Okay – this is TOTALLY not what I was going to write about originally, but…
I’m in the process of trying to “legitimize” my writing career. What this means is that I am updating and/or changing several aspects of my online identity to make my dream seem more of a reality: hence, the URL change; introducing myself as a “writer” when I meet someone; submitting articles for publication; editing the bejeezus out of some other writings I’ve done; meeting up with fellow bloggers, both in person and online; getting a fancy new header and/or background for the site (coming soon); and looking at a couple of “grownup” things like business cards and maybe even a photo that’s not done on my Mac.
It was this last item that made all the sound just sort of drop out around me earlier today. Lately, my 18-month-old has been reinventing the concept of sleep deprivation for me by getting up every day around 5:30 or so. Because I refuse to sit and just stare at the same cartoons over and over again on a certain cable channel, we have taken to watching animals mooing, quacking, and baaa-ing on YouTube while waiting on the sun to come up. To mix things up this morning, we played with the camera mounted on my laptop, snapping pictures of him over and over again so he could laugh at the baby on the computer screen.
Somehow, I managed to get my unshaven mug in one of the pictures.
I’m willing to grant my appearance a little grace and write off the dark circles under my eyes as a by-product of continually getting less than six hours of sleep a night. But when I saw my eyes…
…and I saw the wrinkles…
…and then I thought about what Ashley had said about seeing grey in my facial hair (good luck trying to locate one on my head)…
…and then I finally stopped denying the fact that I have a Landmark Birthday™ coming up in a little over a month…
My age hit me. My biological age.
And suddenly, my coffee wasn’t the thing slapping me awake this morning.
I started thinking back on the past decade of my life, and I was amazed at seeing what all had transpired in the space of just ten years. It was like an entire lifetime of tragedy and rebirth had been crammed into a space the size of a dime. The losses. The victories. The painful, soul-wrenching nights spent in tears on my floor, demanding God give me answers. The quiet mornings spent on my patio, accepting the mercy offered me and discovering that I am ultimately okay with unanswered questions. The lies. The Truth. Being Judas. And Peter. And Paul.
I began reading through one of my journals, and I was shocked to see how much I have written on grief, on pain, on loss…and I was just as shocked to see that these words eventually – and that’s key: EVENTUALLY – transform and blossom into words of promise. Of hope.
I find myself continually and constantly being renewed (although, to be honest, not as often as I should) with the grace, mercy and forgiveness offered me. I have to remember to accept it. I have to remember to believe it. I have to remember that there is a Comforter who is with me, not a Condemner.
Through love, Joel 2:25 is made manifest in my life. Years spent in wilderness, years spent in darkness are replaced with promise. They are being replaced. Now, I don’t believe that my lifetime has been extended by the better part of a decade. What I do believe is that today, I am receiving blessings and love that was…deferred, for lack of a better word.
Maybe this explains why my spiritual age and my biological age are not really compatible. One is old and dying, while the other stays young and fresh. One focuses on the years behind me, while the other lives for today and the adventures that tomorrow can bring. One feels the weight of the past and gets wrinkles.
The other calls them laugh lines.
And all I have to do is choose which age I want to live in each day.