What will these middle-age years be like?
I turned 40 in July. Within the realm of our immediate household, we’ve had a lot of joy and contentment. Outside of that, I’ve not really had a good 5 year run in them since I was about 13. Raised in a church that was cultish at best, abused by one parent with the other rarely home, and then having to deal with an ex-pastor for 8 years that was anything, but Christian in their behavior, made my life pretty topsy-turvy. Some of that infiltrated into our household and I hate that.
I wish I was the parent I am now 10 years ago. Even though I home schooled my children, I always wonder if I could have cherished that time even more. If I would have ignored the pestering ex-pastor, would have things been better for my kids? Probably, but they have experienced what a Christian shouldn’t look like from this person. And they still have faith in God. One is even studying to join the ministry. Another is strongly considering it. I look at this and am definitely thankful for God’s grace, because I KNOW we wouldn’t have made it together otherwise. He is good.
Our Turning Point
So, now that we have eliminated most of the toxic people out of our lives, or they are on the periphery, what will our lives look like these next 10-15 years? I feel more stable than I ever have, finding confidence in knowing that I was abused, like I thought I was. (Abusers make you feel like you are the one who is wrong.) I’m thankful that I got past my fear of going to a counselor, thinking that he would make a list of 20 things wrong with me. Instead he told me, “There isn’t anything wrong with you. You were abused.” I have been told to be gentle with myself, and that was almost alien to me when I heard it. I’ve never been gentle with myself. Really, very few have treated me with gentleness in my lifetime. So this was new, but I have been doing it, and it is helping me not overthink too much.
Now we are moving on into a different portion of our lives. Our oldest moved out in August to go to school. Our second oldest will be joining her next August. We still have a child under 10, but all the babies are gone from our house. All the toddlers and little boys and girls too. It is a hard, bittersweet thought for me. If I felt that I could handle another pregnancy, health-wise at age 40, I would do it all over again. I really would. Even at the ghastly “old” age of 40.
That is nearly impossible though, so we look to the future. Our kids are our treasures. We look forward to weddings, grandkids, to my husband’s retirement, and to whatever God has in store for us. (A ministry in Scotland? Wishful thinking, and a joke… kind of.) We love our new home in the country here in the Heartland of Illinois. We’re getting our compost garden prepared. Our orchard is doing fairly well, and growing. Our chickens are a mixed blessing. We like the eggs, but feel a little tied down by them.
God isn’t done with my music, so I’ll be doing that too. Whatever His will is concerning that. I’m pretty much along for the ride. I’m not sad to be entering my middle-age years, but I’m a little tearful, as well as happy to watch my kids grow up. I think the world of them.