The Gift of an Older Woman

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As I moved through different seasons of my life as an adult, each season increased my desire for older women to be a part of my life and I often sought them out for their wisdom and knowledge. An extra bonus was the patience they demonstrated as they listened to my questions or ramblings about my own life.

Even though we live in a culture where age does not tend to be valued as highly as youth. One thing seems evident. There are some seasons and circumstances that seem to naturally nudge us to look to an older person. It is especially true when we are facing something totally new and perhaps scary. We look for someone who has experienced it and can give us the information we seek as well as model the courage we need to face it ourselves.

One common time for us as women is when we become pregnant with our first child. Oh, yes, we like hearing how our friends have experienced it and what they can share. They know all the latest things we need for the nursery and where the best places are to buy them. But sooner or later, we will invariably seek out an older woman whom we trust and respect for the type of knowledge no one else can impart.

 

Nothing can replace the lived experience of someone who has traveled the path that now lies ahead of us.

 

As I continue reading the passages in Luke and Matthew journeying toward Bethlehem and Christmas Eve, what Mary chooses to do after the news Gabriel delivers to her makes a great deal of sense. In addition to learning she, a virgin, would bear a child who would be the Son of God, Gabriel tells her that her cousin Elizabeth is now in the sixth month of her own pregnancy despite being advanced in years. Gabriel adds that “nothing will be impossible with God” not only to point to Elizabeth’s pregnancy, but perhaps also as an encouragement to Mary about what is about to happen to her.

Scripture does not say when or how she told her parents the news. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be. Her news might mean Joseph would divorce her or that she might be stoned. There is no precise information about when or how she told Joseph the news either.

 

One thing is certain.

 

The Lord had entrusted a great deal on His call on this young teen’s life!

 

What scripture does tell us is that she “made haste” to go visit Elizabeth. I resonate with that decision. There was another older woman who had a special call on her life and was pregnant despite having been old and barren. Gabriel had spoken to her as well so Mary probably felt sure Elizabeth would understand and be able to possibly give her wise counsel.

I think it’s unlikely Mary would head out on this trip without her parents approval and knowledge. I might also think she would have an escort since it would not be wise or safe for a virgin to travel unaccompanied. Maybe this was also space for Mary’s parents to come to grips with what she had told them and let her get out of the village for awhile as they considered what to do next.

What scripture is clear about is Mary quickly left Nazareth and headed for the hill country to an unnamed town in Judah to see Elizabeth. As soon as they saw each other, the Lord confirmed to both women that each was carrying a very special son because the baby inside Elizabeth leapt as soon as he heard Mary’s voice and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

We also know from that same passage that Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months. What a special time that must have been for both women! I would have loved to hear more about the conversations they must have had about God’s election of each of them and how they would be forever linked more powerfully than through their biologic relationship.

As a woman, I am sure there were some practical things being discussed between these two women. What would labor and delivery be like? How would they go about mothering these babies whose lives would change the world? What was going to happen when Mary returned to Nazareth? Would Joseph still marry her?

Elizabeth and Mary had both been favored by God to be chosen. I might think they would be filled with wonder and talk with each other about why they might have been chosen. Neither could yet know the pain that would pierce their hearts, as each would have her son die far too early in life.

 

What a gift for God to give Mary! An older woman with whom she could share this unique journey!

  

Elizabeth demonstrated what Paul describes as a Titus 2 woman, “teaching what is good so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 thoughts on “The Gift of an Older Woman

  1. I’ve longed for such a “gift” since I left my home of origin, moving out of state, just before my 28th birthday. Although my mother was still alive at the time, my own feelings of “not wanting to disappoint her” kept me from calling on her (long distance) as often as I craved it. I must admit that even now as a “senior” [myself], I still appreciate the “not often enough” moments that I get to glean wisdom from my [“older”] non-judgmental mentor. I pray that I can “pay it forward” to the younger women that God allows to cross my path, as He gives me His wisdom and love to share.

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  2. Comforting! As I read your thoughts about about Mary going to see Elizabeth; this relationship at this time seems to be a sort of refuge. Your words, “Nothing can replace the lived experience of someone who has traveled the path that now lies ahead of us.” I have found this to be true in uncertain and difficult times. I am blessed my mother is often this person for me. Thank you for this beautiful reminder of the value of older women and spending time with them.
    Julie

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  3. Thanks Pastor, this reminds me of how I sought the friendship of older women when I was in my twenties. I can remember the two ladies that the Lord placed in my life!!!!

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    1. You’re welcome! The time is now flipped for us. We’re the older women!!! I love hanging out with younger women. I am inspired and energized. So glad to have you with me on this journey in this new season ❤️

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  4. I love and wholeheartedly agree with today’s post–it is a real treasure and blessing to be gifted with a “seasoned” woman to speak life and wisdom into the life of another woman. I know I have been blessed to have one–(wink, wink)! Thank you, Pam so much for that!

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  5. I used to pray routinely for Titus 2 women to be placed in my life, and God granted that request in so many beautiful wonderful ways. The women who were my mentors, confidants and friends continue to teach and guide and pray for and with me.

    And there was also a challenge in the answered prayer… I was encouraged by the individuals He sent and challenged to also be a Titus 2 woman myself. I have had a blessed opportunity to do that with my students and it is beautiful. I love the circle of grace it builds.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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  6. Great insights, Pam! There is so much we can learn from the responses of all the people involved with the events surrounding His first coming. May God grant us the grace to respond as well if we’re here for the 2nd! Blessings!

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    1. How kind of you, Gayle! I am still blessed to have an 80 year old and 90 year old friend to keep modeling for me. I often spend my time with younger women, however. Love hanging out with them. Blessings on you! I miss seeing you!
      Pam

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  7. This is lovely mom! Yes, can hardly imagine what the conversation was like, but what also was ‘left on the table’… pondered by hearts alone. It’s one of those seasons where the Lord provided the relationship of a women in a significant way to help provide strength and encouragement when much courage would be required ahead… a very provoking thought!

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