That night at home, I was in John's arms telling him about the horrible day. Our 10- year-old saw me and came to pat my shoulder.
"Mom," he said consolingly, "forty isn't THAT old," as if that MUST have been the reason for my sorrow.
I'm turning 40 in little more than a week. In my church, that is OLD. That is really, really up there. That is, like, MIDDLE-AGED!
I don't feel bad about it.
In fact, I feel great. I feel the great privilege of talking with the younger women about the early days of marriage, the early days of babies and toddlers, the sleeplessness, the wondering what your life is about. I love the honor of walking with the single women, of encouraging them, of talking about God's calling on our lives, of praying with and for them.
I wouldn't have this honor if I hadn't walked through these years myself. The Lord has been so very faithful, has blessed me with encouragement and instruction all the way through my life with Him (and even before, in the years that He was chasing after me).
A few night ago, a younger mother sought my advice about parenting.
Ahem, ME?! The one who struggles with anger, the impatient one, the one who wonders WHEN WILL GOD EVER EVER EVER change me?
Glory to God, I actually had something to say to her. What I told her was that the things that make us the most angry reveal the things we truly worship. When does the anger rise up in me? When my plans go awry? When my children don't conform perfectly to my will? When I'm disrespected or put down? Perhaps I am looking to control to give me life. Perhaps I am looking to appearances to give me life. Where am I seeking to find my hope and peace and worth and LIFE apart from Christ?
Let me be bold and say that if you don't think you have any idols, you are mistaken.
This growing older is God's grace. It is Christ's work in me. It is my loving Father, leading me through every circumstance, loving me all the while. He hears, He remembers, He knows (see Exodus). He cannot but love us.
In my darkest hours, I have wondered at the truth that Jesus yearns toward me, and is more willing to help than I am willing to believe that He is willing!
Friends, with tears I can say that God IS changing me. The hardest places now show a bit of give. The thorniest heart now has a bit of softness.
The one who calls you is faithful and HE WILL DO IT.
Joining with Emily by God's grace today. Go read.