November 2, 2021
The couple doesn’t notice us but strolls by, hand in hand, acting like newlyweds on a honeymoon. It’s fall and the yellow and orange leaves line the path at their feet. People would never guess that not so many years ago they were in the center of the greatest trial of their lives: each watching their spouse die of terminal cancer.
Four years later love has found them again, and they’ve discovered happiness they thought was no longer possible.
My sister, Kendra, shows up on the doorstep she visited almost every day growing up. Her best friend from childhood has incredible parents and they became a second family in those formative years. The Mom is now frail, her memory suffering. Kendra visits in hopes of catching them on a good day.
They begin to talk, reflecting on years gone by. As the conversation turns to the highlights of the past decades, the Dad looks at her and says, “My most meaningful years of ministry began at age 54. That is when I found my sweet spot at the intersection of my gifts, time, and service.”
Midlife can represent clear endings that seem painful. But, as Kendra was so beautifully reminded that day, it can also be a portal to new beginnings that are full of life and purpose. In each season there is something for all of us.
Julie was overweight as a child. There was a discomfort in her own skin that she carried into adulthood. In her 20’s she’d tried every diet and every exercise program, but always seemed to lose and gain the same twenty pounds over and over again. Ten years later, after birthing children and running a busy household, losing weight felt out of reach.
But one day, in the fast food line, she looked at her daughters and realized that if she did not get healthy, they would grow up with the same chains of body shame. She resolved to change her habits and mindset – if not for herself, for them.
Today Julie eats whole, nutritious food that fuels her body and her family well. She exercises regularly and engages in positive self talk and gratitude practices. Transforming her physical habits made way for an internal shift that has changed her life.
Here is the common thread between all of those real stories – it’s never too late.
I’m not sure many of us think about where our narratives originate, but we have them. And often they say things like:
- It’s too late
- I can’t because
- It will never work
- It’s always been this way and it always will be
- Things will never change
These self-fulfilling prophecies will be true if that is the narrative we speak over and over in our minds and hearts.
But what if?
What if instead of the negative phrases we say
- It’s never too late
- I can because
- It WILL work
- I can change my patterns, habits, and decisions and make a new way that is different from where I am now
And what if we get really specific and believe
It’s not too late to…
- mend a relationship
- parent differently than yesterday
- say I’m sorry (with no qualifiers)
- invest in a marriage
- change our minds
- forgive someone who hurt you
- try something new
- learn a new skill
- choose a new habit or break an old one
- switch careers
- find a calling
- discover faith
- read the bible
- get healthy in mind, body, or spirit
- seek reconciliation
- make the call
Every new day provides the opportunity to do something differently. This is good news! As we grow and change as people, we get to lean into this transformation by choosing a new way forward. Isaiah says it best:
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
As we walk through what may feel like a new wilderness, we have a God who is ready to give rivers of abundance. If He is already stirring change – He will be faithful to provide all that is needed along the way.
You Must Choose It
Here is the hard part. We must CHOOSE TO CHANGE. It’s not just going to happen. Life won’t change unless we do. And research shows we resist change, even if the current situation is unhealthy.
So it must be a conscious decision. And our path forward must be planned and intentional.
It’s not too late – embrace change and bravely step into the unknown of a changed life.
Coaching Questions DOWNLOAD
As a life coach, I get to help people create real change in their lives. This begins with reflection about where a person currently is, and then a plan forward outlining where he or she wants to go.
This worksheet will help you begin the process of change. Download it and work through it over the next couple of days as you reflect on current “It’s too late” narratives in your life.