“A recent survey asked women what age they considered officially old. Stay tuned and find out exactly how old, old is.”
Of course I’ll stay tuned. I thought. My forty-fifth birthday had passed days before. It was official. I was on the downhill, barreling towards the big five-O. The last time I sat in a salon to get my hair done I noticed my few grey hairs had apparently dated and eloped while I wasn’t looking. They’d multiplied faster than the Duggers. Sure, I noticed more lines around my eyes and a few body parts were sprinting south, but I was still young. Right?
I quickly tried to guess the answer. I thought to myself, What do I consider old? Someone in their sixties? Nah. I know LOTS of people in their sixties and seventies in better shape than I am. Yep, the eighties are definitely getting up there.
Then I remembered Marie, my grandma’s girlfriend in her eighties who tap dances on stage, which made me think of my Grandma who is even older. Grandma moved into an assisted living home a year ago. She needs daily care to live on her own. Before the radio deejay came back on the air I’d come to my conclusion. Grandma is ninety three and that is definitely old.
“93!” I joyfully shouted out loud before the deejay came back on the air and repeated the teaser.
I turned up the volume. “Here’s an age old question. How old is old? A recent survey asked women just how old, old really is. Their answer? Forty five.”
“45!? You’ve got to be kidding me. Who did they survey—a classroom of preschoolers?” I yelled to no one in my car. As I wrestled with knowing not only my kids but the whole wide world believed me to be old, I couldn’t help but think about a verse I’d been studying in 2 Timothy.
This part of God’s word sunk like a stone into my soul last week when I read it. Paul’s letter to Timothy encourages him in his faith and reminds him of the holy lineage he comes from. Timothy was chosen to spread the gospel and was prepared for such a task. After all, he was a descendant of godly women, older women of faith. Timothy’s mother and grandmother raised him to know the Lord. In the process they poured their hearts and faith into a child God could use mightily. Paul reinforces their holy work with his words to Timothy.
Pastor T.D. Jakes calls us “winter women”. I was encouraged by his words about those of us who have grown children, grey hair and a lifetime of spiritual highs and lows under our belts:
“Yes, the most beautiful part of the day—as in a woman’s life—is at the setting of the sun. All life’s tragedy has been wrestled to the mat and still she stands to attest to the authenticity of her goals, dreams and ambitions.
If you are a winter woman, consider this: Just because the glare of the summer sun does not beat upon your face doesn’t mean there’s nothing left for you to do. Whose presence will stand as a witness that God will see you through? Who will be there to see your children run their race or to catch them when they fall beneath the weight of their day? God never extends days beyond purpose. “
I don’t know about you but winter is one of my favorite seasons. Some of my happiest memories are wrapped around winter; warm sweaters, a crackling fire, steaming mugs of coffee and the aroma of something delicious bubbling on the stove as the weather outside does its worst.
Growing old is something I’m going to embrace. There’s much still for me to do. With age has come a tiny bit of wisdom. My father always makes me laugh when he says, “Now that I finally have a little wisdom to impart, no one asks me any questions.”
As humorous as that is, I don’t plan on waiting for the questions to come to me. Nor, will I wait for ministry opportunities to come to me. I will be the one to ask the questions: “Lord, who should I pray for today?” Or “Where can I be your hands and feet?”
Are you a winter woman? Have you been walking with the Lord for a long, long time? Rejoice that you’re an example to so many. Remember that your faith has the supernatural power to reach into the lives of your future generations. God shows us that with Timothy. Remind God of the dreams you may have buried and dust them off together. Take T.D. Jakes words to heart, “God never extends days beyond purpose.”