My friend posted a picture of us from 17 years ago. (Sorry Amy - you posted it, now it's on my blog!) I'm weird I think. I look at old photos of me and don't think I look much different. I look in the mirror and don't notice the lines forming. The gray hairs don't bother me (I color my hair for the change, not to cover gray...I actually can't wait to have a skunk stripe! When I have that much gray, I plan to let it be!!) I don't FEEL old, other than the before mentioned "old soul" that I've always felt abides in me. I endure my teenage daughters music with the same distaste as some of the music my husband still listens to from when we were teens (ie: Greenday). My spirit doesn't feel any older than 17 years ago. Is that strange?
Sure I've aged. My body has changed. My joints take a little more TLC. I have to watch my diet more. Gravity works against me just like anyone else. But I when I look at pictures of myself, I still see the Jody that laughs so loud and hard that I get the same squinty eyes as 17 years ago (and the full teeth and gum shot that I've never really loved...but at least I'm smiling). I see the girl who has struggled. I see the girl who can hold much strength. I see the passion and the apathy. I see the sorrows and the joys. I just see me.
|17 years ago. When I only dreamed of living in Colorado.|
I will admit that there is a HUGE fear I have of getting older, one that I am beginning to understand why it's easy to do....I don't want to grow so old that all I can do is sit and wait for eternity....numb, tired and joyless. I never want the sorrows or struggles of this world to take such a hold of me that I'm left with no hope, no mission, no passion. I don't want to grow so cynical of this life and world that I fail to see the beauty in all things new and different and old and rusty. I don't want to "retire" from all that God has for me. When my mind goes (if it hasn't gone already), and my body fails entirely - I want my heart to be fully alive and renewed with each passing day in Christ Jesus, just as he promises me it will be. I realize I am still too young to even begin to think I know the secret to aging gracefully, but for now - I'm going with that.
I love that God didn't leave us to this life without a glimpse into His heart on aging. If He says it's a good thing and that he is in it, who am I to think any different?
So happy birthday to me. My prayer this year, and every year?? Come, Lord Jesus. Come! But until you do...remind me you aren't finished with me just yet. (And may blogger be around for 40 more years in case I need to read this one day.)
2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
Proverbs 20:29 ESV
The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
Isaiah 46:3-4 ESV
“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.
Psalm 92:12-14 ESV
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,
Philippians 3:20-21 ESV
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Proverbs 16:31 ESV
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
Psalm 103:1-5 ESV
Of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Ecclesiastes 2:24 ESV
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,