Wrinkles and lines tell stories

I like things that are old.

I’ve been this way for years. 

I like hunting for them and I love finding them. 
There’s something about the stories they hold that grows my affection for them. 
Their stories don’t need to involve fame, fortune or any note worthy achievements…their cracks and scars are more than enough to endear me to them. 

It’s a remembrance of how God makes all things new, rather than merely wanting to make a new version of us. 

I love this about Him!

You see the newness of the things we frivolously collect quickly wears off…for everyone knows a brand new vehicle loses its value the minute it’s driven home, while something old ages in its worth. 

So those lines you’ve been noticing impressing themselves upon your face, are not something you need to be ashamed of
– for they tell the brave story you’ve been living. 

It reminds me of when I was recently walking through the mall and a man at a kiosk was selling some promising potion of the dead sea and he almost convinced me otherwise. 

I had already nicely told him ‘no thank you’ to his offer of some free cream he was passing out offering to change my life in the contents of a small packet when he called after me for his attention.

He said, ‘ma’am I don’t mean to be rude, but I see you like to take good care of yourself…but…’ then he scrunched his nose real tightly and with disgust said but ‘your face…’. 
You can imagine my shock…
I mean yes I’ve noticed I’m aging- we all do,
but I’ve been giving it some extra care rather than just the nightly washing so I thought it was looking rather good. 

Knowing the condition of my heart was a bit too tender as I’d just said goodbye to my family and had been missing my Dad this first Christmas without him.
I honestly didn’t know if I was strong enough to hear the rest of his sentence, so I quickly said ‘no thank you’ and kept on walking.

I wanted to tell him more but my heart was aching and I knew when something pierces that deeply, there’s so much more at stake than merely his recognition of the lines forming upon my face….

As I walked away I got curious about his statement…

You see, truth is, sometimes I don’t know what to say, because sometimes it happens and it’s so subtle-
when stuff happens, when words get spoken over me 
so quickly I don’t know what to do but walk away.

I knew receiving his words meant I would somehow erase the brave truth I was believing and yet there was a sliver of truth in what he said…the lines had been finding their way ever so more recently and the hard of life was being written upon my forehead and cheeks more deeply.
So, I decided it was best to respond kindly and process his words inside my own thoughts.

In the steps away I found myself tempted to turn around and blurt out all of the stories of how those lines found themselves on me.  

You see those lines didn’t just etch themselves there one day without a whole lot of living and surviving taking place…

If I could have formed the words without totally freaking a mere stranger out I would have told him where the lines came from…
but doing that would have been thoughtless and somewhat cruel.

Yet again if i could have i would have as kindly as i could have, said…

‘dear sir,
let me introduce myself.
for you may only see scars and lines scratched into my face
but i’m far more than these wrinkles speak…
i am a daughter who recently buried both of her parents,
parents who loved me even through their own rugged brokenness…
i am a mother to four sons and four other darlings who are up in heaven…yet inside those blessings there’s a few lines from the process of growing young boys into men and letting go of babies before they were mine. the letting go of dreams before they were made. the staying up of all hours of the night, rocking and cuddling sick babies.the teaching and training that takes all you have and more.a heart busted up by their love and the love i hold for each one of them. the remaining in and committed to when everything in me was telling me to quit. the hard & holy moments of loving them through their growing pangs in life.learning there is no perfect parent or perfect family that exists, that we are all are in complete need of the grace of God…
i am also the mother to three beautiful daughter in loves who’ve taught me the blessing of what it means to have your heart stretched even more…i am a survivor who is not willing to allow the scars i’ve acquired over years of pain to define me but rather describe me….
i am a fifty year old woman who has longed to find love in all the wrong places but wildly found it in the arms of God and the ones He’s so graciously given me…
i am healing and finding wholeness because of His love and learning to live fearless as He walks with me through this life…
i am a sister nine times over to siblings that have loved me to infinity and  beyond…i am the wife to the man of my dreams who first taught me what authentic love felt like as he’s sweetly and respectively loved me, even through my own brokenness and pain. love that has stayed beside when i’ve pushed him away. love that outlasted the wounds that need healing. love that first told me that divorce was not an option.a love that taught me it could last forever and never be lost…i am a mother who fell down more times than one could count and is wrapped in the biggest wad of forgiveness and grace…
i am a friend who has loved and failed all at the same time…i am both a lover and a fighter…i am a woman who craves healing and is always healing from something…i deeply love and deeply grieve…i am learning to release more than i hang on these days…i am one who has fought her own battle of depression, anxiety and spent years trying to be someone i thought everyone wanted me to be…i have walked beside so much pain and grief too much to list in this one place…i am living proof that God heals and restores...
So Sir, 
you are correct in sighting wrinkles and scars upon my face
– for there are many here because these etchings are lines connecting my story,
telling the journey i’ve walked and the one i’m walking in now…
i don’t blame you i know you’re just selling what the rest of the world tells us we need…
a special eraser,
one which gets rid of any hindrance or remnant of our hardship and suffering…
but the honest truth is
these lines tell my story,
they speak of courage and they tell of
when I chose to
show up and stay in.

And if we all look closely enough we will find-
we all have them…
because we all have a battle we’re fighting…
struggling in our own way.
And sir perhaps i will try your sweet little sample of cream because i know these lines and scars never will go entirely away but perhaps slapping a little cream on one’s face never hurt anyone.so thank you dear sir for reminding me this is one brave life i’m living. because life calls us to show up and to live wholly inside every.single.hour we live.’

If only i had seen that this sweet man
reaching out to me was 
a reminder of the beautiful story that has been
written across my face….
a story fully written by God,
because He truly does make all things new
-even the likes of us. 

2 thoughts on “Wrinkles and lines tell stories

  1. Hi Ruthann,

    Beautifully stated! I felt like, I was reading a large portion of my autobiography. It never ceases to amaze me, how much we are all alike. Yet, different (individuality).
    Thank you for being expressively forthcoming! Please accept my heartfelt sympathies on the loss of your loved ones.

    With love,
    Lisa

    Like

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