When I turned forty it was a lot like being in my thirties, forty-one was much the same as forty. My gosh. Forty-two hit and it was like I was hit with a brick wall. My knees yelled at me for doing a jumping contest with Timothy. They still haven’t recovered. When I am done with a eight, nine, ten hour shift at work my body blares a bullhorn at me asking me why I have assaulted it. I have not been impressed with forty-two or forty-three.
But, then I began to thinking about when I was in my late teenage years and young adult life. God used this time in my life to begin the healing process of my childhood. God appointed ordinary, people who struggled with their own sin to guide my life. To this day the women who came alongside me are counted blessed in my life and to this day hold a very sacred place in my heart.
What these women offered me was not how to apply make-up perfectly. It wasn’t an exercise program. It wasn’t self care tips. These women led me to the feet of Jesus. They prayed for me, they opened scripture (many times when I was less than thrilled about it), they listened and let me cry. I’m sure they shook their heads, gritted their teeth, and chuckled at my immature, confident, and young-adult-sure-I-knew-everything answers.
I often feel like a hot mess. I have a mom body, never wanted a mom body. My flesh, mind, body, and spirit are bruised, battered, and scared. How my husband still finds me attractive I’ll never know. How God can still use me I’ll never know. But, I’m confident if he could use my gentle, loving, kick me in the pants women in my life. Then, I pray, he will use me in young adults’ lives, as he used my friends in my life.
God uses our scars, our bruises, our stupid, bad, and awful decisions. When I struggled and was in the pit of hell on earth it wasn’t fan-fair or bright lights I needed. I needed a quiet place, with loving arms, with hot tea and coffee. I needed to sit on my older friend’s couch to just rest or take a slow stroll through the mountains (I lived in CO at the time). I needed this slow, gentle, kindness to rest my weary emotions, to rest my weary spirit, and be refreshed. They did not judge me, though they did kick me in the pants, and tell me things I needed to hear, but probably didn’t want to hear. And, in their love, they were right. In their love and kindness, I was able to hear them, process it, and begin to take personal responsibility to take steps towards Christ and choose the hard road.
So, while I get angry at my aging body, the way gravity has begun to pull at my body at places it didn’t before. I want to be the quiet, encouraging place to sit and rest. To listen and let the young adults process life, to come to healthy conclusions on their own. To put a well-placed thought or question to their fierce fire and sure-they-know everything selves. To spur them to take the hard road. We hate hard roads. We as humans naturally hate anything that makes us have to sacrifice our comfort zones. But, also resting knowing God has interceded in my stupid, sure I knew everything decisions, too and he will so so for them.
Titus 2:3 – “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, works at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
Lord, use me in the lives of those around me. Less of me, more of you, Jesus. I want to see like you. I want to love like you. I want to be kind and gentle like you. Show me how to listen more and talk less. Thank you for reminding me my aches and pains have a purpose, too. LOL Thank you for using a wretch like me.