I’m in a funny place right now in my faith walk and in my life in general. I turned fifty last December. This isn’t something women usually admit to, but it’s part of the story so bear with me. I’m an older mom with a child still at home. Most of the women I know who are five years older or five years younger than me are already empty nesters. Some of them have grandchildren that they are, rightly so, proud of, and they want to talk about said grandchildren. But, the question I have for myself is what do I have to talk about when I’m around said women. Sometimes, I feel, it’s not a lot. With one of my children in college, and the other still in high school, it will probably be another 7 – 10 years before grandchildren are a possibility. (It had better be that long. I want them out of my pocket with gainful employment before grandchildren happen. 🙂 )
So, what happens in the meantime? I have gravitated towards younger women for friendships, and that has satisfied my longings for female friendships to an extent. But, I still struggle in wanting an older role model, someone to mentor me, especially in the church. I have other issues from my background that have also made this difficult. Coming from an unstable and non-Christian background, it’s hard sometimes to know how to act around other women in the church. It’s hard to be the base for your family’s faith and not have anything to draw from knowing that your children are drawing from what you say and do with regards to faith. In other words, no family faith history to speak of. I’m not sure women or even people, in general, who have a lifelong family faith history can understand that.
Then, I need to couple that with the other part of my blog title–a place for my gifts. We talk in the church, all the time, about sharing the gifts God has given us. In most of our churches, I am sure, opportunities are limitless for sharing. The question I have though is what happens if I have marshaled up the courage to say I want to share a gift, and then that gift is rejected. This might be a question that surprises you, but it has happened to me. It has made me wonder how I fit into a church community, and it has made me think about going somewhere else.
Why haven’t I? Gone somewhere else, I mean. As I’ve written this blog post, I’ve realized some things about myself. I need to be more of a person who notices than I have been. Noticing when a person comes in alone. Noticing when someone needs a ride. (like I did last week) Noticing the young mom who is sitting outside eating a popsicle with her daughter. (like I saw last night) Noticing the person who is different. Because, you see, Jesus noticed the people who were different, and He shared His love with them first. That’s what He wants us to do, and that’s what He wants me to do. Community is messy, and it can engender all of the ugliness in this world like pain, hurt feelings, and sadness. In fact, the song, “Does Anybody Hear Her”, by Casting Crowns, brings all this into focus for me. It resonates with me because it’s how I’ve felt and how I still feel sometimes. Does anybody hear me? But, if we can hear the people around us, if we can notice them and bring them into our fold, if we can show them Jesus’ love, community will become what it is meant to be, a place where angels sing, and we all lift our voices in worship of our Lord and Savior.
God’s blessings on all of you today!