I turn 50 this week. And can I just say I am running at it with everything I have. Reveling in the fact that I am older and hopefully wiser! Celebrating by doing 50 things I have never done before in this year that I turn 50. Comfortable in my own skin. Excited to see what the next 50 years bring – God willing!
As a younger woman I was not a fan of the Proverbs 31 woman. She seemed too perfect and set a standard which I felt sadly equipped to meet. Now as a middle-aged woman (and no, I am not afraid to use that label – if God blesses me with a 100 years on this earth then at 50 I am middle aged) I see her in a different light and am claiming Proverbs 31:25–26 as my life verse for the second half of my life.
These verses say, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” I want all of this as I look back and press forward – strength, dignity, wisdom and the opportunity to give faithful instruction when asked. This is a goal to which I strive and to which God calls me.
Titus 2:3-5 says, “Likewise, teach older women to be reverent in they way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
Powerful words that take multiple generations working together to complete. I have longed for a mentor for most of my adult life and have not had the opportunity. When I became of aware of the fact that I should be mentoring someone younger than I am while being mentored by someone older than I am I felt inadequate and ill-equipped to do so. I felt like I needed to have all the answers, so I could share them with someone else. Instead of understanding that we could find the answers together and trusting that God and his Word would supply what we needed in the relationship.
In an ideal world what does this look like? High schoolers coming alongside middle schoolers. College attenders coming alongside those still in high school. Young adults out of college coming alongside those still in college. More established marrieds coming alongside newly marrieds. Parents with more experience coming alongside those with less. And so on (you get the idea). What if we looked to God, his Word, and the people ahead of us on the path for answers instead of Google, Facebook, Pinterest and our peers? I think the end result would be a more connected church and society, a better understanding and appreciation of other generations, and stronger marriages and families.
So, as I sit in the middle I will pray for God to bring people into my life that have a desire to enter into this kind of relationship with me – older and younger – doing life together as we strive to be all that God has created us to be.
In the meantime, I am embracing each gray hair that grows (Proverbs 16:31 Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is obtained by following a righteous path), fighting every wrinkle and buying multiple pairs of really cute readers!