“There’s a popular expression that says, “Life begins at 40.” And I thought, “Really?”
Just out of curiosity, I googled what other people say about turning forty and these are the famous quotes they have come up with and I must say, there’s just so much truth to them. To give you some examples:
“Life begins at 40, and I’m living proof!” – Mariska Hargitay (Oh yeah!) “
If Life begins at 40, what is it that ends at 39?” – Jim Fiebig (Good question!)
“Life begins at 40 – but so do fallen arches, rheumatism, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person, three or four times.” – Helen Rowland (And it’s happening to me already! Yikes!)
“Life really does begin at Forty, up until then, you are just doing a research.” – Carl G. Jung (hmmm… that explains it!)
“I’m not 40, I’m eighteen with 22 years experience.” (I’m gonna add this on to my CV!)
“Forty isn’t old… if you’re a tree!” (Ouch!)
Here’s another one – some people have actually made a thorough research and I certainly agree to this:
“Women who are in their 20s think they are sexy. Women who are in their 30s say they are sexy. Women who are in their 40s no longer have to think or say it, they OWN it!” (C’mown!!!)
Whoever wrote these quotes really knew what they’re talking about and now that I’m joining the ride I have to agree that “40” is nothing but a number and being 40 is absolutely FAB!
But in all honesty, journeying towards this inevitable milestone hasn’t always been the easiest path. And I’m sure like most of the people in this room, you could agree that it is absolutely difficult – no matter which age milestone you belong to.
I remember when I was in my 20s, I was fresh out of the university, clueless of what the real world has to offer yet I was filled with enthusiasm, hope and vigor to pursue my dreams and ambitions in life. “Whatever it takes!” I said to myself. It seems as if I can do everything and anything I could think of! I didn’t have the money, but who cares! I am young and free. I can do anything!
“I’m wanna do this! I wanna go there! I wanna be this! I wanna try that! I wanna buy this! I wanna have him! I wanna get that!” I want everything life has to offer! There was absolutely no limit.
Until… real life happens… I discovered that it wasn’t that easy… at all!
Destiny has shipped me out of my comfort zone and I landed here, in Dubai. But something beautiful happened in the later part of my twenty’s. I met a very special man. He showed me what my life is all about. He opened my eyes to the things I didn’t see before. He gave me a brand new perspective. He taught me how to live. He gave me a new family – my church.
Along the way, I was transformed into a new person. He changed me and the direction of my life… and not just mine but also the life of my family. Although, he clearly tells me that life isn’t at all rainbows and butterflies and unicorns, He promised to never leave me nor forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:6) And He proved himself true to his promise, because He’s brought each one of you here in different seasons of my life.
He never allowed me to go it all alone in this journey – whether it be in my joys or in my pains. He made sure that when I go through deep waters, He will be with me. When I go through the rivers of difficulty, it will not drown me. Or when I walk through the fire of oppression, it will not burn me up and its flame will not consume me. (Isaiah 43:2)
You were God’s hands and feet. His eyes, when I can’t see the good in others or the things that might harm me. His ears, when I’m so busy with the world that I couldn’t hear God anymore. His mouth, to speak His truth. God touched each one of you to prove that I am not alone. You were God’s manifestation of His love and His promises.
Some of you here, I met when I was in my 20s. Some of you, when I was in my 30s and some of you, like my family, has always been with me for as long as I can remember.
So, I want to honour all of you – for your friendship, for your love, for being so patient with me, for not giving up on me, for challenging me to pursue my God-given purpose, for speaking truth over my life, for helping me know and understand who I really am especially during those times that I’ve forgotten who I am in Christ; for encouraging me to keep moving forward even when it’s hard; for telling me the things I needed to hear, even when you knew I wouldn’t like it; for the laughter and the tears we shared, and most importantly, for reminding me always that “I am a child of God and that He loves me. I am precious to Him. I am chosen. I am set apart. And He has a purpose and plan in my life.”
Finally, I want to honour that special man in my life, my Betrothed, my Love, my eternal Bridegroom. The man who brought all of us here together in this place for such a time as this. The man who died on the cross and gave up his life for me because I am just a sinner, saved by grace, when I stood condemned to death, He took my place. So, I honour you, Jesus, my God and my King. I am forever yours!
Contrary to that popular expression, my life does not begin today. My life began, when Jesus died on the cross 2,000 years ago so that ‘I might have life and have it more abundantly’. (John 10:10)
Thank you, Jesus for adding another year in my life. All glory and honour is yours forever and ever!”
(This was the thanksgiving speech which I delivered on that night. A very special thanks to all the people who came to my “Fab@40 Party”. You were all so beautiful. I appreciate your time, prayers, birthday greetings, your thoughtful presents and most of all, your love and friendship! You made me feel like a real princess even for just one night! 🙂
To those who sent their greetings thru video message, facebook, instagram, and texts – thank you very much for remembering this perfect day! I love you all!)
Here are some of the snapshots from last night’s “Fab@40 Party”: