"That they may teach the younger women..."

For the second time in her short, 6-months of energetic life, I left my little daughter in the hands of her capable Daddy for a mom's get-together at a friend's house a mere couple blocks from our own. With nutella cupcakes, and a three-tier dessert tray in hand, I got there a couple minutes early to help the hostess set up. I felt rather talkative and energetic that evening, happy to get out after several days cooped up at home with a baby I was protecting from the many bugs floating rampant in our circles.

My talkativeness shut down pretty quickly once a few guests started arriving that I didn't know very well, and more noticeably, when the reason for the gathering arrived. As the middle-aged mom of seven stepped into the living room, I wondered why I had been invited at all. HER visit to the area from out of province was the reason for these dozen ladies gathering, and I had only briefly met her once, just a short couple weeks after Joel and I had returned to Canada from our honeymoon. As her eyes fell on me,  she gracefully stepped over to give me a warm hug, and I somehow felt glad to be there, though not exactly comfortable yet.

I positioned myself in a corner chair, rocking back and forth, my arms feeling strangely empty as I wished for my baby to cuddle and occupy me. I was told this gathering was primarily for visiting with O., but as she suggested we start the evening out with prayer, I started wondering what the evening would all entail. As her gentle, Russian accent filled the room, I was struck with the sense that I was sitting the presence of a woman who was no stranger to close communion with God.

As the evening progressed, she led out in a sharing time and devotional. Honest, candid, gentle, with eyes sparkling with life and joy, I felt a twinge of regret that I never had the opportunity to get to know her. She spoke openly of the joys and struggles of the last year-and-a-half since she had visited the area, and wanted to hear what the Lord was doing in our lives. As the ladies shared, a common theme started emerging - that of dying to self, our plans, and our desire to control life according to our dreams and expectations. We talked of the things we loved most - our husband and children, and how they too needed to be placed upon the altar of complete surrender.

As I sat, absorbing this all in, I was being blessed. I remained completely silent, a part of it all in my spirit, yet fearing the vulnerability of my own current emotions. This dying to self and to control hit close to my heart. I thought of my little daughter sleeping sweetly at home, and her upcoming surgery and all the unknowns and fears I was battling with. I wondered exactly how God was going to bring me to that place of completely laying her in the hands of the Lord - wanting HIS glory and best above all else.

As this informal time of sharing came to a close, my ponderings continued as I sipped my coffee and nibbled on chocolate. All of a sudden, O. was at my side, explaining how she had heard of Leana's heart condition, and was wondering how I was doing. For the next 15 minutes, we chatted back and forth, me admitting some of my fears and what I felt the Lord was trying to teach me, and she imparting not only a listening ear, but jewels of wisdom, encouragement, counsel, and promises of prayer.

I lingered that evening until the clock was threatening an hour till midnight. Gratefulness and hope filled my heart, and I breathed a prayer of Thanksgiving for an evening of refreshing the Lord knew I needed. I went home not only encouraged, but with a new desire kindled in my heart. It's one I've heard expressed often by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, but was never able to relate with until then. "Oh Lord, to be a godly older woman."

To experience firsthand the typification of what I believe Titus was speaking of in his second chapter was something I find to be fairly rare these days. Aside from a dear older mentor-friend I've had for years, I could count on one hand the older women who have taken the time to invest in my life - even if just for a few minutes. What a refreshment and encouragement those few have been though!

To be a godly older woman begins with choices now. Choices to spend time at the throne of grace, learning to know and hear the voice of my King. Choices to spend my life investing in others, rather than in temporal, selfish pursuits. Choices to reach out to, and involve myself NOW in the lives of that younger generation of wives and mothers coming up. Choices to love others unconditionally, trust my Lord unreservedly, and pray unceasingly for opportunities for the life of Christ to live and breath through me.

"Yes, Lord, make me a godly older woman..."


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