Today I went to a wedding party. It was such a fun gathering to celebrate our friends! And as girlfriends on happy occasions are wont to do, we snapped a few photos together. There we all were, some in their 20’s and 30’s wearing adorable dresses, youthful skin all aglow, and some of us who are…ahem…a few years older and a little worse for the wear. But that didn’t stop me from smiling.
I smile with joy (and a small sense of glee) in being older. Forty-nine and some change—okay, a lot of change! Yes, I am decades past youth, but honestly, I would not go back on a single year lived. I am me. I am happy to be the me I am. Time, plus Jesus, plus experience, has made me who I am, with all the failures and triumphs and friends who have helped me step into this beautiful season of life. I don’t want to take a single minute of this season for granted.
Now, I’ll admit that some aspects of aging I don’t love. Like the other day when I saw my reflection in the mirror and noticed cellulite on my belly, just like I remember my mother had. Left to my own devices, would I swap this for firmer biceps, less wrinkles and a better memory? On some days. That’s why I’m grateful that I am not left to my own devices.
Truth is, I have an amazing husband, the best of friends, and a solid faith in God. Worth far more than all the Goop that Gwyneth Paltrow could sell me. I’ve been blessed with an incredible family, a church that I cherish, and a high purpose to live for every minute of this journey. Would I trade any of this for a flatter belly? Are you serious?
I choose to be grateful for every gray hair and achy muscle, knowing I’ve had many dear friends who died too young. We who are living the other side of Forever 21 need to remember and learn to pay attention to what matters most. So much of what I used to worry about seems silly now. Is it worth stressing out if I wasn’t at the party? (Though I do love parties!) If I find myself wondering what so-and-so may think, I’ve learned to tell myself I don’t have that kind of time. I really don’t.
Lately I’ve noticed my house showing its age too. I’d like to freshen up the décor, but as I pondered the expense and upheaval, it dawned on me. This will probably be the last time I do this. Twenty years ago, I made some good design choices that have served this house well. The leather chairs in our family room have racks and wrinkles now, and the cushions don’t plump up as easily as they used to. But those deep indentations are a witness to the many happy hours we’ve spent together in that room. For that, I am grateful. For wise choices made, and for the reality that next time this house needs an overhaul (hopefully not for another twenty years) there will be another “house” not so far off, a building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. One that will never need repainting. No whitewashed shiplap, interior sliding barn doors, or beautiful grey oak plank floors could make me desire anything more than the perfectly curated home that awaits us in heaven!
I’m fascinated by that word, curated. It’s Middle English, from medieval Latin curatus, ‘to care’. It means to select, organize, and arrange with expert knowledge. As women, we appreciate beauty in all things, and what could be more beautiful than knowing that every season of our lives has been curated by our infinitely perfect and expert Creator? His plans and designs for us are exquisite and timeless.
When we get to heaven, we will realize that cellulite and wrinkles were 1,327th on the list of what matters most, here and now, on earth.
So Lord, we pray “…teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. And let the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us…”
(Psalm 90:12, 14, 17)
Cathe Laurie is the wife of Greg Laurie, who is senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. She is also the founder and director of Virtue, the thriving women’s ministry at Harvest.