I think youth is overrated.
I don’t really like the person I was 10 or 15 years ago.
Not to say there’s not still plenty of room for growth now—there is. I look back at the fearful, judgmental, immature, socially inept girl that was me and I thank God that he didn’t leave me stuck in that state. My body might have been better but my soul was a mess.
My dream has always been to be a wise older woman. Every year I grow a little closer to that goal.
What I didn’t count on is that growing wiser means regular attendance at the school of hard knocks.
Years ago when I set about to grow, I realized this truth: Growth means pain.
When you have a lot of dead wood that needs to be lopped off by pruner’s shears, just look forward to some pretty cutting circumstances.
That knowledge helped carry me through tough times though. Even now when I’m going through difficulty I sometimes whisper to myself, “Growth means pain.”
There are a couple parenting-related things in particular that have been bitterly hard. I begged God for years to remove them from my life. They stayed. I got mad.
(It’s OK, read Psalms, David got mad at God too. He said something along the lines of “Just shoot me now!” So raw, honest feelings are OK with God. Really.)
I was pretty mad for a few years.
Then I realized something.
Those brutal, painful circumstances had forced me to grow in grace as a mom.
In fact, they revolutionized the way I mother.
Not only that, but without that particular grueling situation, it’s unlikely that I would have grown in that area at all. It took something dramatic to unseat me from my ingrained patterns of thinking and behavior.
The situation was hard, still is in a lot of ways. It involved other people. I’m not saying God caused the pain. But he sure as heck used it.
Another year older, another year wiser.
God is slowly changing the circumstance that has been so hard, but mostly he is still changing me.
He’s making a new, improved version.
Seriously? I wouldn’t trade all the youth in the world for that.
Why do you like or dislike growing older? How have you matured with age?
Look for my eBook, Fearless Mothering, this fall!