On my birthday this year, my optometrist let me know that it was time to transition to bifocals.
Of course, this was not news to me considering I have spent the better part of the last few months trying to read grocery labels at arm’s length – and in the middle of the aisle for the best light. But of course, even a cursory glance in the mirror tells me the same tale: I am not young anymore.
How do I feel about this? To be honest, I don’t really know. While I do not mind the grays that are appearing here and there in my hair, I must say I am not a big fan of the loss of elasticity in my skin.
Yet in a candid moment, I might tell you that dealing with chronic pain and the associated fatigue has made me feel old before my time, so in some ways it merely seems that the clock is catching up.
In fact, I might even venture to say that the years spent fighting through the migraine fog and feeling so tired that I can actually fall asleep on a staircase have left me rather well prepared for the reality of aging.
Perhaps even because of these things, I do not mind getting old so much as I thought I might. I admit that I do sometimes skip looking in the mirror nowadays, but really there is something freeing in the realization that no matter what makeup tips or clothing tricks I might learn, I still will not look like the 25-year-old me.
What I do know is that, no matter what is going on on the outside, the changes that are happening within are much more desirable. Emotionally, I was pretty tumultuous as a young woman and most of my young adulthood was marked by either darkness or by an attempt to run from it.
I cannot claim to have it all figured out now, but by the grace of God, my mental state is largely better. There are bumps in the road and I do stray into the deep, dark valleys from time to time, but I have something now that I did not have as the 25-year-old me: Hope.
Today, my hope is not in youth or even in feeling good but in Christ alone. Anymore, I put little faith in my body and mind, knowing how both have betrayed me in the past, but I can put every ounce of my tiny faith in God, knowing that He will take my little and make much of it.
No longer do I trust in what I can or cannot do but rather in what He has already done on my behalf. For between migraine issues and age, my flesh and heart can and do fail me, but my God is my strength and what’s more, He is my portion. Forever.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
(2 Corinthians 4:16-17)