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 old and barren. 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.”

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22 thoughts on “The Gift of an Older Woman

  1. I’m so glad I chose your blog to check out from the Link-up I was just on. This post gives me some great ideas for a devotional I will be leading in January – addressed to older women. Thanks for the encouragement.

    1. I am delighted too, Amy! If you think of it, I would love to hear how the Lord uses you with this opportunity in January! Blessings on your preparation.💕

  2. I love thinking about these two chosen women, looking to each other for courage and companionship! A wonderful model for us. Even when God is in a thing, we aren’t meant to go it alone. 🙂

    1. As I reflected on this possibilities, it continued to fascinate me and cause me to see how the Lord blessed each of them in all this. We are indeed not meant to go it alone even though we may be tempted to think so or hesitate to let someone know we need a companion for the journey.💝

  3. It’s so true that the wisdom of those who have walked this path longer than us is invaluable, yet too many people just let it slip by. God help us! Thanks for this reminder, Pam. Compliments of the season and many blessings to you and yours!

    1. You are exactly right! I cringe when I hear younger adults or even those in their 40’s tease “older adults” as if they are ignorant and truly beyond any significance. How foolish indeed! Thanks so much for stopping and sharing.🎄

  4. This is a running theme for me today – the beauty of being a Titus 2 woman and the many opportunities it affords us. Scripture is indeed practical. Mary was there when an older Elisabeth gave birth probably alleviating some of her fears. I’ve always loved the passage where the babies recognized each other in the womb and both mothers recognized they were carrying special children. Thanks for highlighting the Titus 2 role that Elizabeth played in Mary’s life.
    Stopping by from #TrekkingThru Linkup

    1. Well said!! All so true!! Thanks for sharing all this reflection! Have a blessed Christmas season🎄

  5. There’s a very important message in your post. In the past, when several generations tended to live together under the same roof, it was much easier for the wisdom that comes from experience and life to be passed on to the younger generations.
    My parents were older than usual when they married and I was born. My mother was 43 and my father was 50, so they already had a life full of experiences to impart. And I was lucky to live close to my maternal grandparents, who were born at the turn of the 20th century and even though they have both passed away a long time ago, some of my best childhood memories are of them and the stories they had to share about their lives.
    Thank you so much for joining The Really Crafty Link Party this week!

    1. This is all such rich sharing and so good, Teresa. You are absolutely right!!! What a heritage they left you. Now families are so many miles apart often. Our son and his family live 520 miles away with 2 of our grandchildren and our daughter and her family with 4 of our grandchildren live 350 miles away.

      So appreciate your personal sharing, Teresa! Have a blessed week ahead!❤️

  6. This is precious. I never realized that Mary stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months! What a blessing. I would have loved to hear their conversations too! We can learn so much from others!

    1. So would I, Char! They were both experiencing something that would have been considered so unusual….for Mary, unheard of. We can indeed learn much from others.

  7. Pam, I have never thought in such detail about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. This post was such a blessing to me! I have often sought out the counsel of older women, and one of my most powerful spiritual mentors is a woman about 30 years older than I am. Now I am coming into a time in my life when hopefully I will be a blessing to others in the same way. Thank you so much for sharing this post with Hearth and Soul.

    1. Hi April!
      Thanks so much for what you shared here. Do be that older woman….you will be so blessed. As I have gotten older, I have had fewer older women in my life. I am still blessed with 2. One is 83 and the other is 93. The 93 year old I have known for 40 years, the 83 year old for probably 20.

      Have a blessed week! ❤️

  8. Hi Pam, I enjoyed reading this message you gave. Just today I met an older woman than me in a doctor’s office and what a joy to talk to her and hear her tell me how she loves to pray and how much she loves God. We hugged and said our good bye’s. She was also impressed with Sheri! So am I. Merry Christmas to you and Gene.Love, Ellie

    1. Hi Ellie!

      I am so glad this blessed you! I love the story you shared. It is harder these days to discover as many older women as when I was younger so it is always a treat for me too. I hope you are well. I know yesterday would have been your anniversary. Have a blessed Christmas.

      Love and hugs,
      Pam

  9. I’ve been studying Luke and the events that you’ve described recently as a way to prepare my heart for Christmas, Pam. But I love how you’ve processed out a bit more of what it meant for Mary to visit Elizabeth. I hadn’t really thought about this visit in the terms you’ve described. I do seek out older women and love being that older woman in my friend’s lives as well. This brings new insight to me about Mary’s encounter, my friend! I’ve pinned it! Merry Christmas to you, as well!

    1. I love that!! The story never grows old, does it, Beth? I am delighted you were blessed by this reflection and thanks so much for pinning it. Merry Christmas to you as well!🎄

  10. People have forgotten how much we can learn from older generation. Scriptures prove this over and over. Found you on Grandma’s Briefs Link Party

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