With wisdom, humor, and spiritual insight, author Alice Fryling relates hers and her husband’s journeys into their retirement years and onward as they now enter the eighth decade of their lives. As she explores the losses they and others have faced as they aged, she encourages consciously grieving for them.
But she doesn’t remain there. Fryling relates how she learned, with the Holy Spirit’s help, that “buried in our losses are holy invitations,” and maintains that many of those losses remind us of the resurrection: “It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to notice that the losses of old age are hidden in the Cross of Christ. Our losses often feel like small deaths. But often, by God’s grace to us, we notice that after the loss, after the death, there is resurrection. … The aging process gives us the opportunity to learn what it means to lose ourselves, to die to ourselves, and to experience new life.”
Especially helpful throughout the narrative are Fryling’s perceptive questions. For example, when she deals with the subject of an aging person’s giftedness, she asks, “What is a loyal church member to do when her gifts can no longer be used in the church kitchen, in the church pulpit, or on the church board? What happens when the corporate executive no longer enjoys business meetings? What happens to our gifts and preferences now?”
Fryling explores themes of productivity and fruitfulness, learning to embrace “the discipline of irresponsibility,” letting go even while holding on more tightly to God and that which is eternal, facing and talking about the fear of dying, and discovering peace in Christ. Aging Faithfully is suitable for individual and small group study, as each chapter ends with questions for reflection and discussion, and a personal meditation. (NavPress)