Friday, August 25, 2006

Age - It's Just A Number

I started doing a Bible study on my own last week. I need to be fed. Basically all I am getting right now are the weekly sermons. They are great, but I need more.

I have been feeling stagnant in my walk lately, and that is not a good thing, so I went to one of the local Christian book stores last week and picked up a few Bible studies that sounded interesting to me. The one I am working at now is called "Living With Passion & Purpose" by Elizabeth George, and it's on the book of Luke. I have only done six chapters so far (I'm trying to do one every day, though haven't for the last two days), and while I am finding it helpful, I still feel like I need something a little more indepth - you know, something that makes you feel challenged, something that makes you look at yourself in a deeper way. I really don't know what kind of studies there are out there that would do this, but I'm keeping my eyes opened.

This study has helped me be more conscious in one area that I struggle with. You see, age is a real issue for me. I don't know why that is so - although I have a little inkling as to why it could be. You see, I am thirty-seven years old and I am not married and have no children. Some would not see this as being a problem, and would tell me "Well, there is nothing wrong with being single, just think of all the work you can do for the Lord!" Fair enough. Yet, there are others who wonder why, at my age, I am not married nor have any children. While I hate both of these responses, the latter one bugs me the most.

I have to wonder if the stem of my problem with age, is the fact that I am still single with no kids. I wonder if I were married and had kids (or even just married), would my age still be a problem? It's not that I feel I am too old to do things for the Lord, though to be honest there are times when I think I am too old to do something. You see, I look back over my life at what I have or have not accomplished. Not too much. I feel as though I have wasted a big part of my life - though to be honest, the majority of the past was lived in a non-Christian manner.

Now, I know that I can't dwell on the past and that Jesus has forgiven me of the sins I've done then. I know I need to focus on the present and do what I can for the Lord, with His help and provision.

I guess I feel like time is running out - to get married to the right one, to have children. My clock is ticking BIG TIME, and this is a real issue for me. I've taken it to the Lord, cried out to Him - you name it. I will admit that there have been times when I have cried myself to sleep over this, have been almost obsessed with this matter. Not good, I know.

I was talking with a friend the other day, and she said something that made a lot of sense and it kind of hit home. What she said was that she is learning (or has learned) to wait for God's timing in bringing her a husband if He chooses. I can't explain it as well as she did (hopefully she'll be kind enough to leave her explanation in the comment section, even if only as a reminder to me), but I don't want just any husband. I want the husband the Lord has for me, the one He wants to bless me with. I want His best, not second best.

To get back to the Bible study, one of the "questions" was to list a truth that I took away from that chapter (it was chapter 1), and what I said was that I need to remember that age does not matter, and God can use anyone to further His kingdom regardless of his or her age. See, it's not just in doing God's work that I need to remember this, but in everyday life.

Age is just a number and it doesn't matter if everyone around me is younger; it doesn't matter that at age thirty-seven I am doing or learning things most people would have started as a child or teenager (such as taking up a musical instrument, going to university). It doesn't matter if most everyone I know is either married, has a child, or both. It doesn't matter - but some times it does matter to me.

I haven't mastered this yet, but I'm working on it and it might take a long while to change my thinking and feelings around; but I'm trying. I'm trying to put my focus on Jesus and be obedient in my walk, seek Him in all situations, etc. Again, it's not easy - but no one ever said the Christian walk is a piece of cake!


Delia said...

That's so true, age is just a number, nothing else.

Though at times it may not seem like it, God has His plans for all of us. And if His plans for you include a husband, well, He's already got him picked out. If not, then He's got something better for you.

I don't struggle with that same issue, but something similar. There's something that I want so bad. And I feel that it's the right thing for me and so I want it right now. I have to remind myself on a regular basis that it's His will and not mine that I should be concerned about. And if it's His will, then I'll have it in His time.

Jayleigh said...

Shelley. **hugs**

I know what you mean, sort of. I have been associated with my hubby for 18 years (13.5 of them married). We always knew.

But no kids. And it stinks and it hurts and it seems unfair. On this near-14-year journey, we have cried some bitter tears. But we've also come to places of momentary peace.

It's difficult to accept "God's timing, not mine." And when someone says it, it's easy to think they are being trite and pat. But they aren't.

God's timing, yes. But it's one of those situations where I am bloody and sweaty and praying through clenched teeth. I'm so NOT ok with how things are, but I know things will eventually be fine. So how can I complain against my God, who never leaves or forakes me?

I know this comment was round-about, but I think you can probably catch my meaning in there somewhere. Hang in there, sweet lady!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I understand your feelings. I have several friends in almost the identical boat!

One other friend was married for 18 years, becams a Christian five years ago, and her husband left her for a younger woman four years ago.

Now she, too, is waiting for God to bring her a good Christian husband.

Keep up with the Bible study. You need milk before you can get to the meat. Each study you do will grow you further. Trust the Lord to send them in the order that you need to learn them!

God bless, and I'll pray for you!

Maggie Ann said...

Shelley, I love your honesty and tender spirit...God loves that always. I wouldn't be surprised if Satan was behind some of the worry..he knows too well what areas we are vulnerable in. His days are numbered, praise God! How many of God's people are home with a Bible study tonight trying to get closer to God? I think you are doing the very things Jesus told Mary & Martha about. Sitting at his feet to learn...blessings to you. Praying just now for you.

David said...

praying for you, shelley.

Katie said...

i agree with maggie ann, I too love your honesty and tender spirit. Thanks for being open and real and sharing your heart.

franky said...

I can understand your dilema and your feelings on this subject. Because it hits me hard too. But the only thing we can do is wait and see. If God hasn't introduced you to the man you are going to marry yet. Either He or yourself aren't ready. But when that day comes I can just picture how you will be and I know that you will feel that it was well worth the wait.

By the way. We do have to get back into a bible study together... Let's talk about that soon...

Michelle said...

I just happened upon your blog and immediately added you to my favorites! What a lovely place to be! I will be visiting ofen. I have been struggling for quite a few years... to get back that feeling.... to feel God....I just said to a friend recently, I feel so sad and empty sometimes because when I became a Christian over 15 years ago, I felt the warmth of his wonderful spirit.... I have let myself get to a place, that I just don't want to be. I can't hear or feel HIM anymore.... Thank you for being here!

Debrand said...

Yes, age is a standard of measurement just like your bust, waist, hip, shoe, hat and hose size. While people use it in the wrong way, as a comparitive tool, it does not say who you are. You are a child of God and that's what's important. If you want some books to study try John and Lisa Bevere. They really cut to the heart of the matter. I think Lisa has a great one out that I've been meaning to get. God bless you.

Prayerful Knitter - Shelly said...


I so appreciate your honesty and caring. I will keep you in my prayers every day.

While so difficult to understand and be patient, God's timing is perfect. He sees the entire picture and we only get to see today.

Please rest easy and confidently in His love and perfect plan for you.

Your Friend in OK,


Jessica (Mamma1420) said...

Hi Shelley,
I'm reading your blog for the first time. The hardest thing I had to "accept" was that God is in control. No matter how I worry, no matter how I try to change things, He has the perfect plan for me(you) if I just have faith. You know what, even when I received from God what I thought I wanted, I wasn't satisfied. To be able to accept God's plan for us and be content with it is one of the hardest struggles for anyone.

I said a prayer for you,

NorCalKnitter said...

I understand how you feel. When I was in my mid-twenties I too was waiting and praying for a husband and children and a home. There was nothing I wanted more, and my heart and soul ached for it. When I broke up with a boyfriend that obviously wasn't suited for me and didn't want the same things in life that I did, many of my friends set me up with blind dates trying to help me find a mate. During that time God gave me dreams of a man who cherished me and thought I was wonderful. Those dreams filled me with warmth and love. At about the same time I started going back to church. I had had my fill of blind dates, but my best friend's husband was working with a guy who he felt was "VERY nice" and he set us up on a blind date. This friend had never set up anyone before or since. And I'm happy to say I have never dated another man. We were married a year after our first date (20 years ago), we have 3 growing sons, 2 dogs, a chinchilla, a hamster, and a home that is filled with love. Our children have no doubt about how much we love each other. Our children are saved and we are involved in the church. The message to all this rambling is - God's timing was perfect and he chose the right mates for both of us. I'll keep you in my prayers that God will choose the perfect mate for you.

Julie said...

Hey there Shelley... I'm the blogger who wrote the blog about the dream I had and you left me a comment. Thanks for your input. Not to sure what it meant, but it was a funny dream none the less. Anyway, was kinda wondering how you came across my blog. Just curious. Also I wanted to comment on this blog. It meant a lot to me to read it because it made me realize that I'm not the only one who feels that way. It was almost as if I wrote it myself. So thanks for that. Also in reference to the Bible Study... I've been feeling the same way lately and have really been praying about it. You see.. my work schedule is so crazy and random that I can't commit to a specific night every week to meet for one so I've been praying about starting a blog Bible Study. Was wondering if you would be interested in joining us? Don't know exactly what we are going to do yet or who all will be in it, but the main idea is that we will have a blog set up that those who are in the study can go to and blog on whenever they want and respond to the study and answer the questions that are on it every week. Something along those line. Anyway, leave a message on my page if you are interested or just to say hi.