This week I turned another year older. I’m now dangerously approaching my mid-thirties. I’m beginning to see, with some disbelief, signs that my youthful body is slowly fading.
One morning, as I was getting ready to leave the house, I quickly put on some makeup to cover up the tired mom look. I tried to cover up the tired mom look. Effort always counts for something. Just as I was about turn to off the bathroom light, I noticed the three wrinkles on my forehead when my brow furrows hadn’t unfurrowed. Wait a minute. This has never happened to me before. Are those wrinkles there to stay? Forever? I’m not ready for this!
Fortunately, I was able to remedy the wrinkle situation by smoothing more foundation into the creases. I’m pretty sure I applied the makeup in the furrowing position, hence the perma-furrow. Everything was back to normal again. But still, a little unsettling.
I always thought I’d be okay with aging. I still think I’m okay with aging. I don’t plan to dye my hair when it begins to turn gray. I’ve long been aware of the proverb that speaks of the “crown of splendor” that comes with graying hair.
31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor;
it is attained in the way of righteousness.
A crown of splendor. That is pretty lovely.
But on Monday, under the unforgiving bright lights in the Old Navy change room, there it was. I could see it. On top of my head, a white hair. There were probably more in sight, but I chose not to search for them. I already understood what was happening to me.
I am getting older.
It isn’t just happening to me either. I see it on Facebook. The friends I knew 10-15 years ago. The women I went to high school and university with? They are aging too. I’m starting to see the wrinkles around their eyes I didn’t see when I knew them so many years ago.
But what I’ve noticed most, when paging through the pictures of women my age with their kids on their laps or the places they’ve traveled in the background, is their loveliness. They are more beautiful than I remembered them to be. I see angular faces with eyes that sparkle, smiles that cause creases in their skin, reflecting the joy in the people around them.
And to my surprise, when I walk by a mirror or pause to see my reflection for a minute, I am stunned to see that I’m looking beautiful too. My face has slimmed down, my cheekbones are a bit more defined, my eyes are clear, my long hair has developed a wave. Hmm.
Yes, it is true, these women and I look a bit more weathered. The mothers in the group don’t quite have the bodies we once had in the pre-kid era. But we’ve been places and have had some life experiences not known to the teenage girl. We’ve experienced hardship and loss. We’ve known joy and love we never could have imagined.
This is where the beauty comes from. It isn’t from the perfect, flawless skin or from the slim, fit bodies the media tries to convince us we need to be beautiful. The loveliness we possess is a natural beauty that only comes from living life, coming through the hard times and finding joy in the everyday experiences.
The beauty of our spirit will never fade. As our bodies continue to age and lose it’s youthful appearance, we can be assured God will continue to work on our inner beauty, refining us into who he made us to be. It is this beauty we can hold on to.
It only gets better from here, ladies.
3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4