Getting older isn’t for sissies, sister. I say this on the heels of someone I love turning forty. Like many of us, she is not completely embracing this adventure into a new decade. As one who has been there and done that, (forty, I mean) I can say in all sincerity, that forty really is fabulous. It’s true, there’s no denying the image in the mirror looking back at you is no longer that hot 25-year-old who once peered back at you, but hey, there are always tradeoffs.
On the eve of her fortieth birthday, she sent me a text that said,
“I’m not doing well with turning 50”
Then she said,
“I guess that auto correct put it into perspective”
Yes, I thought, it does. You see, I’M actually the one turning fifty…
In preparation for turning fifty (tomorrow!), I have been calling myself fifty for the last year just to get used to the idea. My best friend will always emphatically remind me that I am not fifty… YET!
I can’t say that I completely appreciate the folks who say that age is just a number. I can find merit in what they are trying to convey, but they want to assert that your age is irrelevant. I think it is relevant. With age comes a lot of things. Each year brings us experience and insight. We gain perspective and wisdom as we move through this life. That 25-year-old young woman who used to look back at me from my mirror was lacking in so many ways. She thought she had the world by the tail, but she was so naïve. She had no idea of the things she would experience and learn, and the ways she would grow and become.
There is a Facebook group that keeps a record of and memorializes classmates who have passed away since my high school graduation. Far too many have died way too young. They didn’t get to grow old with their spouses, see their kids grow up and get married, and they didn’t get to meet and love on their grandchildren.
Every day we exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen is a blessing, and to bemoan any single one because we are growing older is displaying an ungrateful heart. At least that’s what I tell myself on those days when I notice the wrinkles, sags, and bags, and aches and pains start to get me down.
I am determined to face this next decade with grace and class. To my younger friends, I can say with all confidence that the last decade has been fabulous. The forties have us stepping into a confidence in ourselves that we have not felt before. We have finally had enough life experiences to go boldly into each day knowing that we can likely face whatever is coming and know how to handle it well. Our relationships grow deeper and mean more to us because we finally begin to understand the things that truly matter in this life.
And here’s the kicker for us who believe and trust in Jesus. We are just passing through this place anyway. We hold so tightly to this world that we can sometimes forget that we will one day take off this aging, sickness prone, imperfect body in exchange for one that will know no time, no age, no pain and no leaky bladders! We will praise Jesus, worship the Father, and abide in the Holy Spirit for ten thousand years and find we have “no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we’ve first begun”. We trod through this life in a body not meant to last, and we get all upset when it begins to show signs of wear.
Not too long ago, I played a silly Facebook game that assigned an age to my profile picture. The age I got was 21. Now that’s funny. Facebook is such a liar.
No, Facebook, this is what FIFTY looks like!
Yesterday, I was in my garage repainting a few interior doors as Matthew and I get ready to sell our house. I was pondering our next steps when the next song from my iPhone started playing. It was Bachman Turner Overdrive’s song from 1974- You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet. It is one of my classic favorites… despite the terrible grammar.
And as I listened to it in the light of turning 50, I couldn’t help but think, “That’s God’s message to me right now!” He’s done so much in and through me to date, but in that moment, I believe He was telling me, “You ain’t seen nothin yet!” And I believe Him.