‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)
This week I am officially an “old fogie.” (The word my dad used to use for it wasn’t even that nice, having to do with our tendency to get more gaseous as we get older). I think, I can’t possibly be sixty-five years old, can I? In my mind, the image I see is more like the picture above which is me the year I graduated high school. Then I look in the mirror. And I know that’s not a true picture at all anymore. Where did those deep crevices around my mouth come from? Why do my eyelids droop like that? Who is that old lady I see looking back at me?
Truthfully, I never expected to make it to sixty-five. My grandmother died at forty-two, and my mom at sixty-two. They both died from high blood pressure, which I’ve had since my twenties. Doctors told my parents I’d never live to see my first birthday, much less sixty-five of them. But apparently my “leukemia” was nothing more than a severe case of anemia which they were making worse by doing blood tests several times a day. A horseback riding accident at eight years old came an eighth of an inch from severing the artery in my neck. And the following summer, my brother almost drowned me in a misguided prank. Many brushes with death followed through the years. But obviously, God wasn’t finished with me yet, The fact is that, although we never know what tomorrow will hold, unlike many people I know who are younger than I am, I’m in better health now than I’ve ever been in my life.
Yet, this certainly wasn’t the way I’d planned to spend my “golden years.” I always thought Wade and I would spend them together traveling around the world. We had plans to go to China, Australia, and South America. But I guess our plans aren’t always God’s plan. I led twenty-two children to Christ during the week of Bible School this year, so I know I’m right where He intended me to be.
He worked a real miracle in making me a published author at this late stage in my life. That was another unexpected blessing. I had pretty much given up hope of that ever coming to fruition. I’m so tickled that Not Guilty, Tokens of Promise, and Not Ashamed are now real books available for people to read and enjoy, and the same will be true for Woman of Light in October. It’s like these are my children. They’re so much a part of me. I guess that’s something no one but another writer could understand. I just finished the first draft of Not Alone, the third book in the Windspree series, and I have to admit it’s completely politically incorrect, but I love it. It really speaks to where I am now in my journey.
So what does the future hold for me? To be perfectly honest, my hope is that Christ will return any day now and my future will be with Him in eternity. But if that doesn’t happen immediately, I’ll keep plugging along, telling people about Him at every opportunity I get, writing anything He gives me to write, taking care of my grandson, and enjoying the company of friends. As my friend Krystal reminds me, He promises to be a husband to the husbandless. I’m trusting in that promise. And I know that this time that trust is not misplaced. These last several years have been a struggle, but I’ve survived through His provision and guidance. I’m not afraid of old age. My hand is firmly in His. Thank You, Jesus! God bless, Teresa