I know why forty is the new thirty. Because for the past few years I have felt like I did at the end of my twenties: finding myself. The struggle of being comfortable in my own skin. Discovering who I am.
I wrestled. I walked with a limp. But I hit thirty and I knew who I was. Relaxed in myself. Confident. I could conquer the world.
Then I became a mother. And it was like my old self did not fit. It wasn’t just the pre-pregnancy clothing. It was the pre-pregnancy me. Like a snake shedding its skin, I shed the non-mother me, and once again engaged in the battle to find myself. Find myself as a mother. And a wife. And a woman.
Mark 2:22 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”
I always thought new wineskins related to the church. To things like revival and relevancy. I never thought it applied to me.
All of me.
But it did.
You can’t put new wine in old skin.
The joy and experience of children was certainly new wine. And for a while I was trying to fit it into the old me. The old wineskin of who I was. But it didn’t work. I kept bursting.
I thought it was me. I thought I could not cope. I thought I was a failure. It was my old wineskin.
I knew motherhood would change me. I knew I would leave the birthing suite a different woman, but I never thought it would be like starting over. Navigating myself in the midst of dirty nappies and sleepless nights. The insecure girl of long ago resurfaced. I could not understand why.
But I was becoming new. A beautiful new wine skin. It was taut. Somehow not as flexible with new responsibilities.
Oh, the possibilities.
But I did it. I emerged from the cocoon, a new wineskin, ready for new wine. My old skin served me well, but it had to give way to new skin. New, yet slightly-more-wrinkled-with-dark-circles-under-my-eyes skin.
I have come to see this is not the only time in my life I will change wineskins. There will be more. But perhaps now I will be prepared. I will recognise the need to change, not resist, and embrace new skin. Well, we can only hope.
This is the new me. The new wineskin. Fresh-faced to enjoy the new wine of my life. Confident. Unafraid. Kinda like the pre-baby me, only better.
For a slightly different version of this post, read my Crosswalk article titled, 4 Lessons for Navigating the Seasons of Life.