I read an article a while ago that stated this,
“In the face of our youth obsessed culture we often forget that there is a special kind of wisdom that can only come with aging; that the older generation can offer the younger something so invaluable.”
And this stuck with me. Our culture fights against aging. Aging is considered a thing to try and avoid at all costs, because after a certain point there’s no more beauty.
So far from the truth.
The women of our grandmother’s generation, and even our mother’s generation, are in such a unique position to speak into our lives in ways that our peers simply cannot. I am quick to forget that they’ve been exactly where I have! They’ve made and lost friendships. They’ve had tough decisions to make, they’ve lived joy and sadness and regret and gratitude. Many of them have had successful careers. They have experiences under their belt that we, the younger generation, only daydream about at the moment. And often, experience is one of the best teachers.
They have experienced triumph and tragedy, joy and pain. They are living examples of the hope that while a circumstance may be hard now, it can and does get better. They have overcome heartache and fears. They may even have regrets, yet they know better than anyone thatlife goes on. They have an amazing sense of what is truly important in life.
I feel challenged and encouraged to take advantage of the wisdom of those who have gone before me. I mean, when I reflect on the tremendous strength, grace and beauty that they possess, I want to make room for the voices of the elderly in my life, for their stories and experiences and wisdom. I want to give space to the generations that are before me, to share their stories. I want to laugh and cry and do life with them, understanding that getting older is not a negative thing. It’s a beautiful thing.
I have a new perspective about aging. When the Bible speaks about inner beauty, a powerful gentle spirit of a woman, I have to believe that that only increases and deepens with age and living. So, in reality, as I get older, I’ll be even more beautiful. Notice I said be, not get. I believe beauty to be a thing that deepens and grows and radiates, not something that is only surface level.
I’m thankful for the older women who have influenced my life, who have lived in a way that honors the Lord, in grace and kindness. Those who have counseled me, held me, cried with me, encouraged me, prayed for me, questioned with me. My mom, my friend’s moms, older women, grandparents, etc.
We had two wedding showers this past weekend, both hosted by a handful of couples who have watched both me and J grow up, people who have been influencers and like second families. The way they prayed for us, over us; the way they encouraged and inspired and shared experiences with us; the way they challenged us… it was amazing to be a part of. Their passing along of all that they have learned in their lives and marriages, their true desire to see us do well, to love well, to live for the Lord. Humbling.
Life is too rich not to soak up all the wisdom that comes from experience and age. Then we have the opportunity to go forward dreaming about the future, living our choices, together.