Isaiah 46:4 - Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
They say that what used to be old, no longer is. You know, the new thirty is forty or the new fifty is sixty.
As new cosmetic products, vitamin regimes and exercise methods come out they’re all trying to make you look younger. Sometimes it really does look like the right steps do make an impact on how you look as you age.
But looks aren’t everything.
Our age has affects on our body whether we like it or not. Our bones become thinner. Our blood sugar changes. Our heart may not work right. Our muscles may atrophy.
This is especially true for those who battle a chronic health issue. It doesn’t matter how old you are, when you use a cane or a walker for balance, you’re going to look old at first glance.
We must have realistic goals for our lives in order to age gracefully with pain. A lot of it depends on our attitude. If we think we look older than our years, then we probably do.
Sometimes it may not be possible to smile and look happier when you’re in a high pain day, but when you aren’t try to put your best foot forward and put a little swing in your step. Not only will you feel better, you’ll find yourself looking younger.
And that’s where sometimes we run up against a road block – how we feel. With the real limitations that pain puts on our bodies, we may feel like we are useless and stop caring about what we look like.
After all, you’re aging faster because your body is deteriorating, so why even try to look younger?
But you see, it is important to feel younger, to feel valuable. That extra swing in your step can get you out the door and to your next physical therapy appointment. It may also help give you hidden energy which can help you brave going for a visit to see family and friends.
But is there a way to look and feel younger as you age with pain? A lot of the problem is our perception of ourselves. If we can embrace who we are, chronic pain and all, we’ll have a better chance of improving our body image.
Wikihow.com has an article titled, “How to Improve Body Image When You Have Chronic Pain,” such as embracing how you look instead of thinking you’re less of a person because you battle a chronic health condition, and stop developing unrealistic standards.
So you see, we don’t have to needlessly worry about aging. God has promised, in the Bible verse above, that even when we are old and have gray hair God will sustain us. He will carry us through all the years of our lives, and especially if we battle a chronic health condition God is right there with us.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.