About the Author

Sarah Mae has a past that would be her present if it weren’t for Jesus. A blogger, author, and co-author of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, she’s currently writing The Complicated Heart, a book for broken-hearted lovers of Jesus. Learn more at @thecomplicatedheart on Instagram or...

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  1. Yes, girl! I was just thinking about this last night. And I, too, am growing out my gray, but reserving full rights to change that if I want. I feel you on that! Lol

    • Hi Sarah,
      I was intrigued by your beginning description and had to smile at the scene going on as you, your daughter and the
      Burger King attendant interacted! I also took a look at my ‘extra’ layers also, well, then I had to laugh in agreement
      to all you said!

      I read most of the ‘Courage’ messages but there are times that I need an extra boost of ‘encouragement!’ I’m way past
      being concerned with my looks with thinning hair, decidedly gray, but being reminded of how much Jesus loves even me,
      is a big deal!
      Just wanted to say thank you for sharing from your heart, it did touch mine. Thanks for your messages of hope. I needed
      them.

    • That is so me. Around Thanksgiving, I began to grow my hair out and it looks awful! I’m 69 and I’m not sure I am ready to be “dishwater gray”, as my mother used to call it (she never had gray hair). Daily I consider if I will continue to let it gray or if I will get color. I’m reserving the right to change my mind also. I think the chin hair thing is over but I still have a few mustache hairs occasionally. Forget the jiggly arms and cottage cheese thighs; I don’t purchase tops that have less than elbow-length sleeves, preferably 3/4 or long. BUT I know whose I am and I concentrate on becoming more like Him inside

      • To Sue who commented about the Dishwater Gray… if you use shampoos made for gray hair, they don’t change the color, but they help it shine. I use Clairol Shimmer Lights for Blonde and Silver Hair. I don’t use it every day, I use it a couple of times a week. It works for highlights too. It is a bluish purple, but it doesn’t leave your hair that color like old shampoos for gray hair once did. It just brings out the light. Almost every hair care brand has something for gray, blonde and silver hair. Just wanted to share a tip that a friend once passed on to me as I began to gray 🙂

      • Hi Sue – I am with Bonnie Jean – I decided this year, the year I turned 50, to stop dying and start enjoying my gray hair. If the young ones purposely dye their hair gray then we can enjoy our natural grays. I also use a purple shampoo that is especially designed for gray hair so that it looks glossy and full of life. Let’s all embrace the gray and be proud of our ages!

  2. Oh, gosh, Sarah….this hit home with me and probably every other woman who reads it! Thank you so much for this reminder that God loves us no matter how we look or what age we are at!

  3. Sarah Mae,
    I’m reading, laughing, and loving this. I remember, as a young girl, my mom always asking me if I wanted some hand cream? Chapstick? A tissue? I remember thinking…what the heck for? Now I slather every dried-out crepey square inch of myself (and there are A LOT more inches). I need a tissue now because my nose always runs; that is until the you-know-what gets lodged in the wrinkles above my not so supple lips lol. I’m a hot mess, but you’re right, God loves me right where I am. I’ve earned this grey hair, these wrinkles, and my own personal abdominal inner-tube born of stress hormones. I’m almost sixty and I feel like I’m finally coming to peace with myself and I ask, “Why all the angst over what I looked like before this?” Not that I don’t enjoy looking and feeling good, but my outward appearance is not the be all and end all. God looks on the heart and I know my heart needs a makeover more than my face does. Thanks for a humbling and humorous reminder this am.!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  4. Great thought, nicely written, but I was not expecting the unnecessary evil of the mention of having a beer in bed with your husband. What you do to unwind or in rebellion to growing old, is your prerogative. But beer and other alcoholic drinks should not be encouraged in your writing since there are people who are trying to grow in their new found faith by reading good Christian devos, that may be recovering alcoholics or, like me, had an alcoholic father that ruined my childhood; and it started with just a beer. Keep writing, by all means, but please be sensitive to the hard things in life that others may be going through.

    • Dear BP,
      I’m glad that, even though you found fault in this thought provoking piece, you still applauded the meat of it. Bravo for looking past something that obviously bothered you! And may have bothered others. Have a wonderful first week of March! You are “seen” and heard here. And loved.

  5. Ooh this is good. I’m learning that this aging thing is taking my body for a ride that I only have so much control over and I MUST BE OK WITH IT. It’s been helpful to have friends who know the importance of looking inward for the beauty and being able to laugh at some of the outward changes. My heavenly father thinks I’m beautiful. Period. That’s all that matters 🙂

  6. I grew my gray out and still getting used to it! I still feel like the light brown haired person I used to be though and I do not feel old at all! When I told a friend I was growing my gray out she reacted in a horrified way and said no way she could do that and look in the mirror and see a gray haired lady. That almost changed my mind about my own hair, but I decided I was comfortable enough with the new me. I am still the same person on the inside and I hope that is who people see!

    Seems like we always struggle with appearance no matter our age.

    I hope you will check out my new eBook CLAY: Reflections on the Life God Is Shaping in Us at the link below:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0854GXNB8/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Clay%3A+Reflections+on+the+Life+God+is+shaping+in+us&qid=1582600867&s=books&sr=1-1

  7. I just finished reading this and I agree with you! I am in my 70’s and have just let my hair go grey recently. I watch what I eat, but am not a goddess! But I have found that as I aged I found it easier and easier to give it all to the Lord. Trust is a hard thing to have. When we are young we think we can conquer the world on our own. But as we grow older we learn the lesson of patience (waiting on the Lord), the freedom of handing everything over to the Father, and sometimes the time to grow closer to Jesus.

  8. AGREED! Sarah, I’m out here in Arizona feeling alone in carrying the aging torch with grace, but I’ll remember there are other women confidently doing the same. We have to show the young women behind us what it looks like to live fully and freely – and gratefully 🙂

  9. I so needed to hear this. I have struggled with being 54 and all that goes with it…all you said above….and yet I just want to be comfortable in my skin. The k you for this encouragement and for helping me see that there are others walking this road right along beside me.

  10. Oh my word! Thanks so much for sharing this. I always thought I’d never dye my hair until I turned 45, and then I ran out for a box of Miss Clairol! Now I’m opting for low lights, to let some gray show though…But I so appreciate the reminder to keep a sense of humor and to hold on to our worth at any age. 🙂

  11. I love this! Such a great reminder. I actually really enjoy working out and I dye my hair but that’s not the point. I love the reminder that God already knows my fears and it is His approval I am after.

  12. I am so exactly in this same place right now. I actually had a pity party this very morning about the pounds that crept back so quickly after giving up on my diet and the feelings of guilt after indulging in a cream cheese bagel. Thank you for the reminder that it’s the inside that He’s after. Thank you for getting me to focus on giving this frustration to God.

  13. I was just struggling with this yesterday as I looked in the mirror and fretted over the grays. Let’s be honest, everyday, multiple times a day. My hairsytlist convinced me to stop pulling out my gray hair. So they are coming in…like an army. We are trying to start our family after a failed attempt, but to see the grays makes me feel much older than my 36 years. But God has been stirring in me. I’ve been comparing. Comparing myself to what I looked like a year ago with shiny brown hair…with other women I knew in my college days on social media, it seems like it’s baby season again, for them anyway. I’m so concerned about what’s not going right, it’s distracting me from the work God is trying to do in me. Look inward. God works from the inside out. It starts with Him, His love. Our submission to his perfectly orchestrated plan for our life. It’s different from everyone else’s because it’s ours. And it’s in His time. So if he has graced us with gray hair in our mid thirties…if we don’t have children until later in life…or not at all, if things don’t go as we planned, it’s okay. Because God holds us in the palm of his hands, and his plan for us is better than we could ask or imagine.

  14. I grew out my gray hair over 5 yrs ago! It was a challenge at times and there are still a few days when I think about dyeing it again but I really do like and and get compliments on it so it’s going to stay. All the areas we thought we’d never see change, wrinkle or just can’t get a muscle there ever again are part of our life experience and the grace to have made it this far in life. While society wants to define us, God loves us as we are and we need to love ourselves and others for that same reason.
    Thanks for this today!!

  15. Gray Hair is a crown of splendor… according to the Word of God. I am 62 and got my first gray hairs in my late 20’s. I dyed my hair for a few years because of a boyfriend who didn’t like gray hair in women even though he had some of his own ! As my hair began to dry up and fall out despite weekly conditioners and having my hair colored at a very high priced salon in NYC… my stylist told me that it was becoming obvious that I should not color my hair. It was baby fine but full and I had naturally beachy waves. I stopped when I got pregnant with my first child at 34 as I was advised by both my stylist and doctor. It looked awful for awhile with half mostly silvery gray and half dark auburn ! But I kept it short for awhile and had it cut every other week. (My hair grows fast and even faster when I was expecting). When it grew out, it looked beautiful and I actually looked younger than my friends who died their hair. I got compliments from men and women and the women always said, “I wish I had the courage to grow out my gray hair.” No one thinks I am 62. Most think I am in my mid-forties, despite the gray hair. Now I have long hair, like I did in high school , when it was all dark auburn. It is halfway down my back and baby soft with those beachy waves, which my current stylist says that people pay $85 and more to get. She says that there are shades of gray that young people are having their hair streaked with or dyed completely ! Fashion is fickle ! I try to eat sensibly… less than I want but a little of whatever I want… and I try to exercise every day, even if only a brisk walk around the area where I live. I try to take care of the body I was given, without being obsessed. I love ballroom dancing and that is a good workout… as is square dancing. I feel more beautiful than I ever did before… I no longer care about what others think so much. I spend more time on developing my inner beauty, my relationship with the Lord makes me glow from the inside out. I truly feel like God gave me a crown of splendor… as I feel best when I am living the life God intended for me. I don’t feel 62… I don’t feel any different inside than I did at 17. Yes, I have aches and pains now and then, but I have learned that you don’t need 20 lb. weights to get firm arms and you don’t need to run marathons to get firm thighs. I am not perfect, but I just try to keep the Temple of my body in good condition for my health’s sake. It seems like people either obsess over the physical, or feel like they have to apologize to the world because they have gray hair … I am happy to be who I am and I expect to live forever with the Lord who will perfect me in His time. Both inside and out. Peace is priceless !

    • Hi Susan, I loved what you said about, “But I have found that as I aged I found it easier and easier to give it all to the Lord.” I am 50 now and starting to experience some of what you are talking about. I so with that I had been able to learn this lesson at the age of 10. I so wish that I had been more comfortable with myself at a younger age. But I thank God that I am at the place of desiring to be humble and open to His leading. I must say though this depends on the day. Anyways, for me it was true………when I was younger I felt invincible, and I was trying to compete and be like all of them. It was not cool to be like Jesus, not cool to obey and live for Jesus. I find as I grow older….I care less what others think, and more of what He thinks!!!!!!!! I’m beginning to understand why the Lord asks older women …see Titus 2:3-5 to teach younger women the ways of the Lord.

    • Bonnie you sound so at peace with yourself? Have you always been this way? Has God been working on you in this area? Please share in detail. I am so encouraged by your post. What a beautiful woman you are.

      • Ingrid, I am at peace with myself, and in my life with the Lord. I have been a believer for as long as I can remember… but the transformation was a gradual one. I think it began in my early 30’s… and continued and increased with the birth of my two sons… one at 34 and one at 36. Both of them were difficult in many ways, but I learned to trust in God for everything. A verse that was important to me during my pregnancies was Hebrews 11:1 about faith. As I watched the gray hair grow out from the dark auburn dye I had used to keep myself looking “young”… I came upon Proverbs 16:31. And I discovered the rich truth in it. I thought of those who I looked up to for wisdom, and who lived the life I wanted to live… and they were living examples of what the Lord can do in and through you and they lived vibrant lives even into the 80’s and 90’s. Yes, they had gray hair and wrinkles and so forth, but there was a glow in their hearts and the beauty of what God created them to be shone out … each one in their own unique way. By the time I was in my early 40’s, I had learned to love myself… not selfishly… but we cannot love others properly if we do not first love ourselves and that which the Lord created us to be. I no longer worried about what others thought of me in terms of how I looked or how I lived (as long as I lived out what I believed). That didn’t mean giving up on what I looked like… it was more like an acceptance of myself and a willingness to let the Lord transform me into His likeness day by day. I had been a ballet dancer as a young girl and still love many forms of dance. That world can be very competitive and critical of any imperfections… I used to be anxious that I was not “perfect” enough at times. But the Lord taught me gradually and helped me see through portions of Scripture that I did not need to be concerned with that. My job was to be the best “me” that I could be and to live the life He had planned for me, whatever that might mean. So I started to take care of myself and eat healthier, not for myself but for my sons first while I was expecting and for good health for the journey ahead that God had prepared for me. Peace comes in trust and obedience… like the hymn “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” I try to remember that my body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit and I want that to be in good shape (not perfect, but perhaps being perfected inside and out as I followed the Lord’s direction.) I truly do feel 17 inside in many ways, I still am who I always was… with the uniqueness that God created in me. And time, no longer seems an enemy. For when we accept Jesus as our Savior, He not only forgives us of all our sins (including vanity, worry, and far worse things) … past, present and future… but He gives us Eternal Life and we will never die. So what are a few gray hairs and wrinkles ? My grandmother had beautiful silvery hair all of the time that I knew her. She went to be with the Lord when I was 19 years old… but she was a beautiful example of what a Christian woman could be. On her deathbed, as she wasted away with cancer (that at the time was not treatable)… even there she was able to lead a few of her friends that visited to Christ. She is now in that great cloud of witnesses also mentioned in Hebrews… and always a great witness to me. And the learning continues, until He returns for us. However, I feel that the first half of my life although wonderful at times… is not nearly as wonderful as the second half has been so far. Despite the gray hair, wrinkles and other imperfections. I am content in way that I could never have imagined as a teenager. I hope this helps Ingrid… by the way, you have a beautiful name. I am sure that you are even more beautiful inside and out. (I am sorry it took me so long to respond, I was at the dentist today for a root canal in process… so I didn’t go back on line until I felt a little less pain.)

        • Hi Bonnie, I must say that your response is so beautiful. I see your beautiful heart. It is true, hard times bring about the opportunity to grow closer to Jesus and accept who He is and who He created us as individuals, to be. It is a painful process, yet I see Him and His beauty in the words that you wrote. Please pray for me, I so desire to be at peace with who He created me to be, and to learn to love who He made me to be, fat, loose skin and all. I do need to work on the temple that He has given me to live it. That has been a challenge for me. Having said that, in the past 2 weeks the Lord has given me the desire to exercise again. I do need prayer to eat healthier, and get the excess weight off, and to learn to love healthy food. I always need prayer to fall more deeply in love with Him, and not focus so much on self. I do have lots of grey hair, and have embraced them since they started happily taking over my head in my early 40’s. I cant’ be bothered with hair dye and all that comes with that. I am learning to love the crazy, fun, wacky, playful, intense lover of Jesus that He created me to be. Thank you for your encouragement and honesty. I wish you lived closer, I would love to have Bible study/coffee/a friend like you, to rub Jesus off on me more. Oh yah, as I get older ( I am going to be 51 in a couple of months) I am becoming bolder in asking for what I want, instead of being afraid of rejection. We only live on this earth once…..thankfully……..so why not ask for what I want/need. Anyways thanks for your honesty, it is beautiful, and so are you. Oh yah, thanks for the compliment on my name. As a child I disliked my name so much, and as adult I have grown to love it. I hope that your mouth is feeling better, root canals are something else. Blessings. Keep in touch if you like. Ingrid

          • Dear Ingrid, I will certainly pray for you. For all of the things you mentioned that you need prayer for. One thing I have learned with changes, taking it slowly and making small gradual changes works better. A good friend of mine wanted to quit smoking, but she didn’t know how. First, we prayed about it and I gave her a few verses for encouragement. Then I wrote out a plan with her for stopping. I told her that she shouldn’t beat herself up if she messed up, that she can just start over where she was the next day. I think that is one of the reasons that God created day and night. He knew we might need to “start over” often… sometimes. Our plan took about a year. She was smoking a pack and a half a day to start. In six months, she was down to just a few a day. And her skin, and teeth and hair were looking better and she had more money in her wallet because cigarettes were very expensive. In just a couple of more months, she was done with cigarettes forever. With the money she saved, she got some much needed dental work done. She looks like a new woman. And she never went back. She hates being around smokers now. Funny how that is. So make small changes and you are more likely to succeed. With exercise, find something that you like… it is much easier to stick to. And being your fun, wacky and playful self is what God intended for you. Laughter is like good medicine… (another Bible Verse in the Old Testament, but I can’t remember what book it is in at the moment). I do not know where you are in the world, but at the moment I am in New Jersey. In June, I am moving to south central Missouri. I don’t drink coffee, but I would love to have some tea while you have some coffee and sit and talk. I would be happy to give you my email, but I have to find out what the rules are on the website to do that. Even if we can’t actually meet in person, we can sit and talk or email back and forth while we enjoy our hot beverages and conversation. I am always happy to meet new people. Especially a sister in Christ ! I have a friend your age, Cynthia, who lives about an hour away and we meet in the middle… sometimes at The Cheesecake Factory… which has great food and great cheesecake. Sometimes we have a meal and sometimes just dessert. I always have something good to take home for another day (as I said earlier, I eat everything that I want to, but not as much of it as I want to !) And I do try to make healthy choices, but I also enjoy some of the wonderful sweets that there are on this earth. In between meeting in the middle, we talk on the phone, text, and email. So there are lots of options in this modern world. I also actually like to write real letters. With a fountain pen. There is something about seeing someone’s unique handwriting… it is like a fingerprint… uniquely their own. So, we have options even if you are halfway across the world. I write to a young man in Paris, France and a young woman in Italy. And many other people that God has brought into my life. So I just have to find out what the rules are here and then we can figure out how to get in touch, at least in one of the many methods there are. In the meantime, I will be praying for you. It is good to not be afraid to ask for what you want. I have learned to be that way with God… He knows all of our thoughts anyway… but we need to talk to Him about all of the things in our hearts. He made us to love and live with Him forever. How wonderful is that !!!

  16. Thank you for saying that “It’s OK to age” I didn’t think it was, I read that over and over. I’m having a hard time accepting the changes that come with aging. I’m going to give it all to the Lord who already knows what I’ll look like as an older person, and just coast with it all.

  17. A heart-y AMEN from another jiggly-armed, chin-plucking, getting older AND STILL WISER sister. Let’s keep doing this!

  18. I am 65 yrs old and just let my hair go grey. I have gotten so many compliments and it’s so freeing! I am doing my 4th half marathon in April and just try to be the best me I can be and become more and more like Him!

  19. When you are such dark hair it is nearly black but not and you start to turn white at 21…you have to think some things through allot sooner than other…I serious considered dying my hair but my scalp reacted to the small test patch and I kinda thought I would rather white hair than none. not to mention the constant inner skunkk that would show up in like 12 hours …I voted against the hair colour but the rest was harder to accept, but here I am at 62 and aging has been a nice alternative to not aging….My family kind of like having me around and I discovered my thighs had a mind each of their own 2 days after I moved out of our home with an indoor pool that I had imagined kept my thighs under control…but again I am so glad I have thighs that work and the dimples well it gives them character….The giggly under arm skin is just down right dangerous and I have zero comfort in the fact I knocked a grand child out with it when they ducked under my arm for a hug but didn’t duck low enough…We are working on forgiving ourselves on that one.
    I used to hate aging. but it has become a determined close friend and in a weird and grateful way I am pleased it didn’t give up on me. There is still much to live before the alternative takes victory.
    Enjoy the day , it doesn’t drop by again. It is a single view opportunity, here for a limited time then gone. Blessings to you, keep writing, it is always a good read.

  20. I just turned “60”, but even before 60 my under arm jiggled, the dimples started and yes the grays started coming out. At first sight of my graying I started to panic out and started to plunk away. When I turned 58 I pretty much embraced my grays not wanting to color because I am not one to keep up with maintaining it. At this time of my life I have come to terms with the grays as part of life and I am actually loving how it is blending with my natural hair color. I cannot say I am comfortable with the dimples and underarm jiggles, but I am going to embrace that too because sooner or later we will all go through this process. Love yourselves for who you are…God loves us no matter.

  21. Thank you for the reminder that God continues to sees us as beautiful and relevant, and loves us always, even with the gray hair and wrinkles. I have been a live in caregiver for my parents for the last six years. Now, at age 63 I am trying to re-enter the the job market. It looks impossible, so it seems that I will have to do anything I can to look younger including cutting my long thinning gray hair and going full on color. I have some new aches and pains, but I’m trying to stay active and be healthy. I actually feel pretty young until I happen to pass a mirror. What does help though, is focusing on God and the eternal future he has for us…and walking a little faster when passing those mirrors.

  22. Sara Mae,

    This post brings back the book “The Middle Matters” by Lisa Jo Baker. She talks about the middle parts of our lives. How the way we look with a few extra pounds & some gray hairs doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. People worry about their looks & do everything to stay young & healthy. That may be fine, but not in God’s economy. He cares about our souls more than how we look in fancy clothes. As for me I don’t care what people think of me. I have gray hair & I’ve earned each one. Not going to do anything about extra flab except try to tone it up some. Doing what God wants-eating healthy & exercising. Women, especially, need to hear your message. It’s ok to get older. it happens to everyone. Just take care of the body God gave you & enjoy yourself. Better yet don’t worry about what others think of you-worry more about what God says.

    Blessings 🙂

  23. Oh man….this is me to a “T” – though I’m already the big 60 (& a half!!). Yep, graying hair that I’m currently highlighting only but maybe not much longer, flabby arms even though I heft a toddler on a daily basis and an inner tube that won’t go away (even though my weight is good) and an adult beverage once in a blue moon…and God loves me anyway, bless His heart! Thank you for sharing your heart (and your other parts lol) as we’re all in the same boat in one way or a another. LOVE THIS!!

  24. Thank you it is where I am at too.
    Something some one told me is don’t try to loose weight but try to not gain anymore — Hold. Takes a little stress out of it.

  25. Sarah Mae, I’ve always enjoyed your posts and did this one until like BP mentioned your words about having a beer in bed with your husband. I didn’t feel this was appropriate being a Christian author & writing Christian devotions to help others in their walk with Christ. I dont want to judge by no means but felt lead to give my opinion. May we all try to please God from within our souls and not worry so much about our outside appearance. Amen

  26. Amen!! I get tired of feeling like i have to dye my hair every month or that my makeup has to be perfect and then what will people think if i blow my nose during the day and that messy up my foundation or a silver hair or two or ten show because i don’t run to Ulta immediately?! I want to so who cares?! Because silver/white/gray hairs or not, imperfect makeup or not i’m still me the same me i am when i’m in my pjs at home with no makeup and hair not done and either way I’m a daughter of the King and if He loves me either way than does it really matter what “they” think???