By Monica Cane
“They shall bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.”- Psalm 9:14
When I was in my early twenties, I would often hear ladies, who were in their forties and fifties claim that they would be twenty-nine and holding on their upcoming birthday. I would chuckle under my breath as they would make this announcement but never quite understood their desire to claim any other age than what they really were. That is until last year when I turned forty-nine.
On the eve of my forty-ninth birthday it dawned on me that in one year’s time I not only would I be in an entirely new age bracket but an age bracket that comes with many stereo types and stigmas to boot. I would be fifty years old. I would qualify for A.A.R.P (American Association Retired People) and be eligible to receive 15% off at Denny’s and even a senior discount at certain movie theaters.
Just one day between being forty nine and turning fifty, I would suddenly be labeled as part of the senior crowd. How did this happen? I was twenty-something a minute ago, laughing at those twenty-nine and holding ladies and now I was on my way to be one of them.
I’m too young in spirit to be turning fifty, I often thought throughout the year. People who are fifty have grey hair and take naps but I color my hair and avoid naps like the plague I told myself. The fact that some nights I stay up until 11:30pm playing Words with Friends and still get up early in the morning full of energy has got to count for something right? Isn’t fifty suppose to be the new thirty? So why not just call it thirty?
As silly as it all sounds, I spent most of my forty-ninth year contemplating these types of questions and thoughts. Should I join the twenty-nine holding club or should I embrace the new season, the new decade I would soon be in.
I would love to tell you that I handled it all with grace and made peace with turning fifty but I didn’t. On my fifty birthday, almost three weeks ago now, I woke up and felt like crying because while I really do feel like I’m in my twenties, the fine lines around my eyes, my drawn cheek bones and mousey hair don’t necessarily match up with how I feel on the inside.
So on my 50th birthday before all the cards, emails, phone calls and face book messages came flooding in I boo-hoo’d just a bit and asked God to help me get over my fifty shades of pitiful. In the midst of my whining I opened a devotional book, hoping the scriptures would bring me some comfort….And don’t you know God met me right there in the moment.
Psalm 9:14 jumped off the page. “They shall bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.”
At first glance I didn’t like how it said “in old age” talk about rubbing it in. But then I read “they shall be fresh and flourishing” and I was instantly reminded that my greatest desire for many years now has been to honor God and to be fresh and flourishing in my daily walk with Him.
God reminded me so clearly in that moment that my job here on earth is to know Him and make Him known and that has nothing to do with my age. I re-read Psalm 9:14at least ten more times then sucked up my snivels before thanking God for His willingness to keep me (and all of us) flourishing all the days of our lives.
Now that’s not to say that I’m completely ready to wear the I’m a Fabulous 50 t-shirt but it is to say that I am very encouraged knowing that to God, age really is just a number. We are all called to flourish. Instead of fifty shades of pitiful I am now secure in knowing I am a flourishing fifty shades of fruitful and will continue to be as such, and so will you as we seek God every day of our lives.