By some standards, I arrived at the motherhood party rather late. My first son was born when I was 35; my second, exactly 2 years and 18 days later. I’m now 52. Most women my age have grown children and an empty nest. I have teenagers.
There’s a reason God didn’t bless me with children in my 20s. Back then, I didn’t know who I was, but I do know what I was: selfish, impatient, and angry. With age comes wisdom, maturity, enlightenment, grace, and forgiveness—all things you need a lot of when you’re raising little people to become responsible, caring adults in a broken world.
It’s never too late to be what you might have been. —George Eliot
Come to think of it, my entire life has been a series of dreams delayed. After wasting the first decade after my college graduation at dead-end jobs—as a technical editor at a couple of government contractors—I landed my dream job as an editorial assistant at a book publisher when I was 32. This was the job that tapped into everything I loved to do: edit, proofread, and organize. I even went to the office on weekends to organize and label files! And the best part was that no two days were alike. I never got bored.
I got to work with talented, professional authors, artists, photographers, designers, and fellow editors, some of whom have remained friends and colleagues throughout the years. For me, it wasn’t about collecting connections that could forward my career in the future. It was about forging connections on a deeper level with people who invested their time and best work to make the dream of a book a reality. The sense of accomplishment and pride I felt from transforming a rough manuscript into a beautiful, bound finished product was priceless.
Fast-forward to age 46. After suffering through an acrimonious divorce and the pain and loneliness of being separated from my children, I accepted a friend’s invitation to attend her church. Until then, I had been a lifelong Catholic and never imagined I’d be anything else. But I stepped out in faith, and it changed everything. I was truly born again and began the exhilarating transformation that draws me closer to God day by precious day. Like the apostle Paul, I’m a true convert. I used to think born-again Christians were the loopiest people on the planet. Now I know what the hubbub is about.
Fast-forward again to right now. I thought my best skill was polishing other people’s words. But I’m being called to write. Among the countless gifts God has given me, He has endowed me with ideas, creativity, a deep love for the English language, and a voice. I don’t know where my calling will lead me, but I’m looking forward to the journey.
It doesn’t matter if you arrive at a party long after the other guests have left. Your own timing for your life is often irrelevant. If you’re paying attention, you’ll find that, more often than not, you’re in the right place at the right time, and everything falls into place. Call it serendipity. Call it fate. Call it the gracious hand of God. (I do.) We usually find exactly what we’re looking for when we stop looking.
Better late than never. —Mom