Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer has been married for twenty-three years to her high school sweetheart, Paul. She is the mother of three children, Paul IV (22), Samuel (6), and Grace (6). She also has six babies residing in heaven. It is those six tiny souls who have propelled her into women’s ministry. She is a conference speaker and author of the book Nothing to Hold but Hope (one woman's journey through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility). Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.
This morning, after sending my kids to school, I noticed I was out of coffee cream. Lord knows coffee helps set the tone of my day, and so at that moment I determined the only time it’s acceptable for me to leave the house with printed yoga pants and a shirt that doesn’t completely cover the bottom half, is in a coffee emergency. Off I went racing to the store with no makeup, disheveled hair, and my yoga attire.
To give you a little more insight into my morning, I have to share that, yesterday, I went from classroom to classroom with rhythm sticks and hip hop music as I worked with each grouping of students on understanding rhythms. This body jiggled itself into needing a serious dose of ibuprofen. I’m moving slowly today.
On the way home from the store, I noticed a teenage girl waiting to catch the school bus. She was drop dead gorgeous! I almost couldn’t take my eyes off her youth and the fact that if she were to dance to hip hop beats all day while tapping out rhythms, her body wouldn’t dare remind her of such efforts. This is what’s lovely in the story of seventeen. Meanwhile, I’m feeling the out of shape story of forty-three. Ouch and ticktock!
To be honest, I felt envious for about half a second. And then I remembered this…
The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness.
To be honest, I think many of us have forgotten the truth in those words. I know I have. To move this nugget of wisdom from antiquity to modernity, I will say I probably spend more time than I should in a salon chair keeping up on my roots. With that in mind, this scripture is more about the heart.
We tend to live fearful of inevitable wrinkles and silver hair. Like most women, I spend each morning primping in front of a giant piece of glass which refuses to lie. It even uses my body to teach me science lessons on the subject gravity! But here’s the thing: the older I get, the better I am at living the life I was born to live. I wouldn’t trade who I am now for all the taut skin youth can offer.
Even though I know I can always make better choices and stand stronger in my calling, I’m okay with who I am and will continue to live a life pursuing the things of God.
I don’t know if I’ll ever truly embrace the lines taking up permanent residence around my eyes. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop coloring my hair, or wishing I was perfectly petite with bosoms in perfect position, but I do know what really matters:
Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.
The same God who heard my prayers when I was a little girl with scraped knees, the same God who wiped my tears when I was a brokenhearted teenager, and the same God who picked me up as a young woman full of grief, is the very same God who will smile on my wrinkles and deliver joy with every gray hair to come. He will give strength in each moment and use my age to propel my gifts. And, friend, He will do the same for you!
One day, when I reach my eternal home, I will be delivered from the curse of aging and death, from sorrow and grief, and the joy I know now will be nothing compared to the Joy I will one day meet face-to-face.
And while I spend what I hope will be many more years walking this journey, I will continue to choose Jesus! And in choosing Him, I also choose wisdom and grace. I choose to use my years sharing hope to women who need someone. I choose to be a shoulder for tears, and a smile for sharing laughter. I choose to be a heart made to spill love, even over those who don’t share the same mindset and ideas. By the way, age teaches that also. To realize not everyone thinks the way I do has been a blessing at times. There have been many days in which I have shouted yes and amen based on the uniqueness and differences of people. I still have a lot to learn, and I want to live with an open heart guided by the Holy Spirit, not my own ideas.
Learning to live our purpose in every phase of life can be exciting. Be encouraged, He will carry you!
What will you choose?
For more encouragement, join Jennifer at jenniferkostick.com