“Girl, 50 is the new 30! Everything will be different! You just wait and see!”
I stopped counting the number of times my friends said these words to me. As I approached the 90-day countdown to my birthday, I decided not to “just wait and see” but to “go and seek” God’s plan and purpose for this new season of life. I knew there was only one source for the answers I was seeking.
I found a quiet place where I could meet with God daily in prayer and the Word. I was especially drawn to this promise: Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive it and know it and will you not heed to it? I will make even a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:19 AMP)
During those cherished quiet moments, I often found myself reflecting on different seasons of my first 49 years. Suddenly, I had an intense desire to revisit some of the wilderness and desert places of my childhood. I wanted to recapture moments where the enemy attempted to wound my faith but God kept me leaping for joy instead.
I felt as if the Holy Spirit was rewinding my life to remind me of God’s grace through it all. I was born with hand tremors caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. My mother was an alcoholic. I was raised in a poverty-stricken neighborhood where survival of the fittest was the rule. I experienced deep pain and isolation at the age of nine from the loss of my mother. Being raised by my grief-stricken grandmother, I endured years of emotional trauma and humiliating slaps across the face. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of hurtful words as she drank to dull the pain of losing her only child. I cried floods of tears at the hands of someone who was supposed to love and nurture me. But even in the midst of chest pains that accompanied all of the stress, I believed in and received Jesus Christ as my Savior. I trusted that my crying out to God for help was not falling on deaf ears.
I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1 NKJV
Fast forward to shortly before my 50th birthday.
Within weeks of the big day, and for the first time in my life, I felt it was safe to hit the stop button on my past (the good, the bad, and the ugly). It was time to move forward into my “just you wait and see” moment. I prayed, “Father, what was your purpose in all of the pain and wounding during my childhood years? What is the faith testimony you now desire for me to share with others?” God affirmed that He had been working all along to transform me from the inside out. Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy (Psalm 126:5 ESV)!
I realized that all of the pain from the past were Satan’s best attempts to sneak up on me from behind and bruise my heels of faith, distracting me from God’s purpose for me. However, God proved His faithfulness. From the time I received Him at age five, the enemy had no power to advance from behind. He may have bruised my heels of faith, but He would never stop me from dancing into my purpose for God’s glory. The enemy was defeated by Christ’s death on the cross and through His resurrection from the grave. Hallelujah!
Finally, the “wait and see” day had arrived. I resolved in my heart to fully receive all that God has for me. I found myself dancing through the house like nobody’s business as I experienced each gift my amazing husband had secretly planned. That night at the birthday dinner party, as the DJ commanded his playlist, I danced again in my seat. But the night wasn’t over.
Despite not having an ounce of natural rhythm, I boldly took my place on the dance floor. I tuned into the song God placed in my heart as I began to move in rhythm with my bruised heels of faith and dancing feet of praise.
God faithfully meets each of us in our places of wounding, and He extends His loving hands of grace toward us asking, “May I have this dance?”
Originally published in 2014.
is the President of FAITH CONCEPTS, LLC and Life Purpose by Design Consulting, LLC . She lives in North Charleston, SC with her husband Bruce, and has four adult children and seven grandchildren.