I turn thirty today.
I spoke to my brother on the phone just yesterday, but he wouldn't wish me a Happy Birthday. He told me, half-teasing, that he and the rest of my family have agreed to do me a favor and "forget" to acknowledge my birthday this year and every year from now on, since they assume that my birthday will be a sore subject to me this year... and every year from now on.
When I told him I didn't mind turning thirty, he scoffed at me, a little. He must have thought I was just saying so because I had to, to save face. He seemed to try and change the subject. I thought that was sweet of him and a little out of character, since he usually doesn't avoid anything that might make me uncomfortable. But, in truth and like I tried to tell him, I don't mind growing older. Not in the sense that he probably thinks I do, in the "My boobs are sagging, my hair is turning gray and I need some miracle face cream" kind of way. I'm doing what I can to stave off the inevitable, I'm seeing a personal trainer and trying to eat my veggies, but I don't have a lot of time to really fret about superficial things like how many wrinkles I have. Some people might blame that on my being so busy, but I like to think my life is just too full.
I only mind growing older because it means I have less life to live here on earth. I love this life. I look back and with God's grace, I have no regrets. I look around and take pride and joy in my life's work. I look forward and know that if God allows me to live long enough, I will embrace the privileges old age will bring me, like seeing my children have children or sharing then-ancient jokes with my husband as we rock our grand babies to sleep. As long as I've known Him, I have found my delight in the Lord and He has given me the desires of my heart.
With so many people almost apologizing to me in the days leading up to this birthday, with so much of our value coming from how we look and with so many women spending so much just to look just a little younger for just a little longer, I've been wondering if it is even possible for a woman to grow old gracefully? Could anyone ever actually be free to not care that she is no longer the fairest of them all? It think so. I know a little passage of Scripture that has brought me great comfort during this last year of my twenties and as I see my reflection changing when I have a second to glance in the mirror. You may know it. It says that if a woman is truly virtuous, if strength and dignity are her clothing, she can actually smile at her future. Proverbs 30: 10-31