Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Better Than the Alternative

For a few years now I've been flipping out about my approaching 50th birthday.
Thirty felt young--for goodness sake, my first baby was barely a year old then. 
And 40 was no big deal.  Heck, I had a baby at 43!
But this half-century mark has been looming like a dark cloud on my horizon:
  • For the first time ever, I was embarrassed to state my age.
  • I dreaded becoming lonely and frail (despite the fact that the older generation of my family is busy and cheerful).
  • I worried about becoming insignificant/obsolete, having my children outgrow me.  They are a huge part of my life.  Would I stop mattering as they naturally and rightly mature and move on?
Fifty didn't equal elderly to me, but it felt like the beginning of the end.
It may sound silly to you, but my angst and sense of foreboding were growing steadily.  Once in a while I'd joke that growing old "beats the alternative," but that wasn't enough to actually turn my attitude around.
So what changed?
I had been reflecting on discerning and following God's will, and on those who abandon themselves to Him.  Blogposts and In Conversation With God nudged my mind.
For ages I've believed myself committed to doing God's will if only I know what it is.  But how do I know? 
Of course there's plenty of guidance out there, most of which I'm too lazy to seek out and read.  But one day a thought passed through the noise and struck my consciousness:  until further notice, I can assume that God's will for me includes growing old (or at least older).
Go ahead--laugh.  I think I did, too!  ;-) 
Yet that simple idea has turned my attitude around.  God wants me to live, and live for Him.
If any of my fears become reality, so be it.  I can cope and offer up any hardship.
Growing old, like growing up, is meant to be.  Happy birthday to me!
Photos taken by Lauren during our June vacation in the Smoky Mountains.


Melissa G said...

I for one appreciate the wisdom of your experiences. Carpe Diem!

Mom/Mimi said...

Beautiful thoughts. Beautiful family. Beautiful pictures.
I love you!
PS Imagine how I feel. My first born baby is turning 50 and my first born grandchild is getting married! Oh well, someday when the young couple make me a great-grandmother, I shall be known as Mimi the Great.
With smiles and love,

Marisa said...

This was beautiful and so are you! Thank you so much for sharing.