09 Jul Ruth and Rosie
“‘Season’ is a way of referring to roles, age, circumstances, or relationships at a specific time. Seasons change and, as they do, they may bring new roles, circumstances, priorities, and needs.” (Ezer: Biblical Femininity, page 16)
The idea of “seasons” in a woman’s life was a concept that really resonated the first time I walked through the Ezer curriculum. The idea resonated because I knew personally how true it was.
Mind you, I didn’t recognize the seasons of my own life until I had passed through quite a few of them. It wasn’t until I landed in “empty nest” that I looked back and saw, in retrospect, the faint dividing lines which delineated the chapters in my story. Daughter, college student, independent single, young wife, new mom, busy stay-at-home and volunteer … mother of preschoolers, then school children, then teenagers, then college-age … until one day the nest was empty. Then came new learning curves: “older woman,” wife of a retiree, mother of adult children, mother-in-law, grandmother, employee. No doubt there are a few more seasons to come!
Two visits the other day poignantly encapsulated the diversity, and similarities, of the seasons of a woman’s life. I had the joy of spending some time with a young friend, Rosie, and her firstborn. Two delightful hours cuddling her sleeping daughter, talking about the changes in this young woman’s life, reminded me afresh of the joys and challenges of that season. Although thirty years separate us in age, we could relate to one another around the common themes of motherhood, sin and redemption in lives around us, and the weight we each carry as community group leaders.
I moved on from there to visit my former mentor, Mrs. Ruth. Eighty years old and now in a nursing home with encroaching dementia, her face lit up when I entered the room. Conversation was fairly one-sided. But as in years past when she taught me the Scriptures, our hearts united around God’s Word. I read to her from the Psalms, and in one blessed moment, she read a few lines back to me. We talked about the Lord and His faithfulness. We talked about our families and our love for them. We laughed. We hugged. And despite the years and illness that separate us, we were knit together as women, as friends, and as followers of Christ.
Driving home, I was struck by the contrast in the two visits. But then God quietly reminded me of the journey – of the progression of seasons – which we are all on: from helpless babe, through all the stages of growth and endless possibilities of adulthood, then back to helplessness. Common threads run through this great diversity of seasons. That precious newborn was a woman created in the image of God, just as is my beloved Ruth. Unique to each season, joys and challenges abound. But in them all, we are women in need of relationship; women in need of love, acceptance, encouragement, and hope; and most of all, women in need of redemption. “I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken…” (Psalm 37:25).~Libby Thomas, Powdersville