Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The midlife self eval...

By 40, you should pretty much know who you are right? I mean adolescence was well over 2 decades ago. That's when you discover your gifts and talents and fear and insecurities, when you have big dreams, make life plans, and can't wait to get out of your parents house where you can really be you.

The world will finally get to meet, embrace and appreciate all of the personality and talent you've been hiding in your teenage bedroom where you spent most of your time. Well-spent time listening to and memorizing music, talking on the phone, journaling, reading, making yourself over and over and over. Yep, look out world. 

Then college happens and you realize that as unique as you are, the world doesn't revolve around you. You get busy making realistic future plans, then start your career, get married, have kids and humility comes knocking again somewhere after 30. You kinda know by then what you are good at and where you want or need serious help, yet you spend so much time trying to convince yourself and others that you know what you are doing that you actually think you might have yourself & this whole life thing figured out. 

This is the "shut up you are so irritating" phase. At least it was for me. I grew so weary of hearing my own voice almost daily giving advice about things I hadn't even come close to mastering myself. I am surprised I had any friends and moreover my closest friendships were mostly made during that phase. I am in awe that they still love me.

So at almost 40, I have to admit that there is a little something to that whole midlife crisis thing. It's more like a disillusionment crisis. You know for a fact that you have no answers and that truth be told you are winging it most of the time and praying for God to pick up the pieces when you fall short as a wife, mom, sister, friend, grand child, coworker...you pray for grace from God and others because you need it like water. 

That's the biggest thing I think I have learned about myself. I am fragile, delicate, and broken...and I couldn't live with myself and my own inner critic if not for the grace and mercy of God and the ones who love me despite my failures. Even though I will never measure up to the standards I set or some that others set for me, I have a God who adores me and finds me precious and He covers my flaws. His love and the love of family and friends defines me. Nothing else matters when it comes to "figuring me out." My gifts, talents, hopes, plans and every other thing I use to try to define myself is worthless. 

Christ in me...let it be.