Recently I saw a news flash about a celebrity who turned up at a public event looking completely different than the way she used to look. I was curious and clicked on the link … WHAT?! I looked at the pictures provided, and it’s true. I do not recognize her. Although I don’t know her personally and am not a fan, I felt so sad. It was like she had died and some stranger had taken her place. People will never again get to enjoy her beautiful crinkly eyes and refreshing smile, the way God made her. One commenter even went as far as to say, “RIP, Renee.”
I’m just three years younger than Renee and I am feeling the effects of aging. Just in the past couple months I’ve notice a decline in my appearance, brought on partly by the effects of my health challenges (I was diagnosed with auto-immune disease Hashimoto’s and possibly Pernicious Anemia). This week when I saw the results of our family pictures close up, I hardly recognized myself. Sure I’ve lost 20 lbs., but what happened to my face?! I have hopes that as my body heals I will regain some of my appearance. But, the clock is ticking and time marches on. Truth: aging cannot be avoided.
Our photographer, Jenn, is a lovely lady who shared this encouragement with me. It was too good not to share with you.
“Aging and or illness can be so bittersweet. I am getting wrinkles and grey hair. Sometimes I struggle with that … wasn’t I just 22 like yesterday? Two of my friends died recently, and though they were privileged to open their eyes in eternity with Jesus, they never had the opportunity to get wrinkles and grow old with their husbands. So count your fatigue and auto immune diseases as privileged way to witness to others who struggle and may need a wiser woman to walk the path with. Your boys will be better men and husbands bc they will understand how to be more compassionate to women. And as hard as it is, we know God is good at letting us witness His glory through our trials.”
Thank you, Jenn. God is so good, and aging and death were not part of His original creation. The dastardly decline began when man rejected God in Eden. Yet, God graciously redeems aging for beautiful things and has already won the victory over death at Calvary and the empty tomb!
The most beautiful women I know are aging gracefully because they love and trust God, and I am thankful for their example. I want to be attractive for God, with His beauty shining through my weakness. When we are united with God, we are truly beautiful! And I hope if Renee doesn’t know it already, that she will soon find out how dearly God loves her.
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“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” Psalm 92:12-15 ESV
“The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.” Proverbs 20:29 ESV
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 ESV
“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.” Isaiah 46:3-4 ESV
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:20-21 ESV