What? I am forty. How did this happen? Just yesterday the collagen in my skin was full and firm and I could diet for three days and drop five pounds. Seriously. Things have shifted some, but thankfully my identity is not in my aging body, but in Jesus. I have been pondering some things this year and wanted to pass along some encouragement and advice to those of you who still have a metabolism and collagen in your skin. (Smile.) I am a “get-to-the-point” girl so, here are some things my forty-year-old-self would tell my 20-year-old-self:
- Life is a marathon not a sprint. In our twenties, we are looking for our place in the world. It is a time of discovery and looking forward to goals like graduating college, marriage, and fulfilling our purpose. We are looking toward the next big thing or to “arrive” in some area of life. Many times, when I “arrived” I was left feeling disappointed in some way. Life is a process and a journey. Your destiny is fulfilled all along the way. You don’t “arrive” at destiny! (John Maxwell advice.) So, relax and enjoy the journey. God is BIG! You can trust Him girls! Will you be faithful all along the way? This leads me to my next point.
- Joy and fulfillment come from obedience to God and being faithful to use the gifts that God gave you. It is being faithful in the simple things that you are gifted at that will bring joy and even success in your life. Many times, this is not glamorous and we can fall prey to looking out there for bigger and better things. It’s in the unseen labor of faithfulness and obedience that develops the endurance and character that will bring you down the path of your purpose. Can you get derailed? That’s why it is so important to stay close to Jesus and keep sin far away.
- You will be tested. You will have mountaintop experiences with God and you also will walk through valleys. God is with you in both! Before God releases you into the fullness of what He has, you will be tested. Abraham was repeatedly tested and then with the final test of Isaac, God knew that Abraham could be trusted to lead His people. Testing reveals your heart to God and it also reveals your heart to YOU. Our hearts are “deceitfully wicked”. Times of testing determines if your character can carry you to the places and people that God wants to entrust to you. Remember, the greater influence over other people, the greater the testing.
- Don’t let go of the God-dream in your heart! You will get weary during those times of testing. You will be tempted to quit or compromise. Don’t quit! Stay the path. Stay in your lane. Stir up your faith. It’s your job to stir-up your faith and cling to His promises. “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Hebrews 6:12
So, there’s my two cents! I pray that you will be encouraged to relax, stay close to Jesus, stay in your lane, and to cling to the dream of God in your heart. It WILL come to pass if God said it! You just have to be patient and enjoy the journey. God’s timing is not our timing and every person is different! I would love to hear from other women older than 40 to share what their experience has taught them for our 20-something girls!