It’s my birthday. No, this isn’t my fourth time turning 29. I’m also not 25 again. In honor of my birthday, I want to discuss something that’s near and dear to my heart – being grateful for our birthdays.
Why Lie About Your Age
I’ve been in enough situations as an adult woman to confirm that many, many women still lie about their age. And I’m not just talking about the blatant I’m-telling-you-I’m-10+-years-younger-than-I-am lie. I’m talking the “oh, I just celebrated my 25th birthday again” one.
I get privacy. If you don’t want to share your actual number, that’s your right. But what I take beef with is your giving my impressionable daughter (and other young [and not so young] girls) that being alive is something to be ashamed of.
Aging in Our Society
However, it makes sense. Wonder Woman is a gorgeous young thing in her 20s or 30s. There aren’t too many Maybelline or CoverGirl models over the age of 50. Older women in cinema generally play stereotypes of crazy/eccentric old ladies, dependent grandmothers, or controlling mothers-in-law. So, maybe as a society we just don’t know how to age gracefully.
Our Divine Nature
I’m grateful I don’t have society only to learn from.
For example, there is Anna from the Book of Luke:
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Anna, in her “great age,” served in a capacity that brought salvation to the children of men. When she spoke, the people listened. Because of her age and life circumstances she could be in the temple night and day.
Timothy’s mother Eunice and grandmother Lois are recognized for the “unfeigned faith” Paul sees in Timothy. These women no doubt developed wrinkles, had thinner hair, and maybe had put on a few pounds than their younger selves had, but that’s not what Paul remembers about them. It was the light of their faith that stayed with him.
And we can’t talk about older women without including Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Though “well stricken in years” (Luke 1:18) Elisabeth is blessed with the opportunity to conceive and birth a significant player in God’s plan of happiness. Maybe Elisabeth was mistaken for John’s grandmother more often than she would have liked, but I can think of no greater honor than to be the mother of such a child.
My Birthday Wish
If I may make a birthday request: next time someone wants to recognize your birthday, consider forgoing the cheap trick of saying you’re 25 again. Consider, instead, all of the moments that have made you who you are and what you have to share with the world and own your age. “Another year older,” is a perfect response to “how old are you this year?” Another year older means another year of life, learning, and love. And that’s definitely nothing to be ashamed of.