I’ve got to start writing today with a very guilty confession.
I am very partial to a bit of eavesdropping. There is nothing better than people watching, and sneakily overhearing a conversation. I know that no one will ever come near me again after this admission, but I don’t think I am alone in this secret.
It was actually two overheard conversations one day that really got me thinking and prompted me to write this.
The first one was between two older ladies in church. They were discussing the behaviour of some of the younger women in church. And the second conversation was between a couple of younger women discussing how they never wanted to become like some of the older ladies.
It made me giggle, but it also made me think what a bunch of cannibals us women are. We devour our own species.
My first thought was at least the young women were misbehaving whilst in church. It could be a whole lot worse and they weren’t in church doing a lot more destructive stuff. My second thought was that the example the young women were using to describe the old was their propensity towards crochet. I have been assured by my husband’s 24 year old P.A. that crochet has made a comeback.
What on earth is it that makes us critical or dismissive or jealous of another generation of womanhood?
It seems our society has taught us not to see wisdom and experience, but to see ugliness and weakness.
And it seems some of us older girls see inexperience and brashness, and misinterpret it.
It’s like change has become a disease to be eradicated or at best ignored.
So let’s look at the decades and what they hold, and have a good laugh. Let’s look at the highs and lows.
Well, hello the 20’s.
You are the bomb dot com. Your bum has not yet at this point started its migration southwards, and you have a wrinkle free face. But the flip side of this, is that we can be intolerant in this decade. We also suffer greatly with what people think, and are very quick to want to fulfill everyone’s expectations.
Well, hello the 30’s.
You have got it all girl. You have the career and you have the family, and you have become assertive about your accumulation. But in our 30’s, we can become dismissive of those older. We feel like we are falling out and over the precipice of youth.
Well, hello the 40’s.
We read here that our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. Hilarious. We are no longer wiping bums, and have a smidgen of freedom. But we can be carrying so much responsibility in our 40’s, that we neglect at times to take attention to our souls and our inner life.
Well, hello the 50’s.
We are experienced and poised and we have gained a certain knowledge of who we are. We do however find ourselves haunted by the avalanche of past experiences. Not to mention the butt level has drooped considerably. Hello control wear!
Then I can’t actually comment on the 60’s and beyond as I’ve got a few years to walk that path. I’m assuming that is the decade when our children recognise we are no longer idiots. But seriously, we don’t want to become cynical and criticise those who are following us on life’s journey.
In really thinking about it, what we are dealing with is the fear of crossing over. It’s the curiosity or the threat of the next thing. It’s the no mans land that we try to avoid at all costs.
It is the threat of a life or an experience we do not completely understand, and in our confusion we have the propensity to be cannibals of our own female species. I am not sure when having the perfect eyebrows, and a pert bum became the ultimate, but I am sure these qualities are not on God’s scoring scale.
God promises us He did not give us a spirit of fear, so this blatant perfection of our age, obviously is not heavenly. A bad selfie is not our enemy, and neither is a sagging butt.
Our enemy is not holding hands together and celebrating the common female experience.
In Luke we read about Elizabeth, a woman who had not been able to conceive, but who in her old age was blessed with the gift of a child. And then we read about Mary the mother of Jesus. Here was Mary pregnant, without even having to do “the deed”.
Elizabeth could have rightly been bitter towards Mary, with the “simplicity” and ease of her experience. Elizabeth however, put aside petty jealousies. We don’t hear, ‘well it was easy for her’. She instead chose to celebrate with Mary.
Together they joined hands across the generations to celebrate the same female experience. They joined hands together with the understanding that we all suffer joy and pain. That our experience is the same thing repackaged in a thousand different ways across the years. That the barriers erected between us in our society are not actually barriers.
They are erected by an enemy who wants us to believe fear and insecurity instead of certainty and celebration.
Progression through life is inevitable, but its celebration is optional.
When we look at life we see a spiral downwards, but instead it is a spiral upwards. Life is a journey of discovery of ourselves and our Heavenly Father. Your next stage is not a threat but a welcoming open door into even more wonderful experience.
God will always meet us on the bridge. He reaches out his hand and beckons us forward on this amazing adventure called life.
Jenny, along with her husband Dave, is Senior Pastor of Hope City Church and part of C3 Church Global. In 2004, Jenny founded and started City Hearts to help support women with life controlling issues. City Hearts has since expanded, opening numerous houses for survivors of Modern Day Slavery. Since the birth of city Hearts they have pursued the freedom and restored the lives of over 4200 women, men and children across Europe and Africa.
Jenny was born in Brisbane Australia, moving to Sheffield England 27 years ago with her husband Dave, to pioneer Hope City Church, now one church in twelve locations across the Globe. Their son, Ryan, lives in Sydney Australia.