I have officially entered the season that is referred to as “mid life”. It took me awhile to realize that I was in this season. It doesn’t feel like I should be here.
I always thought that when I entered this season, I’d be much wiser than I actually am. I would be confident in myself and I’d be one who had reached a point where I would finally be able to scatter little bits of wisdom all over the place! None of what I imagined is a reality. I actually feel quite foolish when I think about what I thought this season would look like.
Our culture likes to label this particular season of life I am in as the “midlife crisis”. I don’t agree with that label. What I am finding as I am sifting, praying, evaluating, and reflecting is that every season of life has a measure of “crisis”.
It begins when we are children. We look ahead in anticipation of becoming a teenager, then we look ahead to going to college, finding a full time job, being out on our own, getting married, having babies, raising a family…and as we enter into each season we have longed for and anticipated, we find that the transition and changes are much harder than we imagined they would be. Of course, there is a lot of good in each season, but what we discover is that each new season actually is a time where we are stretched a bit more than the seasons we have experienced. More of who we are at the core and what is in our sinful heart is exposed, and we find ourselves fighting to survive.
We often begin to long for the seasons we have already passed through. From where we stand now, they appear to have been simpler than the one we find ourselves in.
Every season brings a crisis, and we must look it straight in the eyes. If we don’t honestly accept what is exposed, we will only find it will show up in a bigger way in the next season. As we face the crisis of self discovery, in light of God’s Word, we can only come to the conclusion that we are even more needful than we imagined, and we need God’s grace to help us stand up and persevere.
It has struck me how so very kind and merciful God has been to me, because he shows me the reality of my heart a little bit at a time. One season at a time. If He were to expose it all at once, I would probably die of a heart attack!
So, I find myself in this season…having been emptied of, what seems like, all the misconceptions I had about myself, life, and what things would be like at this point…although, I’m sure there is more that I need to see. Rather than looking in the mirror and seeing a strong, wise, confident woman–I see a weak, emptied, needy woman. One who has seen a glimpse of who she is, and is more aware than ever that anything good that is seen is there because of a work God has done. Not a wise woman, but a woman who has been pushed harder to learn what it means to seek God more intensely, on a minute by minute basis. Not a confident woman, but a woman who has been shown that the only thing worth putting her confidence in is God.
He is the only stability in life.
My age, how many years I’ve been married, the fact that I homeschooled my children, where my children are at in life, that I am still in love with my husband…none of these things are meant to be trophies for me to thrust over my head in victory. I am not entering this season of life feeling like I have a lot to offer. I can only say that God’s grace carried me through each season, and is being found in the present season.
I am not a wise woman…but one who has experienced God’s grace in each season. I am tracing God’s grace in my history, thanking God for the crisis of each season, and trusting He will continue to help me discover His gift of grace in the season’s to come.