not easy being a mom to eight children. You know all those seeds of kindness you do for your family that you think no one notices? They do notice. Just wait until your fiftieth birthday party and see what your children say to you. You know the seeds you planted in ministry? They are going to make a difference. Hey, make sure you are doing everything to honor Jesus and not to prove your significance. By the way, I think you look better than when you did in your twenties, even in your hand-me down clothes from your friends. Love your new hair color- medium golden brown. Aren’t you grateful for L’oreal? Gray just isn’t our color.
Fifty Something Beth
It’s funny how we can look back and see things differently. I guess that’s why in Titus, chapter 2, older women are instructed to encourage the younger. I wonder what my sixty-something self will say to my fifty-something self. I wonder what she will say to all the “ages”. What perspective will she offer? I can’t wait to find out. I know there are highs and lows still yet to be lived. But I do smile at the future because I know heaven is my home.
However, today is my birthday; I will celebrate because I am Jesus’ bride, and His desire is for me. I will celebrate with the words of Dr. Seuss, “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive…..who is you-er than you!”
Today, I rest in God’s grace more than ever.
And just like the wise old sage once said, “The older I get, the less I know.” Humility precedes my journey down whatever path God has for me. But one thing I do know ….. my desire, no my passion, for change is greater than ever. I hunger to be changed into Christ’s very image. I want to love and serve more deeply than I ever have in my life. And I want to honor Jesus with everything I have…. even in my fifty-something hot flashes.
From Our Home To Yours,