Next month marks two big events in my life. I am unsure how to handle these occasions although they will come and go whether I like it or not.
Just yesterday I was in my twenties, thirties, forties and, of course, fifties. Now, the BIG 60. How did that happen so quickly? I also often wonder how I and/or we have made it to our 30th anniversary. Wow! 30 years!
Thinking back, the twenties were me finding my independence and partying in the first part, being young and stupid. The second half, I realized that is not the life for me and because I knew, too, the Lord was drawing me to Him and needed to get my Christian walk straight. It was time to stop running, which I did. To have a complete stranger say to me one night, “You need to quit running from God” definitely got my attention. I knew that was a warning. Later, I met a man at church and we dated three years and married four days before my thirtieth birthday.
My thirties, well our first year of marriage was not enjoyable, to be honest. Several days before our wedding, with all plans made, etc., I remember standing in the church parking lot looking at this man with the thought to call off the wedding. Of course, I did not. Thinking, it was just cold feet and nervousness. Was it? It did get better and even more so with my first and second child born in the next few years, they were and are my life. I loved our little family.
As I was busy with toddlers and caring for my aging parents, things changed in those years. My parents passed within two years of one another, then dealing with the estate and family issues. Sadly, my marriage died, too. Alone within and being private while wearing a mask of us all being a happy Christian family. Taking this all upon me, as it was all my fault, accepting the lies and rumors being spread that I am a bad person, etc., was weighing heavy upon me.
I remember my fortieth birthday, like it was yesterday. My small office had cream colored carpet that I had just moved into but it was dirty from the traffic pattern of the other person walking in and out. I wanted a nice, inviting office with clean carpet. We were slow that day so I got on my hands and knees scrubbing the carpet, thankfully not a large space. While scrubbing, I remember thinking I am just like the fairytale we have all read, Cinderella. As for much of the forties, I do not remember, as I lost myself in those years. My focus was on my children and my energy went to them, otherwise depression was overtaking me.
In trying to better myself, I had a short stint of counseling before he moved his practice out of state. I felt I was gaining ground trying to find myself but only at a snail’s pace. The sudden death of my brother and dealing with his estate and the same family members that stirred up strife before but now more hateful, which got the best of me. I allowed their words and anything and everything negative rip me to shreds.
Finally when turning fifty, I was attempting to get myself out of the pit by taking care of me by having weight-loss surgery. Looking back, I dealt with emotional eating and I still do at times but I recognize it now, but I had gained well over one-hundred pounds in twenty years of our marriage.
We are now both feeling the effects of having an empty nest. We are two strangers in the same house, both working full-time jobs and just going through the motions. I know I was dreading my home life and feeling stuck and feeling the craziness of it all. Too much! Everything went to the wayside, isolating myself from the world around me.
I knew I had to reach out for help. It takes courage to do that so if you find yourself in this loop of hopelessness and despair, please reach out. I found and was blessed with a wonderful Christian counselor five years ago to help me see light again and have hope, when all hope was gone. Had it not been…
I am about to hit my Big 60. I can truly say, I am happier today than I have been for such a long time; by understanding myself and working on my issues? I cannot control others and had to know deep within and to hold onto the fact that God said in His Word that He will fight my battles. Is everything perfect and did everything fall into place? No. I have had and still have some rough moments, but I know not to let it all get me down for long and to pull me down into a pit of despair and depression. I am moving forward. I am stronger today in my faith, as counseling has held me together and I know that the Lord has a plan and a purpose for me, even at this age.
I am expecting that the Lord will use me to glorify His Name and bring hope to others as I continue to grow older. I want that. Trust Him.