Aging Brings Loneliness
I got up this morning having a real sense of loneliness and a strong sense of separation from life. I look back and see so clearly the blessings of God in our lives. My husband James and I have been married for 59 years. So I know these feelings are a ploy of the enemy to steal, kill, and destroy!
I remember and now know how my mother must have felt as her children grew up and began their own lives and started their own families. It’s so wonderful and so right but at the same time it can be sad for those of us who have gotten older. We rejoice as we watch from afar and know that this is life and God’s plan.
Your best friends, those you always interacted with and had such fun times with, have also experienced the years and health challenges that interfere with your once-active family like fun together. Even some have gone on to be with the Lord, leaving a hole where there was once busyness and joy of being together. The trips we would take together and the talks we would have helping and encouraging one another. It’s gone!
There is no blame or lack of caring for anyone, family nor friend! You lose your zeal for doing so many of the things you always enjoyed in life. I know God is always with me, and I’m so grateful for that; but I have come to realize how important the interaction with those you cherish and love is also. God created us to be people of relationships and to communicate with others. Sometimes I believe that technology has put a gap between people, keeping them from actually talking and getting together to see one another face to face. I know that aging can cause some of this separation and the busyness of life contributes to this feeling of loneliness.
The things you always felt confident in that you could do somehow diminish with time and age. I’m not complaining. I am just trying to adjust to this new season of life. I want to have the energy to continue to serve our Lord and Savior the rest of my life. I want to truly “Age Gracefully.” I want to be the right example to those who will someday be in this same place.
Aging gracefully is seen more in the physical aspect, I think, than in the spiritual realm, even though I believe the latter is more important. It can be very hard for the younger generation to grasp the plight of the older generation. They almost feel helpless, not knowing what they can do to make aging a better process than we see so many times. As the older generation, we never want to be a drag or burden. We know their families must be first, which is only right. God says in His Word that we are to leave our father and mother at His appointed time and venture into the life He has planned for us.
I’ve always enjoyed the years of planning for our family, be it our children’s birth, their young years, their teenage years or letting go as they become adults. I have loved the years of being a grandmother and now, great-grandmother, looking forward to visits, birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Buying all the gifts for our family for all the special occasions, especially Christmas when everyone comes to our house and I prepare with all the decorations and all the traditional foods! To experience all the fun and laughter and to see the joy that we all feel at these special times! Yes, it can be exhausting but mostly feeling it was all worth it.
Time passes and the years go by and life changes things and situations. We lost a child, heartache comes, family moves on and things are different now. All those special moments change and you find yourself thinking that all those special occasions that you looked forward to preparing for, you are no longer expected to fulfill! You want to want to but you have to, so to speak, “pass the baton.” I no longer know if I should put that big tree up and wonder if all the decorations that go with it are necessary anymore! First of all, you no longer have the energy, and second, who but you and your husband will actually see and enjoy them anymore! It’s just hard to let go of all those things you so enjoyed, but you know it’s time. So you tell yourself that you deserve this season of life where you enjoy watching others “pick up the baton.”
Betty Robison cohosts LIFE Today with her husband James. The program reaches more than 300 million households in North America, Europe and Australia. The Robisons founded LIFE Outreach International, a worldwide media ministry and missions organization. Betty is also the author of the inspirational best-seller Free to be Me, and co-author of Living in Love.