by Vanessa Wohl
Age tends to change not only our emotions, but also our bodies. Wrinkles begin to show, arms wave bye-bye after the hand has already stopped waving, and weight can go up and down. In today’s youth-obsessed, media-driven society, aging at times is assaulted with shameful thoughts and words. Commercials promote age-defying creams and regimens all the time. Why is there a shame factor attached to aging?
Age is just a number. The day I turned forty, I boldly stated that forty does not define me, I define forty. Yes the body changes, but isn’t that normal? Today, I choose to look shame in the face and bring the faithful reminder: not today shame, not today.
I look in the mirror, and what do I see?
Cellulite buns and flabby arms reflecting back at me.
I look at my thighs and realize,
What once looked so thin has taken on a new size.
I look at my eyes and notice the corners have crinkles.
I look at my forehead to see lines and wrinkles.
I look at my hair and notice the grey,
Then I take a deep breath and say,
“Shame, today’s not the day.
Shame, I am walking each day to honor this temple,
I am resting in God, so His character I resemble.
My thighs may be bigger, and my eyes crinkle when I smile,
But Shame hear this out, I know that you lie.
Shame, you have no place in my mind or my heart,
So shame you must leave and depart.
For many years ago, on a cross filled with pain,
Jesus took my place, and He took my shame.
When I look at the outside appearance again,
I will place my trust on the One who resides within.
He took my shame, so Shame you have to leave,
Because my identity in Jesus is what I choose to believe.”
Shame is defined by dictionary.com as, “the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another”. So that brings about the question again, why are we ashamed of aging? Aging is neither dishonorable nor improper. Aging is natural.
So whether the shame you feel is based on age, size, gender, or even past mistakes, remember this one important truth: Jesus took it all because He truly loves every detail about you, bye-bye arms and all.
Vanessa Wohl is happily married with many children, dogs, and one turtle. Her heart’s desire is for everyone to know that God loves them. Her theme in life is “I am truly loved, and so are you”. She can be found sneaking off for a quiet cup of coffee, while deeply captivated in a book. For more about Vanessa, hop on over to her blog, whatmommaknows.com.
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