Last year, I took a huge step out of my comfort zone. I agreed to co-teach a Bible study for some of the women at my church.
I wasn't sure who was going to be a part of this six-week class, but when I got to the church for the first week, I felt scared. The majority of women in the class were older than me.
I immediately began thinking, "What am I going to be able to offer these women? They are older and smarter than me!They probably already know all this stuff! What if they think I am being presumptuous by agreeing to co-lead this class since I am so young?" My thoughts immediately went negative as I introduced myself as a teacher to the smiling faces in that class.
Later on, I talked to the Woman's Ministry Leader who recruited me to co-lead the study. (She happens to be older herself.) I told her how I was feeling. She replied, "Jenn, it is a breath of fresh air to us older ladies to see young women stepping up and leading studies! Don't feel like you are out of place! We don't feel that way about you at all!" Her reply gave me courage. I finished out co-leading the study, and it was a very positive experience for me.
The reason I tell this story not because of my willingness to lead, but because of what I learned from that class and from the Women's Ministry Leader. These older women were perfect examples of Titus 2:4-5 -
"These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God." (Titus 2:4-5 NLT)
You see Friends, even though I was the one who technically taught that class of older women, I ended up learning more from those women than they probably learned from me.
At the end of the class, I gained new friends and new mentors who encouraged me to keep going with my Christian walk. I was moved by their lives and their stories. Their encouragement sometimes left me in tears. They showed me what true love and respect looks like. They prayed for me when I needed it. They gave me added courage to start writing. This blog, P40 Ministries, is spawned from some of these women! On top of all that, this was all while going through one of the toughest periods of my entire life. (And I might add, their homemade cookies were delicious.)
This experience confirmed to me that every woman, regardless of age, has a purpose. But unfortunately, so many older women believe that their purpose is over because of their age. But that is so far from the truth!
For example, since the beginning of my life, my mom has been my biggest fan. She has supported me through all of my crazy career changes. She gives me great advice about anything and everything I ask her to. She is tough with me when I am being a brat. She helps me cool my anger towards my husband when I am about to go off the deep end. She has always been there for me. She is a perfect example of Titus 2:4-5. (Written above.) Even though she is getting older, I know that her purpose is far from over.
You see, Dear Older Friends, you have purpose. Young women like me need you in our lives. (Even if the majority of us young women want to pretend we don't need help.) We need support, godly advice, and encouragement to keep going. We need women like you to teach us and lead us! You are special and God still has a purpose for you. Please don't ever think that He doesn't!
Your purpose is not over!
(*To the young ladies reading this, I ask that you share this post with a special woman in your life. Whether it's a mentor, your mom, step-mother, mother-in-law, or grandma, or anyone else, tell them how thankful you are for them!)
Let's pray a thankful prayer together:
Thank you so much for the older women in my life. Thank you that you have a purpose for every single woman out there who You've created. We know that "gray hair is a crown of splendor," (Proverbs 16:31) and that You delight in godly, older women who teach young women how to live for You. Thank You for them, God!
In Jesus's name,