I just turned 47. After more than two decades in America, I still haven’t grasped why it’s considered impolite to ask a woman her age. I am so relieved not to be 17! The world was spinning then, as an Alice-in -Wonderland concoction of disconnected experiments, and I didn’t know where to find solid ground.
But Jesus found me, planted my feet on the Rock, and an inner calm began to spread through the spheres of my life. There were even seasons when I thought I had figured it all out, when I had easy answers to most questions, but thankfully, those were brief. Reality interrupted that illusion, and my Shepherd kept leading me further from the boat to deeper waters.
Life now is both paradoxical complexities and freeing simplicity. I am what I am and what He is making me. My flaws don’t surprise me. They grieve me more than ever and I discover fresh grace like never before. My risk-taking has some substance of experience under its wings – I trust Him more. I trust me less.
Perhaps I expected to arrive at this life season less vulnerable. So many midlife jokes portray an “I couldn’t care less” attitude as the ticket to freedom here. Not me. When I hugged my son goodbye before college, turned and walked away, it felt like my breasts were ripped off. When I realize I hurt someone, I can barely breathe till peace has been restored. And when in the presence of dear ones, like my beloved sisters at church, I am bursting out of my skin to release the tenderness that mustn’t be wasted.
I feel more deeply, cry more easily, but also laugh more freely and certainly heal much better than my younger self. Life is a vapor, a breath in a cold morning, and then we’re Home. The brevity urges me to cherish it more, and yet, straining against the restrictions here, my soul is eager to shed this cocoon and fly into eternity.
Meanwhile, there is Grace. Breaking my falls, it wraps me in comfort, as it salves me from life’s bites as much as it balms the hurts I have caused. The latter amazes me more. Such undeserved kindness lifts my eyes to my Savior. I see Him everywhere.
“And there’s a loyalty that’s deeper
Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegiance
I owe only to the giver
Of all good things
So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That You will pull me through
And if I can’t, let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his Home”
~ Rich Mullins