Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
I don’t consider myself a young woman. I’m sandwiched somewhere between the unstoppable energy of my son and the slow, graceful works and wisdom of my father and mother-in-law.
In the past year especially, I’ve become accustomed to my face, the slight creases that did not exist five years ago, the gray streak beginning to develop at the front of my hair and the extra work I have to do to maintain my weight and keep my hormones balanced.
Every morning I look in a mirror etched with Scripture in my far-from-perfect handwriting, reminding me what God says about me, and see a woman who has thrived in the throes of adversity, racism, sexism, failures, setbacks and heartache. I see a woman who realizes she doesn’t have to have everything (or anything) figured out to successfully live out her purpose in Christ.
I see a woman who each day becomes more focused on her immortal soul than the body presently surrounding it. My years are changing me for the better.
This is why I love spending time with older people. They hold a precious wisdom that can only be found with time, overcoming situations and frustrations designed by ourselves and the enemy to steal from us, kill us and destroy us not just now, but for generations.
Older people know the land mines and how to avoid them. They also know how to find peace, joy, happiness and love after making the mistake of detonating them.
When I think about myself and my circle of friends, I notice that God has strategically placed us around one or more older people who can speak directly to our current struggles, help us realize that there really is nothing new under the sun, and pray with us that the Lord that carried them through will do the same for us.
It may be a new year, a new generation with new technology, but we serve the same God. And older folks have a longer, deeper, stronger relationship with the Savior than any of us. That’s why it breaks my heart when younger people in the church ignore and disrespect our elders, seeking to cast them out of the communities they built.
Dismissing their input can only lead to disaster. God desires to match the energy and zeal of young people with the wisdom and steadfastness of seasoned saints. We need each other. There is no other way.
Deuteronomy 32:7 lays it out plainly. “Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.”
The Word of God is true in print and on my phone. Hearts are opened to the presence of God through 200-year-old hymns and songs of worship written last week. We are renewed and transformed in Christ by remembrance of the old and the promise of the new.
I look forward to the new things God is doing in my life. And I am thankful and blessed for the people who paved the way.
LaMonique Hamilton is a Wilson resident and former Times reporter and copy editor. She blogs about arts and culture at iamlamonique.com.