By Lindsay Morgan Snyder, iBelieve.com
7 Surprising Joys of Getting Older
I love this topic. I have come to realize this is the youngest I will ever be here on earth. My 40th birthday was just a few months ago and I have to tell you, I was thrilled about turning 40. It felt like a milestone to me; it truthfully reminded me of the Promise Land. I have wandered around in the wilderness most of my life. As I turned 40, I felt like some giants were about to be conquered. Giants like insecurity, self-hatred and people pleasing.
When I was 37 I was about to move from Atlanta, GA to Los Angeles, CA. In the weeks leading up to the move I had this “crises of self.” I started to think I was horribly ugly and needed to figure out a better way. Yes, a better way to look. I frantically searched for the next face cream, a new hairstyle and dialed up a make-up artist friend of mine to ask her for help. I hated the way I looked.
Flipping through pictures as I packed for the cross-country move, I came across one of my 27-year-old self. I thought “gosh I use to think I was so ugly back then, but I was pretty.” Suddenly another thought came rushing in “37 is the youngest I am ever going to be on this earth and I bet when I turn 47 I will look back at my 37-year-old self and think, “gosh I use to think I was so ugly back then, but I was pretty.” There seemed to be a theme happening and a lesson to be learned.
So ladies, let’s embrace this thing called age. There are so many joys of getting older, here are just a few of my favorites.
- You stop caring what other people think of you.
Lord, have mercy! Finally, we learn why in Proverbs 29:25 it tells us “fear of man will prove to be a snare.” Fearing what other people think of us is such a waste of time. I recently heard a hilarious anecdote that went something like this “in our 20’s and 30’s we are so concerned with what everyone thinks about us, in our 40’s and 50’s we start not to care what people think about us and in our 60’s and 70’s we realize no one was ever thinking about us, they were all too busy thinking about themselves.”
- You have a lot more experience at this thing called life.
Have you ever heard anyone say, “If I knew then what I know now, I would do it so much different?” I hear it all the time, but the truth is, that is not how God set it up. Yes, going back to my 25-year-old body without wrinkles and grey hair would be cool, but there is no way I would want to go back to that terribly insecure, broken, lost little human I was back then. I love knowing what I know now about life, love and the pursuit of happiness.
- You finally have that 10-15 years of experience the job postings always wanted.
Do you remember? Hunting for that first or second job wondering if you would ever have that “10-15 years of experience” that every job posting seemed to require? It may seem small, but it’s good to celebrate the small stuff. Right?
- You become ok with your weaknesses.
How many of you were so insecure about what to bring to the potluck social? One of my favorite things about getting older is I no longer have any shame of my consistent grocery store bought pot luck dish. You know, the one I purchased 7 minutes before I walked in the door. Frankly, I like that people know this about me, we are all human and cooking is not something I am good at or do often and guess what? It’s OK. What are you proud to be bad at?
- You begin to learn that instead of saving the world, it is better to be present to Jesus.
I know this isn’t easy for our society. You know the “Be Still and Know that I am God” thing—that’s not easy. But as we get older we start to learn that being tasked and feeling responsible to save the entire world is probably a bit over our pay grade. We start to realize that God has a purpose for us, but it doesn’t usually entail being Him.
- You become more comfortable with yourself.
Can I get a halleluiah? Finally, it has only taken decades. And wow, is it well worth the wait. As we get older we become comfortable in who He made us. We stop caring what others think and we learn to stop being so mean to ourselves.
- You learn that loving yourself is vital if you are going to really love your neighbor.
Recently, a pastor told me that self-hatred is the number one thing that most of the women he counsels are struggling with. After dealing with this most of my life I have come to realize that learning to love myself in a healthy way was vital to actually learning to love God and love others.
This then allows us to walk the way Jesus really commanded us to walk. Loving Him, loving others, as we love ourselves.
Author: Lindsay Morgan Snyder Creative Entrepreneur
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