As we continue on the LIST, I’m particularly drawn to : Life. Let’s just say up front that for me to think that a person could address all of life things in one single podcast or blog, is absurd. So I’m not going to. I’m going to share what I’m learning in my life at the moment. For me, Life On the other side of 60 can seem a little shady. I have a tendency to look back at what could have been, and then look forward to what might be- either with hope or anxiety. Depends on the day.
Looking back. We got married way too young. I was 17 and he was 18 and he was fresh out of Marine Corps boot camp. We didn’t elope, it’s just that no one could make it to the wedding. We got married at nine o’clock at night at the Candlelight Wedding Chapel on the Las Vegas strip. It’s interesting that our actual wedding took place like this, the two of us without support, except for his Marine Corps mates, who honestly, were more interested in going to Vegas than our wedding. We’ve kind of lived this way our entire marriage. This year, we celebrated 43 years of marriage – 45 years together. It’s been sweet and at times, sour. There have been brilliant adventures and scary events. We’ve lost our parents. We both wanted a large family, but after numerous miscarriages we thought maybe God had other planes for us. But, our love kept us going.
This most recent move back from Australia to Texas marked our 34th address change since we’ve wed. I say we have itchy feet. Maybe some gypsy in our souls. The two things have allowed us to always see our way to each other: 1) Jesus. We are both devoted Jesus followers and He comes first in everything. 2) forgiveness. I forget who said it, but someone said that marriage is just two broken people forgiving each other. And, that in a nutshell is us.
Every now and again though, the one thing the Enemy whispers in my ear is my lack of education. A high school diploma doesn’t go far when you’re looking for a job. It’s long been a barb he poked and twisted in my esteem. It used to really bother me, but spending time with my adult children who are also our friends and who walk with Jesus, along with their spouses. (I refer to the spouses as my children, too, but people get confused.) I know we made the right choices in the early years. We have 15 grandchildren, who of course are fabulous and wonderful and beautiful. (and our fulfillment of the dream to have a big family! Some of that is because I wasn’t chasing an education in Josh and Jen’s formative years. Lance was working, studying making a way for our family to be secure and stable. Teamwork! That’s us~
Although I understand all this, …education or lack of, raised it’s head again last week. I was having all kinds of doubts about the blog and the podcast and what’s the point…and I picked up A.W. Tozar’s book on the Holy Spirit. He says, “How did God use someone as uneducated as me? I never finished the 8th grade. I never went to Bible College or Seminary. I was the least educated person God could select to use for His honor and glory. This brings me to the point that God does not choose us for who we are, or how qualified we are, but for who He is and what He is permitted to do in our lives.” Talk about a balm to my soul. I knew this already. Lance refers to it as being F.A.T. faithful, available, teachable. But in the long days and short years of this life, that had been buried. Reading this theologian speak what I think was amazing. So, I told the Enemy there’s no fortress for him here and in Jesus name he should go.
Looking forward: What I’m learning in Life On The Other Side of 60 means not wasting time on trivial stuff. It means earnestly seeking Jesus first thing in the morning, through the day and before I sleep at night. It means forgiving, forgiving, forgiving. It means loving first because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) It means looking beyond the impossible to see the possible (Luke 1:37) through Jesus. Life on the other side of 60 means applying long ago learned truths to TODAY. Like F.A.T. and another one: put faith in the facts and the feelings will follow for days when I can’t see Him or hear Him. I have faith that his promises are just as real on my worst day as they are on my best day, because my faith is in him and not me or my feelings. I now see how good it is to take myself out of strained situations and regard others more important than me. (Philippians 3:2) Yet, this one remains challenging for me; it’s not necessary to attend every argument I’m invited to, nor is it necessary to be able to check the win column on my scoresheet because there is no more score sheet.
I’m learning that life is not supposed to be a feel good paradise. Often I would get frustrated with God because I was faithfully presenting my wish list to him, yet most of it wasn’t happening. Where was he? Then when hard times came, and things didn’t go as I planned, I thought he had abandoned me. But, now I see that’s WRONG! When the hard times come and the struggles come, I think He’s using that to show me His grace. Paul David Tripp says that ,”This present life is meant by God to be a time of preparation for our eternal home. ” I reckon now, if there are no struggles or challenges in my life, then I aught to search myself and see what’s going on or not going on. Another good Paul Tripp truth is that when we pray, it shouldn’t be us presenting a list of demands to him for his signature at the bottom, but rather, us presenting him a blank sheet of paper which we have already signed at the bottom, fully anticipating what He reveals.
We should always remember, that He is the same as he was yesterday, is today, and will be tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8) His promises are faithful and true. (Colossians 1:27). Before I say the end, I’d like to ask a favor. I really enjoying feedback, and I appreciate when folks tell me if what I’ve said is nonsense or helpful. I’m going to keep doing them because I feel His urging to do so. Maybe someone just needs to read/hear that they are not alone in whatever they are going through. Maybe someone needs to be reminded we’re all flawed and on one is perfect. ( None. Nope, not even your favorite Pastor or Celebrity pastor.)
If you’d like to ask a question or ask for prayer, please do it. Would love for this to be more than a one way street.
Resources for this one:
Devotional : Restoration Year devotional by John Eldredge
Song: Good God Almighty – Crowder
Podcast: Living in Post-Christian America
When I wrote this the complete and utter failure by the American government in Afghanistan had not yet taken place. I ask that you keep those who were left behind by the Biden/Harris administration (along with millions dollars of equipment) in prayer. Well, don’t keep the actual equipment in prayer, just the use of it, or the return of it. I’m reading online that the Afghan Church is still alive, despite being hunted. Please pray for Afghanistan.