God has recently been telling me, “Give it away” and that is just what I am doing! I’ve invited some beautiful souls from my favorite Facebook community for women in the 50+ season of life, The Consilium:a Gathering of Wisdom and Grace. Enjoy the words from their hearts and, if you don’t mind, would you leave a comment to encourage them? Feel free to join us over at The Consilium – we would love to see you there!
Today, I’d like for you to meet Elizabeth Stewart:
The orchid was in full bloom when it was given to me. After the blossoms had withered up it sat on the
windowsill and, for the longest time, appeared doomed to never blossom again. I finally decided to give
up on it and throw it away. When I went to get it and toss it in the trash, I was shocked to find a beautiful
blossom on the plant I had given up on.
It was the summer I turned 50. I wasn’t excited at all about this season, about turning fifty, about passing
middle age and sliding down the slippery slope to senior citizenship. I wasn’t excited about my place
either. I felt stuck and I was angry and bitter about being stuck. As a wife and as a mother, as a
grandmother and as a pastor’s wife, if felt like my whole world was affected by others and their decisions
and choices. I felt tired, hopeless, used up and dried up. I was consumed with resentment over people
and circumstances that I couldn’t change, and I was convinced that because of my circumstances there
was no hope for a vibrant future for me.
When my husband asked me what I wanted for my fiftieth birthday, I think I surprised myself as well as
him by blurting out that I wanted a night away at the beach by myself. I’m so thankful that he was
understanding and willing to grant my birthday request. (I’m not sure I would have been as gracious if he
had told me that what he wanted for his birthday was, in essence, a night away from me!)
It was a hot, sunny August morning when I got in our car and headed to the Oregon coast. I cranked up
the air conditioning and also the worship music and sang along as loud as I wanted to. I don’t think I was
halfway through the two hour drive before I started to feel a crack in the wall around my heart.
I was sitting on a rock on a bluff overlooking the sea, my Bible and journal on my lap, when I heard God
speak these words to my heart. “Build your life.” He helped me to recognize that I had developed a victim
mentality. I had convinced myself that other people and outward circumstances were in control of my life
and destiny. He was directing me to turn my focus away from circumstances I could not change and had
no control over, and to turn those things and the other people involved over to Him and trust Him with
them. Then He told me to start focusing on what I could change, to build the life I wanted to live, the life I
felt like He had purposed and promised for me long ago.
The next afternoon, I came drove back home with a lot less emotional and spiritual baggage, but a lot
more hope. My life didn’t change drastically overnight, but choice by choice, I began to build the life I
believed God wanted me to live instead of the miserable life of a victim of circumstances. I began to say
no to things I didn’t feel I needed to take responsibility for any longer, and I began to say yes to pursuing
some of the dreams that God had placed in my heart decades before. I began to believe and to act upon
the truth that I could choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.
I am 57 years old now and I can tell you without exaggeration, life is great! I discovered that when I
focused on making good and godly choices for my own life, when I began to pursue the dreams that God
had put in my heart, when I quit focusing on how I wanted to change others and circumstances that were
out of my control, that not only did I find myself blossoming, but God’s hands were free to take care of
those other things once my hands were off of them!
“This is my season and my place of blossom.” I read those words written by Kimberly Daniels and my
heart jumped and my spirit said a loud amen. I am smack dab in the middle of God’s will, God’s season
and God’s place of blessing and blossoming. I am going to finish strong.
best of her life and encouraging others to do the same. She is a whole hearted Jesus follower who has
been married to her pastor husband for 38 years. She has three wonderful daughters, two great sons-inlaw,
and five of the best grandchildren in the whole world. She is active in teaching God’s Word and
mentoring others in her local church. She blogs at justfollowingjesus.com and is pursuing her writing
dreams, her love of photography, and her passion for all things beautiful.
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
- What God Can Do with A Shattered Heart - September 5, 2022
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