Yesterday I went with my husband to his 30 year high school reunion. Getting old affects us all, doesn't it? For some people, getting old is harder than for other people.
I looked forward to getting older when I was in my twenties. Never minded a birthday until one day someone asked how old I was, and I said that I was 37 years old. We began talking and I realized that I was actually 38 years old and I was having another birthday soon! Anxiety, fear and a touch of horror struck. Soon I would be 40.
I remember looking in the mirror and realizing I could no longer depend upon the gifts of innocent beauty and youth.
My mom loved the way I looked as a youth. She told me that she really wasn't ready to adopt another child when the agency called, but my mother explained that I was described to be very beautiful.
My mom used to try to dress and primp me up like her Shirley Temple doll and I resisted and rebelled like Helen Keller in her first training lessons with Anne Sullivan.
As I looked in the mirror approaching my 40th birthday, it did not lie or distort the truth. I was obese and my face no longer held much beauty, frankly.
I minimized my looks for years - didn't often wear make-up or flaunting clothing. On the other hand, I assumed what my mother said was true. That I was beautiful and I kept that power hidden in my back pocket of my confidence.
In my 30's and 40's, I couldn't lose weight on my own, but I knew God was powerful enough to enable me to lose weight. It was a spiritual battle of months and years, of tears and fearless pursuits. But God was victorious. He showed me the end of myself. The weakness contained in me. The sufficency in Christ.
I have become more beautiful in recent years. I wear make-up and exercise regularly. I have discovered my body is something I manage. It is not who I am.
I am an eternal creation of God, housed in a temporary body that, unfortunately (or not) is wasting away. May God enable that spiritually I be renewed day by day like the rising sun.