On Growing Older

From My 2009 Journal. I asked my mom one day what it’s like to grow old. “Growing old happens so slowly you don’t notice it” she said. But when you look back through photos or the pages of a diary, it’s startling to see the contrast. You expect to look young in your school yearbook photos. You’re supposed to look like a child or teen. The change from child to adult is drastic.

From ages 25-50+, however, I felt no different. Adult is adult. But now when I look at those early adult photos, I realize how young I really was. Enough time has passed that I can see the huge changes that have taken place in my body, and suddenly I feel dissatisfied. Age has never bothered me before. Why now? What am I seeing? I see the squareness of my face and the wrinkles in the neck, and the post-pregnancies stomach.

Do I need to go back to my Bill Gothard notes and stand in front of a mirror and admit I don’t like the way the Lord made me? The funny thing is, when I look in the mirror, I don’t actually see it. It’s when I look at those early pictures that I notice the contrast. Why do I suddenly feel ugly? Why so obsessed with the physical,  the outward appearance? I know our bodies are wasting away, but what of the soul? Am I growing more beautiful on the inside? Or uglier? How can one tell? It’s intangible, hidden. I think I’m growing. . . .

Okay, here’s the visual of what I’m feeling. Age is like a rose. The unopened bud is childhood and the full bloom is middle age. But now I’m at the stage where the petals are starting to droop and wither. It’s the second half of the life cycle. Soon the petals will begin to detach and flutter to the earth. How do I feel about that?

I see the tree in our front yard, heavy laden with pink blossoms till a storm comes and shakes them all to the ground. And it literally rains petals. It’s breath-taking, beautiful, soul-filling. They’re pretty on the tree, yes, but it’s an emotionally moving experience watching them flutter to the earth. My soul and spirit can soar even if my body can’t. Age has its own beauty, and I am content.

 

Pink flowers 2

5 thoughts on “On Growing Older

  1. This is so beautiful Karen ❤️
    Thank you for posting it. And of course it’s so true about aging 😊
    I pray that I am becoming more beautiful on the inside and that I will live to glorify God and let His love shine through me. Heaven is closer than it was yesterday ❤️😊.
    Love,
    Carol

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  2. I noticed that you wrote this ten years ago! My, I wasn’t thinking like this then, but I sure am now. Guess I’m a late bloomer. I’ve always been critical of my looks…mainly because I never had anyone to tell me the things girls need to hear. My family just didn’t do that. I can say that now, they can’t read this because they have all passed. It wasn’t that they didn’t show love, it was just in a different way. I had no doubt that they did.

    I didn’t know the Lord till I was 17 and didn’t really learn how much the Lord loved me till many years later. Told you I was a late bloomer.

    I can attribute the change in my thinking to our mutual friend Jackie. I came home after a stirring conversation with Dr. Phillips and her response to me was that it was the inside that counts; not the outside. He meant well, but it really sent me reeling. I’m over it. As Minne Peral says, “I just proud to be here.”

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  3. I am reminded, Karen, of the Scriptures my mother (in the latter stages of muscular dystrophy) cited: [outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day.]. The first half is can be very difficult – the second half is God’s grace given to us each day.
    Thanks for posting❤️

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