My skinny jeans and wedged heeled sandals did amazing things for my legs. Looking in the mirror I had to admit I looked pretty awesome for a woman in her fifties.
Fifties! Yep, there laid the problem. At least I thought it was a problem. I had started attending a small church and within a year that church had quadrupled in size and the growth continues to this day; every Pastors dream I’m sure. The church flooded with young people anywhere from teens through forties. I found myself surrounded by women mostly under forty five. Fifties now seemed really old. Though I loved and welcomed the influx of the young, I began to feel obsolete.
My age was a stumbling block.
Missed your turn.
The words rang loud and clear through my head, I got the message. I was now old and no longer relevant.
I wasn’t ready for old, and I wasn’t ready to be put out to pasture. I was still young. After all fifty is the new thirty so I hear. I wanted to be involved in ministry, but who was going to listen to this old woman?
In my mind I needed to have a certain look, the one that says “I’m still relevant,” so I donned the skinny jeans, added a little bling and dyed my hair to hide the patches of silver threads that shone brightly amongst my otherwise dark brown strands.
Yet, I still felt inadequate, not quite young enough to be accepted by my younger sisters in the Lord.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
My age was not an issue when I was with others in their fifties or above. But oh my! There comes a time when every woman, young or older, has to visit the church restroom. We wash our hands, comb our hair and touch up our makeup…where? In front of the mirror of course.
I was happy with my appearance, until I saw the reflection of the younger woman standing next to me. Then I would feel drab, even my modern clothes would appeared outdated. The fine lines around my eyes would suddenly look like deep ridges and oh gosh…time to touchup those roots.
Any confidence I had walking into the restroom vanished in a moment of mirror reflection.
It took me a few years to realize I had fallen for a lie of the enemy. Fallen for the trap of comparison leading me into insecurity, fear, and shame.
Comparison: I weighed my worth to be used in ministry against the more fashionable use of youth.
Insecurity: I believed the lie that I was not needed in the body of believers.
Fear: I feared being over looked because of age.
Shame: I had become ashamed of my age.
Healing Takes Place
Healing for me did not happen over night, it was a process. It started with the revelation that I am deeply loved by my Heavenly Father. Yes I knew He loved me, but this was more like realizing how much He really loves me. I am not known as number ten million and one of His redeemed. He calls me by name.
No amount of wrinkles or relaxed muscle can undo His awesome handiwork. I am indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.
God lives outside of time and we are here on earth but for a moment. My age does not impede God’s ability or willingness to use me, whether I’m five, thirty five, fifty five or ninety five years old He looks at my willingness to trust and obey Him. He is not looking at my age.
“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together” Ps 34:3 NIV
Until I began to see myself as God sees me I was not able to move forward. I was looking at myself through the eyes of lies instead of His truth.
You dear friend are dearly loved by your Heavenly Father. Your age is not an issue to Him and don’t allow it to be an issue to you.
Yes you are needed and wanted in the body of Christ. You have much to offer the younger women and much to learn from them also. If you are willing to trust Him, He will put His dreams in your heart and open up doors for you.
Don’t let the enemy blind you with his lies. Move forward in truth and know that you are precious, beautiful, loved, wanted and cherished. The younger women in our churches are not pushing us out to pasture. We may be in different age groups but we are one body working together to make Him known.
So put on your skinny jeans, wear the bling, and dye your hair if that is your style but do it because it suits you, not because you feel to have to in order to be accepted.
Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming,
“The Lord is upright; He is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him.” Ps 92:13-15 NIV
Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.
What has been your experience as an older woman in a church comprising mainly of young adults? Perhaps you are a younger woman in a church of older women, how has that affected you? feel free to comment, I look forward to hearing from you.
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This is an important truth from two angles: churches must value the wisdom and experience that comes with age and women have to STOP the comparison game. Great words
Thank you Vickie. We are one body and each part is needed and wanted. This goes for our older sisters in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s also.
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Thank you, Helena, for sharing this great wisdom. You are so right… comparison is a killer, but then that’s the design of that weapon.
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It not only steals our peace but also our usefulness, as we draw back thinking we cannot be used by our heavenly Father.
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Good advice. I imagine we’ve all had out moments like this. In fact, I still have to put things into perspective at times. However, I’m reminded that Paul says the older women are to teach the young. We have something to offer. I love your point about God being above or out of time as we know it, that we’re here just for a moment, and we are truly, extravagantly loved by Him.
Extravagantly loved, you are so right Dorothy.
What words of wisdom! I love older women. ..especially now that I fall into the Senior citizen rank. Thanks for reminding me that I am loved and still very useable by the Lord.
Debbie, I love the words of Mark Twain. “Age is just a matter of mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”