The Psalmist promises that I have been wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). But whether I like it or not, I was made a long time ago. Entropy, childbearing, and an uneven commitment to exercise have left me looking and feeling something less than wonderful. If you’re a forty-something (or older), you can probably relate.
If middle-aged women can’t stop aging, maybe we can manage it.
For middle-aged women, it’s all about controlling your appearance. You only take selfies from above to avoid the dreaded double chin. And the pictures you post are carefully chosen to always show your “good side.”
But kids have a way of calling us on our delusions. Especially teenagers. My teenage daughters habitually snapchat unattractive pictures of me from every possible angle, often while I’m chewing food, yelling, or asleep with my mouth gaped open.
The pictures they post of me aren’t flattering. But they’re reminders that the years really are taking their toll on my body and I don’t look 18 anymore.
They say middle-aged women are becoming “invisible.”
The other day I read an article that said women become invisible after age 49. Data confirms that our culture simply doesn’t value middle-aged women–even though the world is aging rapidly and women significantly outnumber men past the age of 60.
So, does that mean I only have four more years to be “visible”? Not acceptable.
In a culture that values youth over wisdom and thinness over character, loving your embodied self can be difficult for middle-aged women. But the Psalmist’s words are a reminder that God is still making me and shaping me. I am still a work in progress.
Life, experience, pain, and happiness continue to carve new laugh-lines and wrinkles in my face. I am growing as a person and sharing my life-learnings with the people in my life. God is still using me. I am not invisible to God.
I still have half a life to go.
My body is changing. So are my spirit, mind and soul. I won’t stop growing as a person just because I’m middle aged.
After all, I still have half a life to go. I refuse to look back on the last forty-five years and say that the best years of my life are behind me. Despite my waistline and jiggly biceps, I have to believe that the best really is yet to come.
God is still creating me, and I am still putty in God’s hands. We are fearfully and wonderfully made – and regardless of the number of our years, we’re all still works in the making.