I Am Really, Really Old
By Linda Gilden
Four-year-old Trey took my face in his hands and squeezed as he pulled me close to him. "Rose, you are really, really old!"
Caught a little off guard, I just smiled at my grandson. He wouldn't really want to know what I thought about that remark!
Getting even closer so that our noses almost touched, he smiled with a twinkle in his eye and said, "But we won't tell anybody!"
Never one to dwell on age, it didn't matter to me who knew how "really, really old" I was. But to a lot of people, it is important to keep track as the years pass.
Many friends mark milestone birthdays with elegant parties, skydiving experiences, and trips around the world. Not a party person or particularly adventurous, what does getting older look like to me?
Age is not chronological. Despite the increasing number of candles on my birthday cake, I choose to enjoy each year as it comes and count it as a blessing, not something to dread.
One thing that comes with getting older is that the comfort level with myself has increased. At some point I realized God had created me to fill a special spot in His plan, a place no one else could fill. Thus, the competition in life diminished and I enjoy my friends and family without concern of what I did. My spot was already there and those around me couldn't take it away. How comforting!
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 NLT
This realization translated into everything I did. When I write a book, I don't have to worry that someone else may write that book or whether an acquisitions editor will get that book from someone else. Mine is unique. And as I search for the right place for it, I meet many wonderful people along the way, people who allow me to be me!
Along with my growing self-assurance have come diminishing thoughts about what others think. Oh, I still want to make a good impression because in everything I do I am an ambassador of the King. But as long as He is okay with what I do, that is all that matters.
Probably the biggest benefit to getting "really, really old" is the spiritual growth I have experienced. There is a different sort of expectation about what is to come. I read my Bible and take the messages to heart with a new anticipation. When I worship, the connection seems stronger, the line more direct. Fellowship with those who have the same perspective encourages and uplifts me.
Lest you think that one day I just woke up and bounced out of bed with this perspective, I did not. God has been teaching me for over half a century. For some things, I caught on pretty quickly. In some ways I have been a slow learner. In others, He has sent difficult lessons where there was no option but to sit in His lap and let Him teach me. In all ways, He has been changing and growing me into the person He wants me to be.
Am I sitting around with my bags packed, waiting for the heavenly bus to get to my stop? Absolutely not! My life is full and every day brings sweet surprises.
Does it really matter to me if Trey tells everybody how old I am? Not a bit.
"Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life." Proverbs 16:31 NLT
While my younger years were fun and full, I am finding even better times now that I am "really, really old!"
Copyright 2012 Linda Gilden, used by permission.
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Linda Gilden is an author, speaker, editor, and writing coach. She is the Director of the CLASS Christian Writers Conference and loves to inspire you to encourage those you love. She is the author of the popular Love Notes series, Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, and Personality Perspectives-Clues to Building Better Relationships. Linda lives in SC with her husband, three adult children and their families which include the four cutest grandchildren in the world!
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