Leaning In at Almost 40

August 22, 2022

By Nicole


Last week I was on the beach, taking some much needed “me time”. One of the benefits of living near a body of water is that there’s some kind of beach. Now, maybe it’s not the translucent, clear-blue Pacific Ocean that I’ve experienced in tropical terrains, but, here in Cleveland, Ohio we do have sparkling, clean sand. LOL. And lots of it!

Some of the brave dare into the actual waves, but your girl on the other hand, is perfectly fine sunbathing and letting the sun toast her dark almond skin into an even deeper shade of brown.

So, that’s what I was doing on this particular bright, summer day. I had a grueling work week and knew I had an eventful day the next day. This was the only time I could squeeze in rest.

My earbuds played while sprawled on my belly with my chin tilted upward when I saw her.  A bundle of playful, animated joy. I stared and had a hard time ripping my eyes from the glistening mocha limbs that dashed every which way, topped off with springy waves of thick, Black coils. Her hair was everything and I yearned to wear my own natural locks in a similar fashion. I also yearned to have a kid just like her.

Now, I took note of this kid-desire because, I am just not a kid person. Yes, I love my loved one’s kids, yes I’m (usually) kind to perfect stranger’s kids, but honestly, I am in such a different season that a kid is the opposite of my lifestyle. They require that energy level and attention that I simply don’t have because I am oozing all of said energy into building this legacy.

I remember when the neighbors’ kids were randomly playing in my yard and I was so annoyed. I felt like Mr. Wilson who yelled at Dennis the Menace for one thing or another. LOL. Ok, I know I’m dating myself…But that’s how I felt. Like an elderly person who just did not want to be bothered! I wanted to be in my quiet home, petting my quiet cat, sipping my quiet cup of coffee…

So anyways, I knew that this little girl was stirring up a desire in me and in all honesty, I wanted to run from it.

[Tweet “You see, as 40 swiftly approaches and my 30’s subtly settle into the horizon of my youth, I am relinquishing the reality that I could have children.”]

It’s a hard thing because even though I’m so not in that season, being a mom is highly esteemed in my family. I come from a lineage of women who sacrificed their own lives for their children. This model influenced me so much that last year when I looked up and I did not have children, and did not have marriage, and did not have parents, I did not feel like I had purpose.

I know I am not alone and that so many women find purpose in their families, but, thankfully Elohim moved when I felt this way. He heard my cry for purpose and gave me a book which has birthed out so much meaning. I knew that He was saying that my books were my kids. They truly come from a birthing.

[Tweet “The thing is, an intangible object will never replace your desire for a person.”]

So, I observed the little girl on the beach in all her glory, having a blast on this summer day in August. Then I tucked away the desire, as I always do, in what I did have: a moment to rest (and a waistline, unscathed by childbirth, LOL).

The very next day I found myself in a car with a woman I recently met. Turns out we are both driven, Independent Authors, trying to get our books out there. As a result, we were at the same two local author events in just two weeks and were now on our way to our third. Sound like a divine connection? I think so!

Interestingly enough, we slid to the subject of “age” where it was revealed that she was about 15 years older than I had originally perceived. Wow. I was blown away because another author we had just met had the same story. She was in her late 50’s yet looked to be in her early 40s. But wait. It gets better. So my newfound friend and author-companion went on to say that she did not even start having her kids until her 40s. She had her first in her early 40s and her second in her late 40s. 


I revealed my own age, and to that she was shocked because I too, look significantly younger (Praise God for melanin!). 

I felt super encouraged by our conversation because it wasn’t just that she looked younger, it’s that she had so much energy and was so vibrant, the same way I come off to people younger than me. I knew the Father was showing me someone who was wired the way that I was and it reminded me that we have to lean into our own story, even though it can be a fearful thing to do. 

Whenever I think about letting go of what I want and how I want my life to look and what I want to happen, the “controller” in me rises up. My heart becomes tightened with anxiety and I look forward with unseeing eyes into a stark, black bottomless pit. 

There is nothing in my future but fear.

This has happened to me even after 20 years of walking with Him. Has happened at every significant stage of my life journey. Has happened after so many magnificent experiences of open doors and opportunities and God coming through at every juncture.

I struggle with trust.

So when the message to lean into my story was on my heart once again, I said a little prayer.

Lord, help me to lean into my story. Help me to trust You with my journey. Help me to lean into You.

I am reminded of one of my dear friends who wrote a book called, “A Different Story”. She talks about her journey in walking out extended singleness, which is quite contrary to our culture bursting with pairs.

By our age, everyone is in a relationship, and by my age, most people have at least one kid.

Clearly, I have a different story, yet as a soon to be novelist, I can attest to the fact that sometimes the in-between chapters do not make sense. It is only when we near the end of a good book that we understand what the Author was crafting all along. 

I am trying to trust the Great Author with my story. 

Day by day. 

Page by page. 

How about you?

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