“But he that does not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.” – Anne Bronte
You never see it coming. You only recognize it when it’s arrived. During idle moments, before you sleep, while you’re walking to work, or watching your children play, you might find yourself wondering, “Is this it? How did I get here? Where did the time go?”
There is an acceptance of what is real: at least half the years God promised you on earth are behind you. What of your dreams, hopes, and aspirations? What of your unwritten book, your unlaunched business, the scholastic endeavor you were too afraid to try, or the family you have yet to start? Do you still have enough time to accomplish them all?
The sum total of these questions equals the reality that you’ve reached mid-life.
Undaunted by this, you tell yourself, “I can make it. After all, I have decades of experience and knowledge. I am smarter, wiser, and more capable than I was in my early twenties.”
Yet you still doubt yourself. You ask, “What if I don’t have the same energy, stamina, or confidence I had as a young adult?” You might even tell yourself that your chance has passed, and that goals and dreams are for the younger generation – not someone in their mid-life.
But are these dreams only for the young and bold? I think not. Midlife need not be a “crisis that cripples and immobilizes.” Instead, it can be your defining moment if you allow the disappointments and broken pieces of your dreams to trigger, unlock and unleash the genius within. It is the perfect time to get back to those deferred dreams that you’ve been putting off because you had other obligations, such as caring for your children, strengthening your marriage, or building stability in your family.
To pursue your dreams at this stage, however, requires 3 simple steps:
1. You must forget all that is past: As simple as “forgetting what is behind” may sound, it can be quite difficult to accomplish. Some people say, “There’s no use in crying over spilled milk;” however, I contend that if the milk meant that much to you, cry, cry, and cry some more – but then move on. God’s ultimate blessings for your life doesn’t lie in your past. So, no matter the depths of your disappointments, bitterness of your tears, or the magnitude of your losses – both pecuniary and emotionally – the God of all things possible is waiting for you to release all your burdens on Him.
2. Strain toward what is ahead: There is a master design and purpose for your life, and now that you know what it isn’t, be committed, focused, patient, and remain confident while praying that God reveals to you what you were born to do. So, take a leap of faith by doing something that demonstrates your belief in your dream, because faith without action gets you nowhere.
3. Hold fast to your dream, keep the vision, and faint not: Whether you are re-inventing yourself or embarking upon a first time endeavor, the road leading to discovering what you were placed here to do is a journey that requires “chutzpah.” It requires guts in exchange for glory. You must be tenacious. You must be relentless in your pursuit because “He that does not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.”
Hang in there, you can do it! You will blossom!
Sharon is a mother, wife, speaker, and attorney. You can follow her blog at SharonKingDudley.com, where she shares her insight on adversity, perseverance, and living God’s purpose.