On Mid-Life Crisis and God’s Glory
By: Anne Dahlhauser
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” - Isaiah 6:1-3
Today my pastor stood up and talked about Isaiah 6.
“Sometimes things we intend to happen don’t. And other times, events we’ve never, ever prepared for happen to us.” That’s when he told us to open our Bibles to Isaiah 6, and as I skimmed the verses about seraphim and King Uzziah, I had no idea how he’d make a connection.
As I heard the words about things that happened and don’t happen and our intentions, I remembered the darkness of the night before. As we tried to fall asleep, my husband and I threw around the words “mid-life crisis,” careful to not drop them heavily but to just let it dance around our conversation. We are 36 and 41 now, and we’ve been married for 16 years. After five babies and lots of changes, we fell back on pillows and wondered. Just wondered.
How much of this have we chosen?
What could’ve been different?
Because like my pastor said the next morning: “Sometimes things we intend to happen don’t. And other times, events we’ve never, ever prepared for happen to us.”
I let myself wonder last night. Just wonder. Maybe this wasn’t what it was supposed to be. Maybe we’d failed to enjoy the moments as they were, maybe our windows of opportunities were fastened shut now, maybe the things we’d intended would never, ever be - seemingly hijacked by what we hadn’t seen coming. Maybe it all went by too fast.
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
And yet, today the pastor stood up and talked about glory, about how the earth is full of God’s glory.
Last night, with all the talk about mid-life crisis and what-ifs, I had missed the part about Glory. But Sunday morning dawned with a new realization: Glory changes everything.
Glory is God’s way of pulling divine purpose out of shambles, making things right in the midst of broken relationships, stress, endless nights of frozen pizzas, moving trucks, and graveside weeping. In every bit of it, God can receive Glory, and every situation can be one that illuminates His face for a purpose beyond our understanding.
Somehow, the promise of God receiving Glory causes a new light to shine on the mess, and then we see. We see that every jagged edge and every detour are ones God molds for His fame, His honor. For Himself. And so, Glory wins.
No time is entirely lost.
No decision is completely wrong.
Because Glory creates meaning and beauty as we look back on years of marriage and raising babies. I still wonder about what-ifs and whys, but I know God is sovereign. As these verses show, God is to be exalted; in other words, may we see Him as sovereign over our marriage stories. He is capable and trustworthy to bring out each season and every change in a way that brings Glory to Himself.
His holiness is never tainted by our floundering or our questions or even our mid-life crises of what-ifs. After one year or 16 years or 40 years of marriage, we can know He is over it all and in it all. He is working divine purpose into every step, as slippery or rocky as it seems.
Glory wins in our homes and in our marriages, as we bow to the one who is holy.
Anne Dahlhauser lives in rural Iowa on a quaint farm with her husband, five kids, and various animals. She holds an MA in Teaching Languages (TESOL and Spanish) and is a lover of words, culture, and communication. Most days you can find her teaching Spanish in her classroom, vacuuming up dog hair at home, or shuttling her kids between countless school activities - or trying to hide from it all with a good book in her tiny bedroom window seat.
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