Womanhood and the View from the Rearview Mirror

The dreaded "M" season isn't what God intended for us originally. Really, think about it. He created two perfectly healthy, proportioned, sufficient human beings to enjoy His climate-controlled paradise without any health impairments or geriatric issues. Until Eve decided to take things a different course.

Our womanhood is dramatically affected as one of the fallouts of sin.

God placed his children in a perfect paradise, but sin changed all that. Our womanhood is dramatically affected as one of the fallouts of sin. We are no longer perfectly healthy or eternally young!

I also refer to this "M" season as the "other side of womanhood." That's because for the first couple of decades, we are looking forward—first as young girls then as teens—to womanhood and all it entails. We hope for marriage and children, for productivity and successful endeavors; we approach life leaning forward into all the promise womanhood holds.

And Then . . .

And then something begins to happen in our forties.

For me, the first sign appeared the day I couldn't read an ingredient label. What is wrong with this print? Did they write this in Chinese? I can't make out these letters . . . maybe if I hold it up to the light . . .

It took a few of these types of episodes before I realized something had happened to my eyes. I'd never worn glasses or contacts in my life, but when I found myself standing in front of the display for reading glasses, I discovered a whole new world.

Shortly after beginning to wear reading glasses, I started noticing other odd things: my eyelashes were missing, my morning bags under my eyes were there to stay, my waist kept increasing (and increasing, and . . . you get the picture).

I was changing dramatically, and there was nothing I could do about it! I was aging.

I have a dear friend who has always looked forward to getting old. Really, I'm not kidding. Her greatest goal in life is to be a godly old lady some day. Of course, as she's aging, her skin is flawless, her teeth impeccable, her beautiful gray hair is striking. I don't think she's lost any eyelashes, and she's older than me!

A Different Perspective

But the outward aging process, although difficult to get used to, is something we all know is inevitable. What arrived a little more unexpectedly was this realization: I'm now operating from a different perspective. I'm no longer looking forward to womanhood; I'm viewing it from a rear-view mirror.

The "other side of womanhood" is the season where I've reached a place of maternal barrenness. I've crossed a point of no return; my fertility window has slammed shut and my biological time clock has expired! I'm never going to have another little one fill my womb. That is a difficult reality to adjust to. The loss can bring on a strange feeling of emptiness and unexpected "closure." It was enough to bring on a few dizzy spells—literally!

The "Other Side"

But once I regained my equilibrium, I found in this "other side" season I'm actually able to be fruitful in a sweet, different way than when I was in my child-bearing years. There is more opportunity to invest in a greater number of lives than when my primary focus was my little ones. There is a well of wisdom from a lifetime of experience to draw from when counseling younger women that wasn't there in my early years. There is abiding contentment that comes from resting in God's sovereign plan because I've walked with Him long enough now to know (experientially, not just theologically) He really does have the best plan.

This can be the most spiritually fruitful season of our lives.

This side of womanhood wasn't part of the original design—you know, the pre-fall, pre-corruption design of womanhood. But God wasn't taken by surprise. He had a plan all along, and God has a redemptive purpose for us in this season.

This can be the most spiritually fruitful season of our lives. Knowing I am now on the other side of womanhood presses me more urgently to finish well. The time I have left is growing short. Every moment counts: I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:13–14) Are you on the "other side of womanhood?" How are you spending your life?

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About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner’s passion is Christ, and she desires to ignite women's pursuit of God's glory. She's the author of Fierce Women, and is a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman blog. She enjoys sharing with women and hearing from them about what God is doing in their lives.

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