This is my last year in my 50’s. A few years ago I read that a lot of women in their 50’s feel invisible. I have to say I agree with that thought and struggled through quite a few years of this decade with those feelings of insecurity, worthlessness and depression.
I started our family young, having our first baby at just on 19 years of age. My first live born Grandchild came along when I was 45 (wow, a 15 year old gbaby this year!). I still remember turning 50 as being a challenging time. It was when my body started to break down; My last daughter left home, my job prospects were uncertain as was my confidence and all of a sudden despite trying to maintain my my best efforts in my self perspective in God, I began to feel invisible to the world.
I am a bit of an enigma. I was a very young mum and felt as though I was always having to prove myself as a teenage mother. I was often asked by visitors to our door, “Is your mother home?” “I am the mother!” was my standard reply.
As I got older I started to feel more comfortable in my own skin but as I started to get older I found that being a young grandparent again had its interesting moments! I was a grandmother while some friends were just growing young families. Many times I had to explain I was nanny , not mummy.
Then one day you find yourself on the other side of “mature”. Paul and I were discussing this one day, asking ourselves how it was one day we were the “younguns” and now we were the “olds”. Life is a mist for sure and the years pass so quickly and before we know it we are the “olds”.
I am thankful though that ultimately I have not allowed age to dictate my life. Although the fifties were a challenge in many ways they were also a time of new definition.
Defining myself not in terms as a mother, wife, or minister but in terms of whose I belong to. I am my Lord and Saviour’s and who I am is only found in His love! My beautiful children can not fulfill my identity. Even my amazing grandchildren can not bring that deep satisfaction I long for; my husband of 40 plus years can not satisfy that deeper feeling of self love. My “ministry” or accomplishments are also not what bring lasting satisfaction or sense of purpose – asking the many movie stars, and “successful” people in this world. All of these contribute but are not what I should look to for all of those feelings of identity.
As the people around me fail me, fall away, or even pass away, I find myself lost and not sure of who I am in this grand scheme of things. I become invisible!
Lately I am seeing so many couples reach the 40 or 30 year mark in their marriage and watch as their marriage disintegrates. There are many reasons for this but I think the greatest is that people are looking to someone or something to fulfill and that will never be found or be enough in another person no matter how wonderful they are.
I also redefined myself physically, looking at issues of health and wellness, setting myself goals that would work toward regaining and maintaining health.
My reflection focuses on Him, and as I look to Him I continue to see He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the Way to live and love. He is Truth and He gives Life. No other can fill that void in our lives.
So as I approach 60 I consider all that has gone behind but as Paul the Apostle said, “I push on toward the high calling.” I keep moving forward dreaming, and planning. We fight the good fight of faith until our time is determined finished by our God here on this earth.
In terms of visibility – The only one I have to be concerned about is to God who spoke to Hagar in her desolation in the desert – “I am the God who sees!” I am visible to Him. He sees me all the time at any age. He knows me; better than anyone else in this world. He loves me and seeks after me and has plans and purposes for me. I am not desolate and unknown. I am His and He is mine! How amazing is that thought today!
Live until you die!
Until next time