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    The Year of 40

    The Year of 40: Perfect timing

    **Author's note: This blog series is a year-long installment which will chronicle the year that I turn 40 with some comical moments, retrospective insights and empowering calls to action.

    by Christie Browning

    I don't know if it's supposed to go down this way... this might be a symptom of a midlife crisis. During the months leading up to my turning 40 and since, I have felt pressed for time. I'm feeling rushed... like time is running out to get done all that I feel is meant for me to accomplish while I exist on the green side of the grass. To top it off, my husband is a walking abacus, constantly adding up the amount of money we need to save for retirement and reminding me of how fast that time is approaching. 

    It's like that part in the movie when the characters know they have minutes left to live... the air is running out, or the water is growing deeper, or the threat is drawing closer. I sort of feel like I am gasping for air, kicking hard to tread water, pushing my legs to run faster. Just writing this is making me feel anxious and my fingers are typing faster... I feel as if there is a real ticking timer on my shoulder, and it's going to sound its alarm any time. 

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    Don't mistake this as a death or mortality issue. It really comes back to knowing there is so much I want to do in life and feeling as if there is no time to do it. Truth be told, it really comes down to just one thing - my life's calling. Unlike my husband, I don't worry about retirement dollars and if there is enough time to max out our Roth IRAs. I do worry about not completing the to-do list attached to a calling God has placed on my life -- to encourage, empower and inspire women to release their pasts, renew their faith in Him and revise their lives so that they can live in the true abundance God has for them. I know that's through speaking and writing -- I knew it as a senior in high school, but all I can think about lately are the wasted years and opportunities I let spoil. 

    It actually makes me think about Moses when he was called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. In Exodus 4, we can read about God's grand display of a burning bush that held His voice, calling Moses to act. However, Moses didn't respond with confidence. In fact, he did the opposite, quickly reminding God of the reasons he could not fulfill this calling.

    Lysa Terkeurst, the founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, wrote in a devotional aimed at God-given callings:

    "Moses doubted God has created him for the calling God gave him. When we doubt we have what it takes for us to do what God calls us to do, we are doubting His creative abilities. He knew from the beginning of time what He would call you to do and therefore how you would need to be formed. God does everything with purpose and precision. The exact way He made you is in keeping with how He will use you."

    I found this statement very reassuring, and I think it applies to areas of my heart and yours. For Moses, it was about trusting God gave him the right vocabulary and eloquence needed to complete the task. For you, it might be believing and trusting that God gave you the right talents, resources, or skillsets. It may be more about believing God has placed you in the right church, community or workplace for your calling. Or you could be like me and need to trust that God has the right timing in mind to use you... even if the realization of your calling and the confidence to go after it comes at 40. The perfect calling for the perfect person at the perfect time, created and made perfect through a loving Father.

    It took a lot of courage for me to start sharing my life's journey... I guess it wasn't much of a story until I had spent years learning, growing and gaining a few bumps along the path in order to share with you the perspective that would make an impact. I may be 40, but I don't think God is done with me just yet. I can also take heart in the knowledge that God is not limited by our timeframes or our resources. He only needs a willing heart and an obedient spirit. I've got that... let the calling begin.

    • What's been a time in your life where you've hesitated in obeying God's call to do something because insecurities were getting in the way?
    • What's a time where you took one step of obedience despite your insecurities, and how God was with you during that leap of faith?

    Christie BrowningComment