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This Pearl … Called “JUBILICIOUS!”

November 3, 2013

This year, I became a member of the affinity group, called “JUBILICIOUS.”
Well, actually, I turned 50, along with many of my friends from my childhood. I sort of coined the term “JUBILICIOUS” in reference to the biblical concept of “Year of Jubilee.” I even wrote a book titled, “The Road to Jubilee” which is available on Amazon and Kindle.

In any event, as the last of my friends from my youth surpass this milestone, my thoughts linger toward another term for this phase of life — MIDLIFE. Actually, midlife can be anywhere between the ages of 35-55; it just depends upon the person/circumstances/attitude. Basically, midlife is the time when one feels like she is too old to be young and too young to be old. It’s best described as a time of transition, taking stock of “where you’ve been and where you want to go.”
For many, during this time, a crisis of belief presents itself and one must evaluate priorities, relationships, direction, purpose and strategy in simply living life.

This IS the iconic “Midlife Crisis” — from which no one is immune — it affects both men and women. How this crisis manifests in one’s life does vary, but it is a point where decisions or choices can and should be made so that the rest of one’s life is productive, and emotionally and spiritually fruitful.

It’s a scary place.

No doubt each one in this “affinity group” has looked in the mirror to realize that suddenly things are “different.” Youth has become a vapor (as so many foretold that it would) that has dissipated from our faces, and if we linger there too long, we soon realize that adjustments must be made to our vision or else the future will appear very dim. Some of us will wallow in our self-pity and longing for days gone by, while others will take extreme steps to re-capture or hold on to, or redeem the time and effects of the past thirty years.
From the aspect of a woman in the middle of life, it’s very difficult not to “personalize” every offense that nature and life’s circumstances have now brought to her physical appearance. Gravity, hormonal changes, busy-ness, and attending to others’ and neglecting self (because that would be selfish, right); each and all of these have led to current reality. But all is not lost. LIFE, and everything in it, is like sand in an oyster and something very beautiful and very strong can come forth from it.
I’m reminded of the Proverbs 31 Woman … “the Virtuous Wife.” I’ve often dismissed this passage because I have always been convinced that the word “virtuous” could never be used to describe me (and obviously, the “wife” part has not come to pass) and I felt like it [Proverbs 31] would only serve to further convict me of my shortcomings.
But today, I read it, and discovered that perhaps, “Woman of Strength,” would be an equally or more appropriate term to describe her. STRENGTH — is an attribute with which most women I know can identify.
By all means, she was a “gem” of a woman; exemplifying goodness, virtuousness, righteousness, morality, integrity, dignity, rectitude, honor, decency, respectability, nobility, worthiness, purity, principles, and ethics. Each and every one of us have moments of virtue, just as we have moments of imperfection. (Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.”)
But dwelling on the imperfections, impurities and other “irritating sands” in this “shell of a life” will not lead to that desired productivity and fruitfulness, and will greatly impede our ability to recognize the value of the pearl that has been formed.
This “JUBILOSITY” can only be achieved and fully-engaged if one “moves on” from the past, accepts and gives forgiveness and uses the wisdom gleaned from these fifty years to successfully embrace the miraculous possibilities for renewal, redemption and restoration offered and provided only through a trusting, faithful, daily walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
“… I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,”
“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

It’s a new day!

Time for a JUBILEE … a celebration of life and opportunities. The ground has laid fallow for a while, but it’s time to plant new crop, with new and renewed purpose.

Midlife “crisis” might more appropriately be referred to as a “midlife opportunity” to know who and “Whose” we are … that He created us and knew us before anyone else ever laid eyes upon us or even knew we had been breathed into existence (Psalm 139).
He knows and has plans for us that give a purpose, a promise for the future (Jeremiah 29).
He has loved us with an everlasting love that is far, far beyond any semblance of earthly love (Jeremiah 31).
AND, He has promised that while it is just a part of natural life that troubles will come and the journey will not be free of obstacles, challenges or battles — He has overcome, and we are “more than conquerors,” through Him (Romans 8:37).

So we can certainly be “JUBILICIOUS!”  We can (and should) rejoice and be thankful for the sands of life that have smoothed out our rough edges and embrace the opportunities to become that “pearl” … a highly valued gemstone and object of beauty and appreciation … something very fine, admirable, and valuable.

The most valuable pearls occur spontaneously in “the wild,” but they are extremely rare.
In Matthew 13: 45–46, Jesus of a “pearl of great price” … “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly (fine) pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

Oh Women of Strength … “in the middle of life” … a Great Price HAS been paid to restore and preserve our virtue.


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