When I saw the husband coming in with a grin a mile wide and a box of something in his hand —
a beautiful cake he had gotten from the lady down our road —
and a shiny ’Happy 40th’ laser-cut topper reflecting all my surprised reaction,
I too broke out into a grin a mile wide —
broke the once all-consuming confines of what life and success should look like —
breathed deeply in the new reality of sweet, redeeming truth.
How does one get so lucky to get this far?
Yeah — who’d imagine that any of us will make it this far?
Who would know that birthdays may be both traumatising and tenderly healing at the same time?
Can birthdays say less about our age and more on reminding us about God’s kindness lavished to the likes of us? —-
Who despite our loss and lack are liked and loved?
Time is simply a conduit of His mercies towards us,
Because which woman doesn’t take a whole lot of time to feel at home in her own skin?
To finally figure what she’s meant to do, who she’s meant to be, what she’s meant to live for.
And not an iota feel inferior about her now sagging skin whilst still not having it all?
Ageing is traumatic only as far as we mourn alongside a culture obsessed with beauty as bods clad in bikinis.
But when we remember that time is actually needed for our important discovery, we awake to redeem the time needed to recover our stolen purpose, our designated destiny.
So what I’ve whispered to myself for months, I blurted aloud amongst friends that birthday night:
It’s okay to be in the here and now —–
Still trekking through the seemingly long-winded God-given paths.
Still making reroutes after you’ve detoured so far off home.
Because God will always remain your true north and you can always head home.
It’s okay to wake up to wrinkles —
Because life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
And as long as you’re growing your soul, you’ll always grow bountiful.
It’s okay to have suffered loss —
To bid father figures, faulty faith, foundational friends, your once fundamental beliefs forever farewell.
Because they were never meant to define you like only Christ could deliver you.
Nothing can derail you from the love of Christ or separate you from your hope tethered to Christ.
It’s seriously okay to be midlife and be a child —
To seek significance in every little thing, and feel the safety of His shield all surrounding you,
Because this is what we, Big Girls, can all remember:
You belong to God — you’re His, and He is the reason for your rise.
Love gives—- the Creator cradling Himself in one dingy manger — so we can always give, because His love always heals, and we can always forgive, as we are always carried.
Love in Hebrew is “Ahava”, it’s root word ‘hav‘ means ‘to give’ — because love asks you to live with opened hands.
And so at 40? —
Love like you’ve never been hurt, give like you could never run out, forgive as you’ve always been forgiven.
Because here’s the deal —
Do you want to live your remaining days sitting sweet staying safe, or would you take the leap of love just this one last leg?
Because perhaps it isn’t about ageing as it is about trusting — and trust is risk — but think about how you want your life to be defined, then live backwards.
The friends who still believe in you — are the friends who’d cheer you on. Grow with them.
Here at midlife, start legacy projects.
Do something scary.
Give with your time, love with your heart, create with your life.
Wasn’t it Thomas Edison who experimented with some 2,000 incandescent light bulb and said “I’ve never failed once. I simply found out 2000 ways it —didn’t work?“
Remember 40 comes with its own wonders —
It’s the only number with letters in an alphabetical order — so focus on these three and you’ll always hit it right— the chara grace of God, the children gifts from God, and your divine call in God — no matter your age.
The kids are fast outgrowing you —- you’ve stepped aside these past few mornings to let the teenage girl fix you breakfast.
You receive her love served with a bit too much carbs and a whole lot of mess — but you step aside — so she can give —- so step aside now, from your own idealism so God can show you:
how He is still in the business of setting any old heart ablaze,
how He is still turning tombstones into testimonies.