In seven days, I will have lived a quarter of a century. I know, I know, it’s not much, but double my years now and I’ll be fifty, and that is a crazy thought to me. I always thought I would change as I got older, but the truth is, if our lives are a straight line to begin with, age just bends them a bit – we are still the same line.
So what have I done in twenty-five years? Successfully graduated high school with a bit of college under my belt (I’m a quarter or two short of a two year degree) that I managed to get while in high school. I’ve been on many short term missions trips, although nowhere very far away. The most exotic was Honduras, and it was life changing. You’ll never look at life the same way again after visiting a third world country (or you shouldn’t, anyway). Went to YWAM at eighteen not looking for a husband and found one while I was there; got married a year later. Had fifteen months of marriage and then Jenny came. Another fifteen months and Elias joined us. After a slightly longer break, Erik was born. I’ve now been married nearly five years and have three kids, a house, a minivan and a husband who loves what he does. I’m not dissatisfied with my life thus far, but I have dreams of doing better on the next twenty-five years. I dare not write a list of things I want to do – I’ll just let myself down if I can’t manage all of it. For now, I’m determined to figure myself out. Who am I beyond my failures?
I randomly opened my neglected Bible this morning straight to Proverbs 31 and could have laughed at the irony. At a time when I’m very insecure in my abilities as a woman, wife and mother, this wasn’t exactly comforting. This woman rises up while it is still night to make food for her family. She buys and sells and sews and gardens and everyone thinks she’s the cat’s pajamas. For crying out loud!! Who on earth can live up to that?!?
I have heard Proverbs 31 spoken about in various ways. I have been at bridal showers where it is read out as a devotional to young wives to be. Inside, I’m cringing, imagining what these girls are going to think of themselves after the realities of marriage set in and they can’t live up to the scripture. I have also heard it spoken of as the ideal to live up to, but in a way that we should just pick some of it and go in that direction. Another commentary was that this scripture was written about a specific woman and is not a guide for us to follow. That’s my favourite one, but it’s the one that is heard the least.
So what’s a girl to do? At the moment, I’m going to hope that the next time I randomly open my Bible, it doesn’t open to Proverbs 31 again.