Aging with Grace

By on December 7, 2012

Submitted by Ken Meyers –

attractive mature woman For the longest time I had not given much thought about getting older; every year was just another year on the calendar. For me it did not have anything to do with a number, I realize this isn’t the case for all women. I was taking care of myself and I just continued to feel good, thought I was looking rather good for any age. So it wasn’t an age issue with me but one day (I can’t give you a precise date) I just woke up and things were changing. It seemed my face had fallen, the lines were more noticeable and I couldn’t read without reading glasses. That was a frightening revelation for me. I panicked for a while, bought new face cream, tried facial exercises, and pretended I could see. That’s when all those warnings you got from your mother and grandmother come to mind. Gee, I should have listened. “Don’t forget your neck is part of your face; make sure you put cream on it!” “Don’t rub your eyes that hard, they will start to sag!” Ah, but when we are young we can never imagine we will look like mom or grandma!

After coming to grips with the situation (along with the new face cream and kicking up my workout a few notches), I decided I liked the old adage that you are as young as you feel. I felt great and was planning on staying young! I had found this adage to be true in looking at members of my own family. My Dad’s side of the family was born looking and acting old, I never could understand it but they did. On the other hand my Mother’s family looked and acted young. Almost every one of them is full of fun, wit, and I noticed that even the ones that have passed away had a glimmer in their eyes until the day they died. As I look back I am sure it was an attitude of the heart. I believe this to be the answer.

I believe people can be emotionally and mentally mature and still have fun, be silly, and enjoy life. It’s not a sign of maturity to be somber. I often wondered what was wrong with me that I did not wake up one day and become “mature”. If that meant you had to give up your zest for life, lose the ability to find new things exciting, and stop looking for new adventures then I wasn’t up for it. No, I don’t think that is what maturity is. Actually the kind of maturity I am embracing is an inner confidence, not caring so much about what people think (and not using that power for evil), and the ability to relax enough to take the time to finally enjoy life.

I am thankful for so many things. The most important thing is that I have a relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Lord, through His word and His great love for me has given me a sustainable peace and joy that transcends age. I’m not saying I did not have issues with aging, but in aging, as I shared my insecurities and concerns with Him I received peace. I have joy and a worth that comes from knowing Him that has nothing to do with my outward appearance.

You might think that I may just be a beautiful woman who has aged gracefully, so I can make the above statement with ease. Not so. Ten years ago I was in a car accident in which God spared my life. He also spared me losing my right leg, praise Him! But what I believed was once attractive legs are now totally scarred, it also took a great toll on my face and body. It has taken me many years of soul searching, reading God’s word, and prayer on my knees before my Lord to come to this place in my life.

God has blessed me with two beautiful children. My daughter is seven years older than my son and has been such a loving, supportive part of my life since she was born. She has always loved her mom, always been there for me, no matter what. I know she has noticed the changes that I’ve gone through in my life because we’ve discussed them as I was struggling. But with my son it has been a little different. He never showed signs of noticing changes in his Mom; I was never quite sure what he was thinking, except of course the fact that he loved me dearly. But in the past couple of years he has looked at me and said, “Mom, you are so pretty!” To which I say, “You’re crazy, what do you want?” Ha! He says, “No Mom, I mean it. You are so much prettier than you were when I was younger. I love your skin, it’s so soft.” Well…. What do you think about that? That is inner beauty shining out. I praise God for helping me to age gracefully in His love. With Him nothing is impossible.

And all this is not to say that a woman cannot be beautiful on the outside to have inner beauty. But growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ can take a beautiful woman and make her absolutely radiant!

I will share a couple scriptures with you that I love. I just heard a wonderful sermon on this first verse. Some people take this scripture to mean that a woman can’t wear jewelry, braid their hair, or wear nice clothes. But I believe what our Lord meant was to not let that be your only means of beauty, don’t rely on the external decorations. God looks upon the heart and not the outward appearance and that is what we should focus our efforts on, having a beautiful heart in God’s sight and in man’s.

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)

 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

 

Ken Myers as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance.  He is a regular contributor of “www.gonannies.com/”.  You can get in touch with him at [email protected]. The above story is based on a testimony of a woman who preferred to remain anonymous.

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Aging with Grace