Thursday, December 4, 2014

the older woman

My heart broke a little bit the other day when I heard a woman tell a story about the time she--an older woman--played an important role in someone's salvation.

It was a valuable story about how she had taken a mission trip and wasn't sure about her role there. She assumed she wouldn't be of much value on the trip because of her age. However, she and her husband found themselves in the company of a young man and his dad, who had big questions about Jesus.

"Do you really believe in this stuff the way these young kids do?" he had asked her.

She was able to tell him she did believe it, and then she was able to help lead him to Christ!

But that's not the heartbreaking part. The heartbreaking part, to me, was the part where she wasn't sure what value she brought to the table in the first place.

Maybe it was so heartbreaking because those are often my thoughts and the lies I often believe. What can I do? I am nobody. I don't have a huge impressive story. I have two kids and zero specialized skills. And I am shy on top of everything else. So seriously, what can I do? 

For her, the little lie that she had believed was "I am too old."

The truth is, God created us all differently, with different talents and skills, backgrounds, experiences and likes. He then uses whomever He wants to do whatever tasks He chooses, and it's no accident we experience certain things (heartaches, joys, sorrows, or failures). And it's not accident we are placed in specific situations.

I wish that woman knew all along that she is valued, that she is NEEDED daily, not just on that mission trip. That one time on a mission trip wasn't a fluke, like God had forgotten and accidentally gotten her and her white hair involved. Who would have shared with that broken man unless she had said "Yes" to that trip?

And who will impart knowledge to younger generations of women unless older women step up to do so? Who will walk a young woman through divorce unless there is also someone who has experienced it or something like it? Who will speak hards truths into someone's life with mercy and grace, allowing her to cast off bad habits and attitudes? Who will teach new moms how to show their children Jesus every day? Who will help them apply the Bible to all situations, not just where it's convenient?

Older women. That's who. But we need more women who aren't afraid that their best days are behind them. Women who are open to new challenges as well as new people to serve and love. Women who won't bottle up their hurts and joys, and who will instead use them to share their hope and the Truth they've learned with others who will need it soon, if they don't already--sometimes unknowingly--need it now.

Women who will sit across a table with an open Bible, a head full of wisdom, and years and years of experience following the heart of Jesus.

Because we ("younger" women) need you, you are valued, and you have a purpose.

(PS...Along these same lines, if you have never read The Noticer you might want to give it a try. My heart BROKE for the older woman in that story who thoughts she no longer had a purpose.)