A few days ago, I turned 28. Having kind of rushed through the last 6 years of my life, birthing babies and trying to be a good wife, I sort of missed the anticipation of getting older. When I started this new life at the young age of 22, I was still in many ways a baby myself. I found myself growing up quickly in order to become (or at least start trying to become) the person, the adult, I knew God wanted me to be, as well as the woman and mother my children needed me to be. And then after that, it was a blur. Six years later, I sit here in the quiet of my office, all FOUR of my children asleep in their beds, thinking about how each passing year has changed me. I am not sure I can ever get back the slender figure I had at age 22 nor the means to eat whatever I want and not gain an ounce. I feel older and a bit wiser now, as I have spent my days filling my head with knowledge and my moments with experience.
But what else comes with age?
The passing of each year, adding another candle to the birthday cake, putting another notch in the belt of life, has found me with a sense of being not just older but fuller. (And I'm not just talking about my body shape here, people!) Fuller, meaning that I have stretched myself in order to accommodate all that God has placed in my hands; I have welcomed all of it, drawing it close to me, making it part of me. My children, my husband, the good and the bad - all of the shards and splinters of life graphed together to grow with me as each moment, each year slips into the next. I have become this vessel that is overflowing already but willing to take on more, willing to be more.
What comes with age is not just the knowledge we get in books, or even the experiences we capture and place in our minds to recall and learn from and create our identity with. For me what has come with age, the last six years especially, is not just a few extra pounds and more understanding of how to be a good mother to my children or a good wife to my husband. As with any and all things, time has given me the opportunity to change every aspect of who I am, to strengthen areas in my life that are weak, to let go of people and places and characteristics of myself that make me weak in fulfilling my purpose. And to learn about God's will for me, growing in that knowledge so that I may one day be completely full, ready to make my journey home to Him.
For me what has come with age is really the simplest of ideas hidden beneath the murky waters of a disquieted past, lost in the brilliant rays of a hopeful future, and rooted in the One who makes all things age..... A love for life and a willingness to abide by His plans for it. No matter what age I am, that will never change.