While I like to come up with catchy blog titles, I don’t have the energy for one right now. And I was gonna try to drum one up, but the mere fact that I’m trying to reference a 2 year old movie is beyond lame.
Three weeks ago I turned 40. That’s supposed to be a huge chronological milestone, some sign of something.
I feel no different.
Scratch that. I feel wiser and more content. I feel secure. I realised as I was reading Christianity Today the other day that I have been given a gift at this point in my life. While I’m frustrated a great deal by the fact I can no longer work, I am blessed to have shed most of my insecurities. I see who I am now, and I see so many of the reasons God chose this body and face and place for me. I can’t be ashamed of the tools I was given, even if they seem less than ideal. In Romans 5:8 it says “all things work together for good” for those “called according to His purpose.” And in 40 years of life I can definitely say that is completely true. Everything I once disliked about myself I now see as the key to a certain door, a door that my walking through has changed things for the better.
Beth Moore* has a new book out called So Long, Insecurity. You’ve been a bad friend to us. In the interview for CT she says something along the lines of ‘don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.’ That cracked me up. Here we are; I’m 40. Moore is however old she is. And we’re still reducing insecurities to appearance. People are so busy feeling bad about the way they look, sizing their appearances up against other people, that they forget to take a true measure of themselves. Do you treat other people with kindness and understanding? Do you seek to marginalise the people whom you envy? Do you spend more time envying others than working on your own refinement? If you are a Christian, do you present to the world a life lived in true cross-carrying style? Do people look at you and say “this person is making all efforts to be Christlike?” So many of us Christian women would rather that people notice our clothing or hairstyle. It’s silly.
But I did realise when I read that article that not only do I not care whether or not Beth Moore looks pretty but I haven’t felt truly, wholly insecure in three or four years. Frustrated and angry at others’ misperceptions of me, but never insecure in that “I don’t belong” way. It’s a gift that I think has come with age as much as anything else.
I don’t begrudge my 40s at all.