Twenty-five with 25 Years’ Experience

June 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Susan Dollyhigh –

Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)

Reaching the big Five-Oh! was like a heavy-weight boxing champion hitting me smack in the face. I didn’t stress over being 30. I didn’t sink into a deep depression when I turned 40. But 50—that’s a half-century!My son and daughter-in-law heard me having a conniption fit about my upcoming birthday. Their concern for my despair was obvious when a sympathetic birthday card arrived in the mail. A turtle with its head pulled into the shell graced the front of the card. The inside read: “Come on out….time to face up to it.” Bless their hearts for the…um…encouragement.

I told the Bible study group I teach at the homeless shelter that I was turning 50. Of course, the residents made all of the appropriate remarks.

“I can’t believe you’re 50!”

“Oh, thank you,” I said.

“You sure look young for your age!”

“You’re so kind,” I replied.

“I can’t believe you’re that old!” a younger woman said.

“Yes, I’m really that old.” Although my teeth were gritted, I managed a smile, knowing she meant well.

“And I refuse to feel a day over 49…no matter how I look,” I laughed.

Janet, a resident even older than I, patted my arm. “Honey, you just tell people that you’re 25 with twenty-five years’ experience.”

“Hey, I like that,” I told her. “That’s what I’m going to tell everyone.”

I felt younger already. I envisioned a face with no wrinkles or age spots, hair with sun-kissed highlights rather than gray, and a body before gravity became the enemy.  But, given the opportunity, would I want to be 25 again?

No, not if I couldn’t take the 25 years’ experience with me. Those were acquired on the Potter’s wheel when I was sometimes less than pliable clay. They were years the Father spent shaping me into who He wanted me to become.

I’m still on the Potter’s wheel and will be until the day the Lord calls me home, but I’m glad to have come this far. I’m happy to be right where I am, 25 with twenty-five years’ experience.

About Susan Dollyhigh

Susan Shelton Dollyhigh is a free-lance writer, columnist and speaker. Susan has two children and three wonderful grandchildren and resides in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Susan is a contributing author in Spirit and Heart: A Devotional Journey, Faith and Finances: In God We Trust and The Ultimate Christian Living. Susan’s articles and devotionals have appeared in Connection Magazine, Exemplify Magazine, Mustard Seed Ministry, P31 Woman, The Upper Room and The Secret Place. She is also a contributing online writer for and


One Response to “Twenty-five with 25 Years’ Experience”
  1. Karen King says:

    Great article, Susan. Hitting the big 50 was rather traumatic for me. But, like you said, I remain on the Potter’s wheel. I wouldn’t go back either although there are some things I would have done differently. I must say that there’s still lots of refining for the Master to do on this vessel. But I’m grateful that He never gives up. Thank you for sharing this encouraging piece with us.
    Karen King

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