Last night I heard a woman speak whose life in many respects began at 48. I was so impressed with her story, I wanted to share it with you.
Many years ago she immigrated to the U.S. from Greece with her two young daughters. Immediately she was hired by Georgetown University to be a professor in their dental school and she had a private practice as well.
What she didn't know was her life was about to change in ways she had never imagined.
Like most Greeks, she belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church, so when her 14 year old daughter developed a crush on the Osmond brothers and decided to get baptized, she was furious and refused to give permission for the baptism. She felt that falling in love with a celebrity was no reason to change religions and insisted her daughter give it up.
Yet over the course of the next four years, her daughter persisted, and so after numerous sets of full-time missionaries, ward missionaries and bishop visits, she relented and allowed her daughter to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On the day of the baptism the church was filled with people all over the stake, including the stake presidency, who had all come to witness the miracle of the change in the very mean mother.
Although still opposed in principle to the baptism, it was during the service the real miracle occurred. As she knelt before the font to watch, her heart turned to God in prayer for strength to endure what was happening. At that moment the spirit touched her heart and let her know that the church was true and what was happening was right. She hurried into the changing room to tell her daughter not to give away her baptismal dress as she was going to need it.
Two weeks later she joined her daughter in the waters of baptism and a short time later her second daughter was baptized as well. And that choice, made at the age of 48, completely changed the direction of her life.
A short time later, she gave up her job and her private practice and moved to Utah to work as a translator for the church. Finances were tight over the next several years as she helped translate many church publications in to Greek, including the Book of Mormon.
She also began working as a volunteer at the Family History Center and has become world renowned for her work in Greek Genealogy, having published several books on the topic.
Currently she is 80 years old and continues to be an amazing woman, diligently working to bring the gospel to her people.
As I sat listening to her, I was so impressed with what she has accomplished in her life. But what really struck me was the thought that her greatest service to others began when she was nearly 50 years old. Thankfully she did not feel at that age that she was too old to change, or to make a difference in the world. Instead she gave up everything worldly that up to that point had been important to her, and followed her heart and the promptings of the spirit. And because of that, not only has her life been a great adventure, but many people have been blessed.
What a great lesson that was for me!! How grateful I am for her example. And now I am so very excited for the next 30 years of my life!! What wonderful challenges, experiences and opportunities will it bring?!!
Ahh, there is still so much of life left and so much more . . . . joy to be found in the journey!
Thought for the day: "The first time I heard the phrase 'anti-aging formula' I thought, 'What's that? Hemlock?' Anything that is anti-aging has to kill you since if you are alive, you are aging. Learn to accept and enjoy the preciousness of life and the fun you can have at any age." Loretta LaRoche