Recently I had a conversation with a friend whose family member had just passed away at the age of 81. After sharing my sympathy for my friend’s loss, a realization smacked me right between the eyes.
Eighty one is only 32 years away.
Gulp. It’s no secret I’ll be 49 years old this year. I’m not sure I like that number, but there’s not much I can do about it. I’m also not sure what 49 is supposed to feel like, but I don’t feel like I’m 49. I feel like I should be about 35.
Yes, I have grown children. Yes, we’re facing an empty nest. And, yes, I’m old enough to be a grandma. But, still. Are you sure I’m not 35?
I don’t believe it was the number, 81, that hit me so hard, but the reality of… the majority of my life is behind me.
For a split second a twinge of sadness seeped in as this reality settled over me. Are the greatest years over? Is it all downhill from here? It was quite the humbling, helpless, and hopeless feeling.
But, what followed next led to the subject of this post.
I believe the greatest years of my life are ahead.
That’s not to say the first 48 years haven’t been great, because, goodness, they have. Okay, maybe I’d throw out a year or two of my rebellious teenage season if I had the chance. I could also do without the years my parents died. Oh, and the time my husband and I separated. That wasn’t so great either. But really, these 48 years have made me who I am… the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly. God has used it all to mature me and mold me into who I am today.
Oh, but I know I haven’t yet arrived. I still have much to learn and more to experience. The older I get the more I realize how far I have yet to go. God continues to walk me through incredible life lessons, step-out-of-my-comfort-zone adventures, and faith-growing opportunities. I’m thankful He hasn’t given up on this sorry soul of mine!
Yes, the majority may be behind me, but the best is ahead of me.
Why? Because God is in them all!
The years ahead can’t help but be great!
For me and for you. For all of us! No matter what number our age is, if God still has us on this earth, He has good planned for us. Not to mention all that’s ahead in eternity with Him!
This isn’t to say we won’t experience trying days and dark nights. And, we also might walk through times of sadness and discouragement. But, with God leading us by the hand, we can trust our future is secure, safe, and nothing short of incredible.
The same words God spoke through Moses to Joshua thousands of years ago can also encourage our hearts today:
“God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry.” Deuteronomy 31:8 MSG
May we look at the days ahead with great anticipation, yet live today as if it’s our most important day. Let’s not waste one moment we’re blessed to experience, and live each one with the intention of making an impact… in the lives of others and into eternity.
Join me in this reality today. Let’s allow this truth to settle over us. Let’s live our lives as if the greatest years are ahead of us.
I’m thankful I get to live mine alongside of you!
It’s a joy to link this post with a whole bunch of friends: Lori, God-sized Dreams, Blessed But Stressed, Kelly, and Holly. Check out their uplifting spaces!
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You’re absolutely right that the moment we have is the most important one there is. Take care of it, and the next one, as best you can…and the best moments will be ahead.
This is about all I can do now, with words like ‘chest pain’; and ‘cyanosis’ entering the vocabulary. Tomorrow’s gonna hurt. But I can enjoy what I have now.
Thank you for this statement. Sometimes I dread the future! But I know who holds it, and who is leading it! I just need to believe it! Visiting you today from moments of hope link up! Have a blessed week sister!
Hi Sue! Thanks for coming by! I’m with you… some days I need to believe it. Bless you as we believe together!
Thank you Julie. For the reminder that we are not alone.
Hi Tina! You’ve blessed me by stopping in and for sharing your words here. I hope you are doing well! I need this reminder often… we are certainly not alone. Bless you, Tina!
Good morning, Julie. I’m stopping by from the Purposeful Faith linkup and want to thank you for this encouraging post! Today…I hope to “live with the intention of making an impact”. And, how is that I’m 47 already? I really related to your words. Have a blessed day.
Hi Tammy! Welcome. Thank you for stopping in! The years slip by, don’t they? I’m joining you in living with the intention of making an impact daily. Have a wonderful day!
Julie, thank you for your sharing this vulnerable and encouraging piece about looking forward with hope and excitement, rather than disappointment or regret. I appreciated reading this. God bless!
Hi Lance. Thanks for coming by and for your words of encouragement here. So glad we can help one another keep a positive and uplifted perspective. Have a great week!
Your post started my day out on a positive note! I’m ten years older than you and have the same thoughts about life as you write here. It’s easy for me to get trapped looking back but as you remind me looking forward is so much better! Thanks Julie! Cindy
Cindy, I need that reminder daily. Looking forward is so much better! Thank you. Have a blessed week!