“Age is just a state of mind.” At least that is what we are told! If that’s true, however, I recently found myself in quite “a state” when I had the opportunity to visit my Alma Mater for only the second time since I graduated over 20 years ago. I was back on campus for a couple of days to visit the school with my 18-year-old daughter as she narrows down her college search.
In one sense, I was amazed at how being back on campus instantly made me feel like a kid again! Almost immediately I felt “at home” on campus and quickly noted how little seemed to have changed in two decades: many of the same buildings, some of the same faces, and (in the case of the dining hall) even the same smells! I was transported back to a time and place filled with many fond, formative (and youthful!) memories.
In another very real sense, however, the whole experience made me feel every one of my years. Walking the campus this time not as a student, but from the perspective of a parent considering leaving my first-born child, even in a place I love and cherish, caused me to quickly regain full awareness of my current age and stage of life.
As I grappled with this odd juxtaposition of feeling simultaneously young and old, the Lord nudged me with a simple reminder from Hebrews,
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
As I look to the past and specifically reflect on those college days, my happy memories are also peppered with memories of doubt, uncertainty, and more than a few regrets. The author of Hebrews, though, reminds me that Jesus was there using those experiences, his Word and means of grace to mold and prepare me for what was to come.
As I sit here typing today and consider the imperfect offering which I bring to my various vocations of wife, mother, friend, DCE, and many others, I am easily able to point to a long list of how I am falling short in every category. This verse, however, reminds me that Jesus is here pointing me to his sufficiency and willingness to work in and through this broken vessel to heal and restore.
And as I look forward to the coming year of “lasts” and “firsts” and a changing landscape for our family, it is this same truth from Hebrews which brings me the hope that Jesus will be there and that His love, presence, grace and power will be as real and present then as they ever have been.
So in the end, I guess it doesn’t matter what state of mind I am in about my age. Young or old, because of Jesus, the stages and seasons of this earthly life are less about a state of mind and more about a state of grace. Each season, with its unique circumstances, joys, and challenges provides a specific context for me to receive and experience grace afresh, and points me toward eternity where I will experience it fully; not just for yesterday, not just for today, but for forever. Thank you, Jesus!
What about you? How is God speaking to you in your current season of life? What scriptures are you finding especially full and meaningful?