It’s coming on a birthday. A blessed, birthday for one who was “not expected to live past the age of 24.” A birthday that reminds me of grace in my face. Lines. So many lines I cringe in the morning light as I am viewing the face up close and personal. It’s in glaringly clear glass, without steam or a dimmer switch. Where did the time go and why am I not all that I want to be?
I am trying to bend, to lean into the hope of another day in this amazing place called planet earth, with the life that I have been given, this gift of a life (when so many died young.) I am trying to ignore the signs and symptoms that have nested in my marrow for over 40 years. Can it truly be that I have survived myself?
I see the messages given to women that they must be without wrinkle and all that “plumped juicy skin” is their value. The mysterious womb, their uterus, by which they bear the fruit of life and family being their purpose. As of today I have none of those gifts or qualities. I am lined and I am childless. I am breathing in the hope waiting for the one thing that has left me unfulfilled and full of sorrow. To know my purpose and meaning beyond my looks, my marriage, my day-to-day existence of growing older. Can this really be all that is left? Is there anything I can do?
I am too long in the tooth to ever hope for a child. We tried (my husband and I) to adopt. We tried to foster, we tried to accept and we tried to forget and today all hope for that is gone. Unyielding truth that it is, I tried. Now I am watching my friends cuddle and read to their grand babies and be cared for sometimes by their children. I have none of that. There was never that, and that has brought me to my knees. A body that has lived but has betrayed me with my desires for a family of my own.
I am obviously in the crushing month of February. Where multiple people passed away, dancing around my birthday with their eternal goodbye. A mother, a best friend, a Grandmother, followed in quick succession in March by a brother, another dear friend and record producer and too many others. You see I have known over 20 people who have passed away. It sobers you, makes you clear-eyed and depending on the day either grateful or despondent. I have also lost 8 dogs (which seriously feels worse much of the time.) I have survived many of the same illnesses that killed some of these loved ones. Cancer being the common enemy. I see the marks of those battles on my body and my face. Once a beauty, I am a now a weary survivor. I am setting all of this up to tell you that I suffer, but life (if you are fortunate enough to live it) is to be used. God gave me every day so that I can pour out my energies for his purpose. His purpose is love and love wins. Some days it is his purpose for me to see his beauty. To draw nearer to him, for us to see him in the forest light (or the stars, or the ocean at dawn)
Some days Gods purpose is for us to be his hands and feet
Some days Gods purpose for us is to learn to love ourselves. With our lines and our sags and our scars. To be able to see ourselves through Gods eyes and not the worlds magnifying glass.
God has a purpose for you and for me. It’s the day…today…to celebrate whatever has come. No matter the losses, the scars, the battle wounds and the shattered dreams. A new day is here. A new beginning. A hopeful thing. It’s life on life’s terms. God and his magnificent love and all the mysteries of God that take our breath away, that’s our hope.
So hope in the midst of birthdays and old age and lost dreams and painful reminders of what can never come….is GOD. What to do on this day of reckoning? When pain is heavy and years are few? To celebrate our breath and our lines and our scars. The lost dreams and the reality. THIS IS YOUR LIFE and GOD is GOOD. Take a singular step into your day with new eyes. Gratitude, thankfulness, hope. Clear eyed hope in love. Oh and go celebrate your life, now, today before another day slips away!