He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” — Revelation 21:5
When I was thinking about how women approach midlife, I envisioned a large, lush, green field filled with women as far as the eyes could see. As my eyes scanned the grassy field, I could see intimate groups of women gathered in deep conversation while other women flitted from group to group like butterflies on a spring day. I could feel their energy and hear their laughter permeate through the masses, and it looked like a magnificent dance of feminine life. It was a bustling, busy, joy-filled vision... but then it changed.
Far off in the distance, one woman had pulled away from the crowd to catch her breath and rest for a moment. But when she did, the Enemy saw his opportunity and whispered a lie in her ear: “You are too old for this lush, grassy field. The world is done with you. Sit down.” It was completely untrue, but the Enemy loves to plant the seeds of fear and untruths in our minds at every opportunity.
That woman believed the Enemy’s lies and whispers, and she slowly walked over to another woman who was hanging around the edge of the group, and the first woman shared his deceitful tale with her. Then that woman told another friend, and she told another one.
As each of those women around the edge heard and believed those wicked lies, she sat down feeling defeated and even a bit embarrassed that she’d been caught having so much fun with the other women. A false whisper, a lie from the Enemy, stopped those wildly vivacious women from living out loud. It stopped the world from receiving the wisdom and gifts they were putting out into the ether. It stopped the electric buzz, and one by one the women seemed to settle into the grass and blend into the field like chameleons.
In my mind, I sat down too because I heard the whispers telling me I was done; I was too old and no one wanted or needed me anymore.
Then, after a while, I climbed to my knees to see where everyone had gone. What I saw was so frightening and sad that it made me gasp. Every single one of us was now down on the ground. We were still there, we were still alive, but it was as if we had all simultaneously deflated, as if some external force had caused us to wither and wilt into the grass. Sure, many were still chatting and laughing, but quietly now. We had stopped living out loud and it was all from one stupid, tiny lie.
That vision broke my heart and began this battle cry.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to sit down.
Okay, sure, I am out of shape and I do opt for a good sit-down more than I should, but make no mistake, I AM NOT DONE. This ol’ girl has plenty to give, and you know what? So do YOU.
It’s time for us to push back and change the narrative. It’s time to get up. If you’re like me, it’s going to be more of a roll to the side, then you’ll get to your knees and grip each knee as you slowly convince your body to unravel and push yourself into a standing position. Because yeah, it takes a little longer to get off the ground these days. But then —
- it’s time to stand tall.
It’s time to turn around to our sisters, take one another’s hands in ours, and pull each other up off the ground. Then let’s stretch our bodies out as far as they can go, raising our hands so high that we can almost touch the sun itself. When we have stretched as tall as giants, we take a deep breath in and yell, at the top of our lungs, “WE ARE HERE!”
We shout it over and over again until the roar is so deafening the world actually stops spinning for a moment, taking notice at the life coursing through our veins and our almost blindingly bright light. We are here and on fire!
The world needs these women more than you can possibly imagine.
Do you hear me? The world needs us!
We have so much to offer. We still have work to do, people to help, and lives to shape. There are new friendships and relationships waiting for us to step into them and adventures begging for us to lead the way. Our families and communities are not done with us, and God certainly is not finished with us.
We’re in a time of life when our exterior may not be everything we hoped it would be, but our interior is so good and so rich that it is almost bursting to come out. It outshines every small disappointment we may have about our outer packaging. What we have is good; it’s really, really good, and it can’t be wasted, not for a single moment more.
Do not hide anymore. Do not give excuses anymore. We need you, we love you, and we want more of you.
Excerpted with permission from Midlife Battle Cry by Dawn Barton, copyright Dawn Barton.
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Where have you found yourself sitting down in life? Where are you hiding? What beautiful gifts could God be waiting to give the world through you in these areas?