I went camping for the first time last weekend. There was a single layer of fabric keeping me from sleeping beneath the stars, and I woke to the view of early sunlight peeking through the trees. We toasted s’mores and sipped slowly by the fire, telling stories of the people we thought we loved when we were four years old.
We took a cooler of sandwiches and iced tea and packed ourselves into the car to head toward the beach — driving with the windows rolled down and the music blasting, dancing to the sound of summer and the feeling of electricity in our bones.
I think God gave me a fresh start this summer — a fresh start that I didn’t even realize I needed. But this summer has been like the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, a blank canvas I keep splashing color on.
This has been the summer of firsts for me.
There have been small things, like going camping or standing in the Pacific Ocean, but there have been larger things too: buying my first car, finding a wonderful friend, and deciding, after waiting for four years, to attend college in the fall.
God keeps whispering to me: Aliza, it’s not too late.
It was pitch black and late when we decided to lay beneath the stars last weekend, so we took a couple of flashlights and walked through the woods, climbed down some rocks and lay beside the water. One of the things I love most about the sky is that neither a camera nor words can capture its glory.
The sky is a secret love letter between you and God, and even when you try, you can’t fully explain it to anyone.
I laid my head against the ground and watched three stars shoot across the sky, wonder making it’s way through my body.
Aliza, it’s not too late for you, God whispered to me in the midst of my feelings of utter smallness and wonder and gratitude.
Thank you, I whispered back to him. Thank you for fresh starts and first times and people that keep showing me exactly who You are.
It’s not too late for me, no matter what I might think. It never is.
The summer will be over soon, and when I look back on it, I’ll say it was lovely. But even when autumn comes, I’ll still have opportunities and moments to try something new and it won’t be too late for me.
For you, too. No matter what your summer has held, it’s never too late for you. Apply to college, go camping, stand in the Pacific Ocean even when it’s freezing. Drive a half-hour out of the way for ice cream and turn the music up another notch or two. Do something you’ve never done before, do something you’ve always wanted to do.
Even if you think it might be too late, can you hear God’s whisper?
It’s not too late for you.Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I love the night sky too. I was lying, looking up at the stars when I gave my life to Christ at the age of 13. Just seeing His magnitude, I did wonder, who am I that you are mindful of me? Even at 55, God still whispers, “It’s not too late for you.” Like you, I’ve tried some new things – things I would have never dreamed of and it feels good to be going on this scary, awesome adventure with nothing but the trust of the Lord to hold on to. I wonder how Abraham must have felt, in his old age, God whispered, “It’s not too late for you.” So glad you are stepping forward into these new adventures with God. Beautifully encouraging and inviting post 🙂
Aliza Latta says
I love how you decided to follow Jesus after seeing the sky. Beautiful.
Donna Upshaw says
I love the night sky. I stand amazed to see THE HEAVENS DECLARING THE GLORY OF GOD ALL OVER THe Earth nightly multi culturally multiracially in all languages and no language. Go figure. Only GOD
It’s not too late for me either tho in two days I face surgery fir the second time to remove cancer from my lung if possible. A non smoker all my life. But it’s not too late.
And it’s not too late for you either. HE IS ABLE
I’m praying for you Donna! It’s never too late for God to do the miraculous ❤️
Donna Upshaw says
As the Gid who raised Jesusfrom the dead whose Spirit is in me. He will also give life to my mortal body. Yeah!!!!
Love y guys
Beth Williams says
Prayers that God will bring a peace to your soul! May He show you a miracle-complete healing!! He is still in the miracle business and it is never ever to late for Him!
Donna Upshaw says
Amen Sister. It’s never too late
Love u all
Donna Upshaw says
So amazing to have sisters I do not knowing w but love thru Christ praying
I am now 55.5 years old and while I am not wrinkled or have grey hair, the birth certificate does not lie, neither do my arthritic knees.
I feel the parade has passed me by and it saddens me. Life is so short, one minute you are in college the next you are middle aged whether you like it or not. I never found Mr Right, so no hubby or children, so there will never be grandkids to look forward to. I never found my feet with a career or the right college major, so I moved from one dead end job to the next, now I am on disability and am out of the rat race. I live with a million regrets, if only I could it all again, I would make such different choices.
I am so happy that you had the summer you did !!
Take a class, go to the library- they have activities going on. Make friends!!! They are worth more than gold.
Elizabeth-Anne, I can feel such heartbreak as I read your comment. I’m sorry. I appreciate Aliza’s response to you. She is caring, compassionate and wise. You are extremely valuable to God, and very loved. Isolation is not our friend, and many are the lies that would hold us in it’s snare. I’m fighting much the same battle. I’m praying for you now.
Aliza Latta says
Praying for you now, Elizabeth-Anne. I pray Jesus shows you that you have so much to offer. xx
Praying that you will let God lead you to the right path, it is not too late–volunteer for something that interests you, whether it’s the reading circle at the library or a local school, a soup kitchen, or sitting through clothes at the DAV or Salvation Army. (Just examples.) Sometimes just a couple of hours to get you out of the house changes perspective. I am the same age as you, sure understand about arthritic joints!
Shauna, I am also in my senior years and no stranger to pain! I’ve been thinking about joining in some of the activities at the library. You and Jennie have encouraged me to step out and do it! Thank you!
Elizabeth Anne , beloved one of God, it’s not too late for you! God has gifted each of us with something special to offer. My prayer for you is that your specialness is revealed to you and that “it’s not too late ” becomes your every breath.
Elizabeth-Anne, I hear your heartbreak and my heart breaks with you, dear sister. I have been in your places and echo with Aliza that “its never too late” for our God is the God of second, third, forth, and on chances. Stepping out into volunteering is such balm for the weary soul, opening up places that the Lord can bring such goodness and healing out of the broken. As Joni said “Isolation is not our friend”, but a place the enemy tries to bind us. I know how hard and scary it can be, it was so hard for me to try and enter into new places, but I know that with Jesus your wounds can be healed and you made whole from the disappointments, the regrets. But our Lord will give you all you need to do it because He and we need all the beautiful talents and heart that you have to give. To see those potential gifts in action would be glorious, the thought of you doing so warms my heart 🙂 Praying hard for you today, sweet sister, that He heals those tender places in you so those gifts shine out His glory 🙂
Beth Williams says
It is never over till God says it! Prayers that you can take one small step-take a fun class, read a good book, do things with your church. Heck you can take a drive and look at the beautiful scenery around you. Pray about your situation and see what God has in store for you. I will pray for your situation and that God will open your eyes to new opportunities!
Linda Poplees says
Thank you Aliza for reminding us, it’s never too late. God is an awesome, loving God who gives us second, third, unlimited chances. I lost two husbands within 8 years. He has taught me how to confront my fears and that I could do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I am starting a new life with many challenges but I know He is faithful. Over the last few months it has been just Him and me. I have learned to appreciate sunrises and sunsets. I smile when pheasants walk on my deck and look in my window. It has been an incredible journey with lots of pain but I would do it again if I encouraged just one person that God loves you and He is always faithful to honor our heart’s desires. The best is yet to come!
Aliza Latta says
Linda — you have been through so much! Your faithfulness is amazing and so beautiful.
Kelli mcknight says
It’s never too late!! yes you are so right. Gods timing is perfect and unique. Have a great fall, continuing to see Gods presence all around you!
This is nice…right to the point and good reminders…for so many aspects of our lives. It’s NOT TOO late ~ YES!
Nancy Ruegg says
Kathy, are you the teacher facing challenges at school? I’ve been praying for a Kathy I met here at (in)courage, that this school year will be different for her in positive ways: 1) administrators will listen more and micro-manage less, 2) she’ll become acquainted with a like-hearted colleague or two for support and encouragement, 3) some thoughtful and talented volunteers will come alongside to offer help with bulletin boards, organizing supplies, clerical work, etc., and 4) she and her students bond quickly for a year of mutual enjoyment. I’m hoping you’re that person, so you’ll know I’m praying that 2016/17 be your best year yet!
I love how God whispers to us & reassures us that we must embrace life & keep it moving. Don’t lose sight of your dreams, aspirations, & hunger for more. “It’s not over. ..it’s not finished. ..it’s not ending. ..it’s only the beginning. ..when God is in it. ..all things are new.”
Thank you to everyone who read my reply to the post and left such lovely messages !
What a wonderful blog – filled with sweet and kind subscribers.
♡♡♡♡♡♡ I appreciate all of you too!
Jeanne Takenaka says
Aliza, what an exuberant post!I love that you experienced so many firsts this summer. And camping . . . you’re brave. I don’t sleep well in tents. The last time I went camping, it rained on me, because I forgot my rain guard. 😉
I’ve discovered that most of my firsts have come about after a nudging from the Lord, and a scary leap if trusting Him to guide me on the adventure. Deciding to write a book was a first, and the first step toward a long-held dream. I don’t know all that God has planned on this particular adventure, but I’m trusting Him for each step.
Have fun on your adventures. 🙂
Pearl @ Look Up Sometimes says
Thank you, Aliza! So many situations I could apply this to…even as of last night. Then I woke to your post! Grateful for the encouragement. May each person who reads your post be set free from regret and fear. May we know that God’s mercies are new every morning (every nanosecond!) to accomplish whatever custom-made task he has assigned.
Rebecca L Jones says
I love look at the stars and you are right about the love letter. God laid out His plan of salvation in the heavens before Nimrod courrupted astronomy into astrology. The late Dr. D James Kennedy wrote a wonderful book about it. You are never too young or old to try new things. My advice to women, look to Jesus, let Him find your Mr. Wright, even if you are older, it’s not about education, what you did or didn’t do, don’t look back. Look forward to the Lord for guidance, and don’t give up. I had a nursing home, head nurse tell me that people come in their 50’s give up and end up in diapers and live their lives out there, when they could have gotten better, so don’t give up. We a have a Savior who easily touched by our infirmities.
Crystal Storms says
Aliza, I love this reminder that it’s not too late. I’m not too old. Nor have I made too many mistakes. I pray this is the push I need to try something new today and keep taking that next first step into the unknown. : )
This is a beautiful post! I always love your writing and this is no exception! Indeed, there are so many good firsts in our lives–I too have recently had some great “firsts” that I wasn’t expecting….you’re so right, it’s never too late for anything! God is good all the time! It can be scary stepping into the unknown but grace is always present, always stronger. Congratulations to you for all your bravery! You are a real inspiration!
I pray all the time and I have so many challenges that it is miracle every nite that I make it thru each day. I have a number of psych diagnosis’s for which I take 4 separate pill. I live with my father who is a hoarder and the house is literally crumbling all around me.
I have no family, no friends, no husband/kids, and after my father passes ( he is 86 ), if I survive him that is, I will be completely alone in this huge country, not a solitary person can I call, because I have nobody.
I have become agoraphobic and since my room is the only non-hoarded room, I spend most of my time in here.
Lots of childhood trauma, physcial, verbal and sexual. I even was grabbed off the street in 1972 by a pedophile, but I fought so so hard, he released my wrists and I went tumbling backwards in the middle of the street.
I moved to England when I was 46 to be married, so I quit my gov’t job in social services, emptyed my bank account and lived there a year getting the house set up and made nice. 6 weeks before the weddding he changed his mind, and I lost mind. I gave up everything and got sent back like a pair of shoes that are the wrong size. God came thru for me in the end, by letting me win my disability hearing, and have been on Soc Sec Dis and Medicare for 3 years now, which is such a blessing.
I have lost all desire for happiness in this life and I am putting all my energy into the one to come, I want to go to a place that has no more pain or tears.
Elizabeth-Anne, Sorry you are feeling so helpless and alone. You have had a hard life, but God still loves you and desires good things for you. Keep looking for the small blessings he scatters in your path. It is never to late as long as we are alive. And I believe God still has plans for you and each one of us as long as we are still on this earth. And when we are no longer here, he has even greater plans for each of us. I’m praying for you. (Your name is my middle name.)
Beth Williams says
Prayers for God to heal you from past issues. You are NOT alone in this world. God is with you always!! He is your constant companion. God has plans for you-plans to prosper you and not to harm you to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE!! Prayers for a peace and contentment to come from God!! Stop today and Praise God for His goodness towards you! It will uplift your feelings!
This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I have been hearing God whisper to me recently, and the voices in my head keep telling me that it’s too late and I can’t do it.
Thank you for being faithful to share your story, and letting God use you to help remind me that it’s not too late.
Jacqueline LaMagna says
Elizabeth-Anne, What a sweet, beautiful name! I want you to know I am 65 years old so think of yourself young compared to me! I love the way Aliza said “Even if you think it might be too late, can you hear God’s whisper? It’s not too late for you.” And it is not! I want you to know that God is a God who can make all things new! Even You, if you let Him. He Is a God who can make you a name better than of sons and daughters (I say that because I remember He said something like this to someone in His word, the Bible). I say this also because He has blessed me so very much, as I have followed after Him. He sent his Son, Who suffered, so we could be free from our sin and shame. He sent his Son, so we could be “born again” from on high (spiritually). What could be newer than that! I hope you can find a good Bible believing church where people will share God’s magnificent heart of love with you and welcome you into His great family.
Huge thanks and lots of heart felt hugs for all those who wrote such lovely messages of hope and support.
My wish tonite is for each one of you to be happy, healthy and never alone.
Joanna @ Modern Ruth Project says
Thanks for sharing! I am in a season of new beginnings – I just got/am getting married, I sold my house, and I am in the midst of a job search. While I did not look for or want this season of unemployment, I am trying to use it to open my eyes and think about all those paths that I had not taken the first time. What are the things that I have wanted to do that I have the opportunity to do now? It is not too late to start a new career path.
I also in April started a blog to encourage Christian single women. I always wanted to be a writer and used to write all the time. And then after several attempts to be published failed, I convinced myself that it was not going to happen and I should put my time and energy elsewhere. After years of thinking about this blog idea, I finally just woke up one day and felt like Lord was saying, just do it. Stop thinking about it and just do it. And now I am happy to be writing again. It may not move mountains, it may not reach millions, but it’s a part of me that God created and I am now using it in a small way for His glory.
It’s not too late for any of us to start again!
Beth Williams says
It is NEVER to late! I have seen older people (40s-50s) go back to college. While I don’t like change, I do like new beginnings. I think of them as a chance to start over and try new things. God is always in the process of molding us and making us new creatures. Since I quit my job last June (2015) I have tried many new things. I helped serve meals with Feed the Multitude, assisted in a day camp, help teach junior church. These things I might never have done before!
Prayers that you have a good college experience!
Nancy Ruegg says
At age 67, I may the oldest reader of this post, and therefore the most encouraged that it is not too late–even for me! Your words, Aliza, seemed to come straight from God’s heart, through yours, and into mine, reassuring me that age does not matter, and the passion he has given is not without purpose. Thank you for your timely message. And may God’s blessings of provision and guidance be lavished upon you as you return to school!
This is exactly what I needed today! Thank you!
It is NEVER too late — NEVER! I am 53 years old, turning 54 this Monday and will be graduating from College this Spring 🙂 I am still shaking my head how God’s timing is so different from mine and at how He beautifully works things out!
This was speaking to my heart. It’s not too late for you…. I had prayed to God before summer began and begged him to help me have a different summer. A better summer than all the years past. Past summers of my two boys fighting constantly, me being a referee, getting frustrated and yelling… boredom from my boys even though they went to summer recreation daily for a few hours of sports and games, a week of vacation bible school… He knew my heart, mind and body could not take another summer from h*ll. I thank Him for the firsts this summer. First time visiting Newport, RH with my boys while my husband attended his annual training for the Navy Reserves in RH. A week long visit to my home state of Maine visiting family and out of state family that I hadn’t seen in over a year. A few days of vacation with my boys and husband in Montreal, Canada making lasting memories for all of us. Thank you Lord for the many blessings and the grace you shine down upon me all the time.