A Re-Titled Letter to My 65 Year Old Self

Dear Self ~

I'm not sure exactly why you've been awake for hours.  Here you are before dawn has barely broken, dragging this ancient laptop downstairs and out on the porch where the early morning breezes are blowing energetically.  Even the birds are not quite sure what in heaven's name you're doing as they fly past the windows to the feeders for an early breakfast.

For some reason, you've made turning 65 into a great big deal. 

Sure it's a milestone, but I don't quite understand why you're so unsettled by it, why you seem determined to have some kind of weird self-absorbed pity party.

Stop it.  

Just  .  Stop  .  It.

65 is not the end of the road.  Unless God wants it to be.  And last time I looked, He seemed to have work for you to do.

I know, I know, this has been a year you'd just as soon forget with all the deep losses and the physical drama and trauma that left you emotionally shot.  

Yes, yes, you were so sick that you had to close down your counseling practice.  Daily news updates remind you that you can hardly go anywhere anymore safely.  Your mask is always at the ready.

Mom is declining right in front of your eyes and your heart breaks in a million pieces yet again every time you see her. 

You missed your 17 year old beauty's birthday yesterday.  Her state won't let your state's people in without a major upheaval.

Join the party.  You are not alone.

For some reason, you stopped journaling mid-winter, right before the pandemic hit.  Maybe you should dust that baby off and do a little soul searching, a bit of unpacking, and sort through what's making 65 so ridiculously traumatic for you.


Enough already with the pity party, dear girl.

All those deep truths about living for Jesus that you've learned at the feet of your ancestors and mentors, teachers, friends, and grandchildren need to re-claimed yet again.  All the encouraging words of grace-filled challenge you've whispered to counseling clients and written for your precious blogging community need to be revisited.  

Not by them, but by you.

So go do the next right thing.  Continue taking the best care of yourself you can.  Be gentle and kind to yourself ... without excessive coddling.  Keep those stupid time-wasting screens off.  Get out and about as much as you can, girl.  Listen continuously to the Spirit's gentle voice of comfort, direction, correction, and love.  Get serious about cultivating joy and anticipation.  Laugh often.

Make gratitude your byword.

If you look carefully, you'll see that there might be a door or two opening for you.  That God has someone for you to be, something for you to do.  Stop waiting around for a gold-plated invitation to reach out.  The gifts He's given you are still there.  In fact they might be even richer than ever because of what you've lived through during these past 12 months.

Keep on leading that Women's Pandemic Support Group at church.  Don't stop singing all 58 verses of those old hymns that come to your mind at the strangest times.  Keep your eyes peeled for the needs around you and roll up your sleeves.  Celebrate the daily, the ordinary, the necessary.

And don't neglect your soul in the process.  Keep on faithfully cultivating and investing in your relationship with Christ.  When all is said and done, He is all you have, He is all you need.  

He calls you beloved.  He loves you so.

Now go dust yourself off, pick up your mantle of compassion, and simply do the next right thing well.

And smile with a joyful hope as you continue to aim toward living this passage out - 'Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things ... And the God of peace will be with you' - Philippians 4:8-9.

And for heaven's sake, stop whining about hitting 65, will ya' ... and go read what you wrote a few years back - In Which 60 is the New 30.

Look up, look forward, girl ~


P.S.  3 hours after hitting the publish button, I re-titled this post.  I was uncomfortable as I realized I had been a bit harsh with myself.  Our beloved Savior is the 'Father of compassion and the God of all comfort' {2 Corinthians 1:3}.  We should be showing ourselves the same loving kindness as He has shown us even as we re-examine our lives in the light of His Word and the prompting of His Spirit.

Farewell, 'A Rather Blunt Letter to My 65 Year Old Self.'

Thank You, Jesus, for your tender mercies toward Your children ...

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