Many, many moons ago, I was privileged to spend weekends on the sidelines as a cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins, my lifelong favorite football team. It was a crazy whim of an idea while in grad school in South Florida, since the games weren’t always on tv. I say this part because I have always fought with the issues that most girls grow up with – not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not “whatever” enough. Honestly, I thought I had no shot whatsoever. But, God’s plan was different. Somehow, I made the cut every weekend and finally, made the team! It was one of my most prized accomplishments and a time of life that was incredible and a true gift.
Fast-forward 15 years. I am now a married mom of two. Life is a bit different, to say the least! However, recently I was able to attend an alumni weekend for former Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders. This was the first time I’ve been back, so needless to say, I was a bit nervous. And, frankly, those crazy self-image battles tried their hardest to rear their ugly heads again. Diets, exercise, hair, makeup, oh my!
And then, I went to the reunion. What I found was even better than I could have hoped for. Precious friends with even more beautiful hearts than you could imagine. No one really, truly cared about the packaging, it’s what’s on the inside that truly matters. It was like no time had passed – laughter, tears, stories, memories – what a lovely friend of mine calls “doing life together.” Perfect words.
Upon my return, I was working on a Bible reading plan and sure enough, this passage and some wonderful companion Scriptures were there to relish! As I pondered these passages, some wonderful truths were revealed:
Wisdom is a by-product of graceful living that needs age and life experience to flourish and grow. I know I was not a wise young person. I made many mistakes and choices that were not what God would choose for me had I let Him. But through the years, wisdom has started to settle into those cracks and crevices created by those fancies of my youth.
They eyes are a mirror of the soul. Our bodies will age and break down, but the light in our eyes will shine on and on as long as we are in line with our God. My prayer is that my eyes always reflect His light into the world around me and He uses me for His glory.
God sees us as perfect – because He made us the way we are for His purpose. That is a perspective that is lovely and tricky at the same time. To see myself as God sees me is hard to do on many days. Satan knows what buttons to push and is always working them to try and get me to fall. I’m trying my best to see the benefits of all the changes the years are making in me. Laugh lines mean I’ve experienced much happiness over the years. The scars of childbearing remind me every day that I was blessed with two amazing children and am entrusted to bring them up in the ways of the Lord. The list goes on and on.
Yes, I’m aging. Are there things I’d love to see NOT happening? Of course. But, if given the choice to go back to those days with a better figure and smoother skin, I’d have to pass. Life is much sweeter these days because of what’s growing and maturing on the inside.