By Deb DeArmond
“I wish I had a picture of my mom, “the young man said. “You look just like her.”
Sounds nice, yes? Fail.
Just five minutes earlier I learned that he was the baby in the family, the last of nine children—and that his mother just celebrated her 83rd birthday.
“She wears her hair just like yours. And I think she even has those same shoes.”
He smiled at me. I smiled back. It kept me from bursting into tears or screaming hysterically or something else inappropriate for the moment. It was a business setting and those types of outbursts are generally frowned on, you know.
Truthfully, I’m certain I am old enough to be his mother. But I’d have been a lot happier to hear she’d been a teen mom, now still very much a youthful, with-it kind of gal. Not someone 83.
So what to do with his observation . . .?
For starters, I’m getting my hair cut today and may consider refreshing my highlights. And those shoes gotta go. I’m sure that some senior citizen will consider them quite a find at Salvation Army.
In all fairness, our conversation did nothing more than remind me, once again: the sand in the hourglass is shifting. If someone said to me today, “You’re only as old as you feel,” I’d smack him. Life has been both exhilarating and demanding of late. Exhilaration can be demanding. It can also be a carnival ride: bright and colorful, while moving very fast, and right up until the moment you think you might lose your lunch—it’s fun.
And it all requires energy, which has been in short supply lately.
This morning, I recognized my power pack light was blinking. I’ve failed to plug into the source—His power consistently of late. It hit me yesterday on an airplane as I listened to Natalie Grant on my headphones singing “Your Great Name,” and couldn’t keep the tears from streaming down my face right there in seat 3B.
“All the weak find their strength at the sound of your great name.”
It was a moment. Just ask the lady in 3C.
It’s not that I forget I need time in His presence, drinking Him in. But of all the things that pull on me, demanding my time and attention – He is the kindest and gentlest of them all. He doesn’t push His way to the front, knocking my world off its axis to get my attention, but waits with expectancy, believing this daughter who has been given so much – redemption, new life, and unbelievable favor – will appear and sit at His feet. That He waits while I wade through other stuff is a level of love I don’t understand.
“God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being,” Acts 17:270-28a.
God’s plan for my life at this time of my life is ambitious to say the least. He set me on a path I never saw coming and I’m running to catch up with it all daily. I love the path. But I love Him more and I have no illusions about whose power is required for the race.
The enemy would like me to believe there’s a prescribed number of minutes each day required for the recharge I need. Not true. It’s a minute by minute presence with God, talking to Him throughout the day and listening intently for the direction of His Spirit that empowers. It’s an embedded awareness of the living Word in everything I touch. It’s also time to simply sit at His feet and recognize the majesty of our great God.
I’ve been trying to live and move and have my being under my own strength, my own power these last few weeks. It’s embarrassingly insufficient for what He’s called me to. Especially since I’m at the age where I’m reminding folks of their 83-year-old mother.
God has no intention of letting me off the hook for what He’s called me to. His word is clear that He never changes His mind about His plans for us: “For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn,” Romans 11:29 (NLT). Since that’s the case, I’d better change my mind and my practices to include a constant recharge.
I’m back on track. That young man did me a favor.
But I’m still getting rid of those shoes.
Deb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship and conflict resolution. A writer and popular professional speaker, Deb focuses on topics related to the family and women. Kregel Publications released her first book in November 2013 entitled, Related by Chance, Family by Choice. Abingdon Press published I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last in June 2015 and Don’t Go to Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight in June 2016. Read Deb at Family Matters/Deb DeArmond and My Purpose Now.