Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Length of My Days

Tomorrow I will have been married for fifty-five years. A couple of months ago I celebrated my seventy-fifth birthday. We have ten precious grandchildren, thirteen counting the three equally precious ones who've married into the family, and this past summer these two little munchkins joyfully pirouetted into our lives making us great-grandparents.

  If you were to ask me if, when Steve and I first got married - or better still - when we dated in high school - I thought ahead to what milestones like these might mean, I would have to sheepishly admit I never gave it a thought. I dreamed of children, but I don't think I ever looked any further ahead than that. I simply took the days and years as they came.

Every January I look around me at the thoughtful women who look back on the past year with an eye to planning for the future and wonder what's wrong with me. I feel as though I have lived floating on a cloud somewhere far above my actual life. But recently something has changed. Standing midway into my seventh decade of life has had the affect of bringing this imaginative dreamer down to earth. 

It's hard to avoid the cliches when talking about such things, but I suppose that's because cliches are convenient vessels for carrying truth. Life, my life, has gone by more quickly than I could have possibly imagined. Exactly when did my children become old enough to marry and have children of their own? And how is it possible that we are great-grandparents? Such a beautiful, impossible truth. 

I no longer think in terms of a far off future. I have been graciously given my "three score and ten," and every new day has become a grace. When people speak in terms of twenty or thirty years from now, I acknowledge the likelihood that those things will not include me. 

Before this gets too maudlin, let me say what my heart longs to say: I am blessed. I have been given gifts beyond earthly measure. I have a God who wrote the story of my life long before I ever drew one breath. I believe Him when He says it's a good story. In this season of my life, I'm learning the depth of that truth. I don't have to worry about a thing. I can wake to each new morning with deep gratitude, joy and an absolute hope, a confident expectation, in a blessed future.

I may not be an astute planner, but I know what my future holds. However many years are left to me, I can look down the length of my days and know they stretch into eternity.