She’s in her mid-40’s and her doctors are already using the phrase, “as we get older….” It’s jarring in the way the first time someone calls you ma’am makes you look around to see who they’re talking to.
The year I hit 50 (there was no turning fifty, I ran flat into it like a car hits a wall!) all the doctors, started their sentences with “At your age“.
Eye Dr.: “at your age we like to do this test”
Dentist – “at your age the teeth can start shifting..”
Primary Care – “at your age I’d like you to have….”
Maybe the first hint should have been I now have more than one doctor.
If I want to find company for a pity party, I only need to take out old photos of a youthful me where I defied gravity in every way and nary a line crossed my face. Makeup was rarely more than a swipe of mascara and brush of shadow. And hair? Wash and wear, right? A little blow dryer, maybe a friend trims the ends once or twice a year. Maybe.
This week I’m thinking back on the years. Thirty-eight years to be precise. Thirty-eight years of marriage which is always beauty and struggle and plenty and want. It is learning and failing and trying and giving in and giving up and putting up until you realize what you need most is to look up.
If we look past the surface of these words, past the bruised feelings they may conjure up, if we look past ourselves we can see beauty waiting to be exposed. Beauty in the years of keeping and loving.
I stand by my words that I’m the lucky one. I’ve asked God why he’s given this man to me, one I am often undeserving of. One who always sees my best when I’m the first to call out the worst. One who is calm when I’m fretting over being late, being lost, or not being at all.
He’s not perfect. But he’s perfect for me.
The years are showing on both of us. They are showing a resilient joy, a quiet and ordinary beauty in the rhythm of our life together.
A lot is made of the passage in Proverbs 31 about the virtuous woman. Too little is said about husbands but these verses describe the one God has given me.
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage. Ephesians 5:25-28 the Message