How to adjust to the challenges of aging

So… recently on my Facebook page, I asked the question, “What has been your hardest adjustment to aging?”

Here are just a FEW of the responses:

  • “Feeling the same as always but finding that my body doesn’t listen to what I tell it to do anymore (run, jump, etc.).”
  • “Time remaining. One of our most precious commodities is time.”
  • “Lack of energy and then the weight gain.”
  • “Retirement has been a hard adjustment.”
  • “Being treated older but not feeling older.”
  • “Realizing that I need to listen to my body and rest when it tells me to.”
  • “Memory issues.”
  • “The realization that I’m not where I want to be.”
  • “Feeling invisible, as if I’m now too old to have an opinion or accomplish anything worthwhile.”

I don’t know anyone, except children and teenagers, who look forward to aging. (At least it wasn’t on my bucket list.)

But, like it or not, we all are growing older

As women, our first wake-up call is in our bodies … when menopause hits us like a ton of bricks.

If we make it through THAT ordeal, we usually appreciate the freedom of not having a period every month.

But it ain’t over yet, sister!

Over the following years, our bodies continue to give us signals that we aren’t young anymore.

Wrinkles multiply, boobs sag, extra pounds grab on for dear life, bones creak, illnesses we’ve never thought would happen to us happen, and … I can’t remember where I put the rest of this list.

Perhaps the hardest of all is the emotional changes life brings

They jump out at you when you least expect it:

  • Becoming a caregiver for your parents, spouse, or a sibling
  • Losing family and friends to distance or death
  • Navigating the changes in your finances
  • Seeing the things you’ve invested your life in not turn out the way you’d hoped
  • Finding a new purpose when you’re no longer able to function fully in what you used to love doing

Of course, you can go into denial if you want to.

Or discuss each new development with your circle of girlfriends, which at least gives you companions on the journey.

But if you aren’t careful, you can find yourself growing fearful, cynical or depressed about the whole aging thing.

At least some of the time.

Your depression, negativity or fears may not show much, especially if you’re generally a happy person.

But in the dark of night when you’re alone, you don’t feel OK about the changes of growing old.

Let’s tweak your perspective a bit on aging…

What if you approached the whole thing from a different perspective.

After all, it is God who invented aging. It seems to me He slows you down so He can have your full attention.

He’s planning to spend the rest of eternity with you as His bride.

You are His favorite. His true love.

You know that, don’t you?

He’d like to have your full attention. Because He is madly in love with you.

So what if this whole aging thing is part of your transition into eternity future where you laugh, dance in your spirit, and share the depth of joy that’s found when you’re in love with the One who waits for you?

What if that transition meant listening more closely to His voice whispering in your ear, helping you learn HOW MUCH He loves YOU?

Even in the midst of the negative happenings in your life?

What if all the adjustments to aging were put to use as reasons to draw closer to the One who loves you best.

BECAUSE if you tweak your perspective just a bit, you will see Jesus, with His arms opened wide, a HUGE smile on His face, and laughter bubbling up so much it shakes His whole body.

You’re practicing for Heaven

Your attention is on Him.

He has promised to take care of you. He is your security. He is your provider. He is your joy. Forever.

And forever starts now

Even to  your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I will sustain you.

I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you (Proverbs 46:4 NIV).

Walk through these years of transition rightly, and the step you take someday from this life into the next will not be a big deal…

Because you will already have spent your days dancing and laughing in your soul and spirit with your Bridegroom, even in the midst of your difficulties.

You’ve spent your later years determined to know the height, depth, and fullness of the love of God more than you know anything else in this world.

Practice this:

The next time you find yourself focused on one of the things that bug you about growing older, look through the difficulty (it is transparent and not meant to last)…

…AND see Jesus waiting to catch your attention with the twinkle in His eye.

Set your focus there. Right there.

Let His reality be bigger than any other reality you’re dealing with in this life.

Remember, aging has God’s fingerprints all over it.

You aren’t going through this alone. Jesus is pulling you toward Himself.

Embrace the pull.

Hugs, Susan

For more help with adjusting to the problems of aging, see:

Age gracefully by dealing with your snarly self

Navigating the rough currents of caring for aging parents (or a spouse)

3 Responses to How to adjust to the challenges of aging

  1. I have just been revitalized in “beauty” because of this grand and wonderful reminder…..He’s in love with me…all of me…thin hair…extra weight…etc!
    Thank you, my Dear Friend for these words of encouragement! Whew! We will make it to the END!
    Love ya,
    Bev Lyons

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.