Photo by Jennifer Davis Rash

Rashional Thoughts: Five decades of life lessons excellent preparation for rest of the journey

Turning 50 definitely puts perspective on the reality of mid-life and the fact a hill does indeed exist. While I like to think I’m standing dead center on top of that hill, those ahead of me contend I shot right past the top and am now officially “over the hill.”

That’s OK, I’m still ready to embrace the rest of the second half and round out the third quarter with even more gusto — and no regrets.

After all, climbing up a hill should be harder than strolling back down, even with the slips and stumbles that come from the momentum gained on the descent. So, let’s go for it.

Reflecting back across the decades, I recently realized a few life lessons I’ve learned along the way that helped mold the current version of this particular redhead.

And being a redhead is what led to one of my early ah-ha moments.

First decade of life (0 to 9 years old) — I realized each of us as individuals has value and offers something special to the world.

It would be later that I truly comprehended how each of us is made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), but as an elementary school child I could have easily withdrawn into a shell because of my hair color.

The red hair and freckles combo automatically means you stand out in a crowd, and children tend to prefer similarities with those around them, which means they can pick on those who are different.

I was blessed with multiple layers of family and friends who always made me feel safe, loved and extra special, so I was spared what could have been difficult self-esteem issues.

Once I made it out of the teen years, I quickly embraced the parts that help me stand out, but the childhood experience taught me to be aware of others who might need a little extra support to know his or her value.

Second decade of life (10 to 19 years old) — This is when I gave my whole heart and life to Christ and committed to serve Him in all that I say and do.

I make mistakes every day and sometimes can be really hard on myself when I do, but clinging to Jesus always carries me through the difficult moments.

Third decade of life (20 to 29 years old) — Wait, what? I really haven’t figured life out by now? How did I miss that?

It was hard to accept at first, but the reality of “the more I learn, the less I know” started in my 20s and has only increased through the years.

Fourth decade (30 to 39 years old) — Reevaluating the pressure we put on ourselves and shifting to an appropriate intensity allows us to strive for excellence in everything we do in a more healthy manner — and enjoy it in the process.

Fifth decade (40 to 49 years old) — People you love and admire will let you down, disappoint you and even hurt you, but they are still worth loving and forgiving.

Some boundaries are essential in certain situations, and we should pray for discernment during those times, but we all still need a little grace and forgiveness along the way.

Now armed with five decades of life experience, I’m ready to apply what I’ve been learning while also continuing to learn new lessons every day.

Thank you for how you help me grow personally and care enough to share with kindness when I make a misstep or cause confusion in some way.

And please know how much you are appreciated. You are the reason we do what we do, and we cherish the opportunity to serve you by serving the Lord through TAB Media.

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