Together

shopping-mall-1316787_1920My 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.

Past It.

Too Late.

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 Then I would feel drab, even my modern clothes would appeared outdated.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.

The Lies

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.

Helena

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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The Front Seat

“Praise God, everybody! Applaud God, all people!

His love has taken over our lives; God’s faithful ways are eternal. Hallelujah!” Psalm 117 Message

audience-868074_1920“Raise your hands to the Lord,” the Pastor instructed.  I had seen others pray and sing with their arms raised high but this was new for me. My arms felt like lead and something invisible seemed to be holding them down. They were at waist level but I could not get them any higher. How could such a simple task be so hard to do?

It felt peculiar and weird, “Raise my hands to the Lord?” say what? He can see my hands can’t he?  It would take a few more weeks before I fully raised my hands. Once I had my arms raised to chest level they just seemed to fly straight up afterwards. Not only did my arms and hands find freedom but my level of worship found a new freedom also.

He is worthy to be praised, is He not?

Absolutely!

Yet, it still took me years to learn the simple truth, that I worship Him because He is worthy and NOT because of something I had done or not done that particular week. I have sat through many worship times in church sulking, seething at myself for something I said or did wrong…I had no right to worship Him. The word “Hypocrite”  screamed loud and clear in my mind and so I would sit in God’s presence feeling like a piece of dung. When all along He was offering forgiveness and restoration bidding me into His presence.

An older lady once told me “The fire falls at the front.” Meaning, if I wanted to be in God’s presence then I would need to chairs-143244_1920sit near the front of the sanctuary. Although this is not technically true, after all God is not confined to the first few rows. If He was, then most of us are out of luck, too many people for too few front rows, where would the cut off row be? 3rd, 7th or maybe the 23rd row if you were having church at a stadium?

Yet in some sense she was also right. If you want to be in God’s presence you need to except His invitation to sit at His feet (can’t get more up front than that) and let His love for you take over your life. Only as we experience His love for us can we love Him back. Only then can we know His worth. Only then can we praise and applaud Him from a heart of worship.

Wherever you sit in your church sanctuary know you have a front row seat with the Lord. Don’t stay in the back row looking on.  Come up front and kneel in His presence there is plenty of room at His feet.

Thank you for stopping by.  Pray you have been encouraged in your walk with the Lord.

Helena.

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

If you have been encouraged please share this post with a friend and be their encourager.

You may leave a comment if you so wish, I look forward to hearing from you.