It's my birthday week. Also known as, "let's party all week long!". In a culture that glorifies youth and devalues growing older, I am unashamed to be a woman in my forties. I can't believe that I am the same age I remember my parents being. And I remember thinking that they were old. Sorry, Mom and Dad!
As a young woman in my twenties with a heart full of dreams, I never could have imagined the reality of what life would really be. Because the thing is, no matter how many people tell you about what marriage is like or parenting, or trying to juggle the responsibilities of a job, home, finances...you don't comprehend the fullness of it until you experience it. And you never know what may come into the path of your journey.
What?! You mean life isn't really like my favorite romantic books or movies?!
Jane Austen, you led me astray.
Don't get me wrong, there have been many incredible moments of happiness and beauty, of fun and love. But there have also been seasons of incredible heartache. Suffering that left me immobile, breathless, unable to speak, and clutching my heart because it literally felt like it was breaking. And there are some losses that I will grieve the rest of my life.
Suffering can be so hard to comprehend and no one escapes it.
But much can be learned in the school of suffering. I have gratitude not necessarily for the tragedies, but for what came out of the tragedies. Suffering, if allowed, can bring something forth from within us in a way that nothing else can. It can drive us away from God or closer to Him.
My prayer is that I will continue to cling to God and His promises. That I will continue to try to see my life story as part of a greater Story and keep an Eternal perspective. As I continue to age, I want to grow in wisdom and knowledge of God. May I keep forgiving and asking for forgiveness, gracefully and respectfully. And so I choose to celebrate growing older because it is a beautiful process.
I want to express myself, my creativity, passion, and fun-loving attitude for the rest of my life. And may I continue to rock my style well into my seventies and beyond. Speaking of 70s (as in 1970) today I am wearing my grandma's poncho. I found this when my mom, my uncle, and I were cleaning Grandma's house. And I was GIDDY! My mom and my uncle just laughed, shook their heads, and I could tell they wanted to tell me I am crazy. However, telling me I am crazy may just point to a family trait, so I believe that is why they kept that comment to themselves.