Have you ever had an exhilarating day and then received a phone call concerning your mom or dad that changed everything? This happens more and more when your birthdays surpass the fifty-year mark, and your parent’s health begins to weaken.

My mother always suffered from mental and physical illnesses, so I never saw her as invincible only frail. On the other hand, as a teenager, I never thought about my dad’s health until he had a heart attack at the age of fifty-five. I had the honor to take care of my parents in the last years of their lives. My mom died at the age of sixty-three and my dad at the age of seventy-two. This was early, but the process and pain taught me how to find the light in the darkness of dealing with their broken bodies, hearts, and lives.

The Disney movie, The Lion King’s theme song was the “Circle of Life.” This song will always ring true for imperfect people on this broken earth. All of us will journey through life, and one day our body will die. For those of us who have chosen to follow Jesus, we know we will live with him in heaven for eternity. However, this reality can still be hard to accept and embrace as we become connected to people on earth and we believe we can slow down or stop our aging.

The transitions you will face in your 50’s through your 90’s will surpass the ones in prior years. The majority of the strength, resilience, and independence you enjoyed will slowly lessen whether you want it to or not. This is the dark reality, but as you know, light diminishes darkness when you walk hand in hand with Jesus.

The beacons of light in your latter years can light and even change the course of many lives when you:
Do all you can to please Jesus Christ first to ensure you will end your journey on earth well.
Share wisdom with younger women when you volunteer at church or with young women’s groups.
Pass on your skills, talents, and time-saving tips.
Share your time and great memories with all those you love.
Choose to forgive and show love and compassion no matter what you receive.
Encourage those who have encountered the same challenges or made the same mistakes.
Choose to make your spiritual, mental, and physical health priority over your cravings, excuses, and idleness.
Choose what you want for your health and final care before you need it to ease your mind and the burden of those who will have to implement it.
Set reality markers that will determine when you will stop driving, move into a smaller one level home, let someone be responsible for your finances, go into assisted living, and anything else you will have to arrange.

Being prepared empowers YOU to make decisions and timelines. Your preparations will give you peace of mind and those who will be taking care of you. Everyone will be on the same page, and you can spend your time having fun and making memories instead of having power struggles. When you choose not to make these choices, you end up feeling frustrated, powerless, and resentful. Guard against these destructive emotions or they will make you angry, bitter, and difficult to care for. It is not a matter of IF you will stop being in control or completely independent but WHEN. You have the opportunity to decide how easy or difficult the transitions of your life will be for you and those who will care for you.

Shine your light of love and wisdom by creating your plan. Then become determined to enjoy your life and bring love and value to everyone God places in your path. Choose to see life as an adventure you GET to experience instead of a suffering you HAVE TO endure. You will achieve what you are most focused on. Focus on shining your light!