About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for sharing this, Kristen. I am 52 and there are many gifts to this stage of life. I love how you’ve laid them out here. As someone dear to me said when I turned 50, “welcome to the club!”

  2. Thank you for this, Kristin. I’ll be joining the 50 club right around next Memorial Day, so your words were encouraging to me. I agree that growing older (in other words, making it this far!) brings with it a new perspective that is liberating, and every new birthday is a blessing!

  3. Gosh, I needed to read this today. Suffering with caring TOO much and feeling left out & left behind. Turning 60 in 2 months, this gives me hope and purpose. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  4. I didn’t really come to grips with letting go of other people’s perceptions of me until I retired 2 years ago at age 62. The work environment I was in (ironically I transferred to that position during the year I turned 50) was toxic, and what had started as a new opportunity became a maelstrom of negativity. Two weeks after I had quit, my husband said “welcome back.” I hadn’t realized just how that job had affected our relationship at home. Most freeing thing EVER!

  5. “Giving people the benefit of the doubt is a relational superpower”…so true! And the absolute FREE SPACE that brings to my perimenopausal brain is liberating as well. At 52, majoring on the majors rather than the minors comes easier than when I was younger. I wish I could tell my 20 year old self that.


  6. Kristen ~ thank you for these nuggets of wisdom and insight. God willing, I will celebrate 70 candles on my cake in July, and I’d say yes and amen to every single one of your points. There is such a sweetness that comes with giving Jesus more space every single day, making less of me, and less of unimportant things. Of course there are still trials, but there is also more peace in knowing that the God of Creation walks beside me in those valleys. I’ve apologized to my children for things I didn’t do well (and sometimes didn’t do at all) and am grateful for a ‘reset’ within my 11 grandchildren’s lives. Every person I meet is made in the image of God, and I do my best to remember and recognize that.

    God is ever faithful to me and mine, and I try to live each day proclaiming that. May He continue to bless you, Kristen, and all the (in)courage contributors! You are a blessing.

  7. I’m a December baby and celebrated my 50th birthday with a room full of strangers at a Meetup. It happened a few months after the breakup of a longterm relationship and the end of my career as a journalist. I promised myself, never again. I was in the middle of reading Jennie Allen’s “Find Your People” and set out in January to do just that. I have made some meaningful connections with co-workers and helped to start a small ladies group at church. I have also lost some cherished friends. Making the ones I do have all the more precious.

  8. Dear Kristen…….Your story was a pleasure; however I am 77 years old and many things have gotten so much worse for me since I was 50. 50 didn’t bother me, but 30 did. Just a little about myself. The season that I am in right now for the past 6 years has been truly rough, mean and most of all heartbreaking. Six years ago I was retired from 45 years of work that I loved and people loved me, at work. My home life was nasty and brazen and also heartbreaking for the whole 55 years we are married. He date raped me back in 1968 and though you are too young to know what happened back then. The woman was always blamed for what happened and the so called “shotgun marriages” took place. He wanted me to get an abortion and I said, NO. We were just dating and neither of us loved the other. Because he is Catholic and I am Protestant, I was forced to get married in a Catholic church due to my pregnancy. My father, Mother and I were heartbroken. If I had to get married, I wanted it to be in my church. My father was so active in our church He did many things for that church even though he only had 1 lung due to lung cancer. He was in WWII stationed in London, England during the Blitzkrieg. The only thing he would ever tell us about this war was the constant ringing of the air raid siren and the running to the shelters. Hour after hour. Six years ago I noticed that my husbands mind was beginning to fail. It was dementia and the worst kind of dementia. He wouldn’t do anything the neurologists told him and he went into denial. I have 1 son and 1 grandson (13 years old). All the rest of my family is not on this Earth anymore. I kept leaving voicemails to my son as he never answered his phone and he kept saying you are a liar over and over, until, one night he called and told me not to call him ever again as he was sick of my lies, but I said they are not lies and I read him part of the written report. He said I no longer consider you my mother and you may not ever see Carter or talk to him again and he hung up. I can’t describe how I felt because what is worse than heartbreaking? My son was never like this before he got married to a girl 10 years younger who had serious problems with her mother so what chance did I as the Mother-in-law have? She hated me even before the engagement as she did not like the closeness that my son and I had. Finally, Jim abused me one night after three and a half years and really hurt me. He was drunk and that always put him into the so-called dementia rages. I had to get him evicted from our house of 40 years as his doctors and all my support groups said, the next thing he will do is kill you and then 10 minutes later he won’t remember that he did it. This really scared me and the police said I needed to do it. I did. Now there a lot of the story left, but I will not bore you with it, but I needed to tell you this to get to your story today. I had to sell the house for money and move into a facility where I do not belong, but I had nowhere else to go. There are over 100 people here. I was a manager for 40 of my working years and I always had to look the part. When I got here, the first time I went down for breakfast, nobody would let me sit at their table. I have no hearing loss, I do not have any dementia so I could here and see what they were saying about me. Five times I tried to go to breakfast never to ending up with a seat. They said I was trying to make them see that I was better than them. That was the fartherest from what I am. I am a very spiritual, church going person. My upper managers told me they thought sometimes, I was too trustworthy and too generous and kind. I guess maybe I am, but my mother told me I had been this way since I was 3 years old. I am what I am. I few people here have gotten to know me and they say I am a treasure for all I do for people I don’t even know. Kristen, so what do you do when you are stuck in this situation and you only have a few, I hope, are friends? Any advice for me. Sorry for the long message, but there is so much more to it. 16 months I have been waiting to get my divorce and get the Property Settlement done so our funds are distributed. They are all marital property and my son is trying to get it to be, I don’t get half of the assets, he does. My money is waning. Thank you for your devotional piece today. 50 is a good year so a Belated Birthday to you ! Have a Blessed Day. Betsy Basile

    • Dear Betsy
      Thank you for your sharing. And yet you are still even now abiding in His Word. You still have the Christ’s love to show kindness, patience. You still have Christ’s strength to wait for breakthrough and we will pray together with you ! God loves you.

      I read below a short excerpt by Lucado…and I hope it encourages you as it did me.

      Excerpt “An Angels
      Story” by Max Lucado

      The King walked over and reached for the book. He turned it toward Lucifer and commanded, “Come, Deceiver, read the name of the One who will call your bluff. Read the name of the One who will storm your gates.” Satan rose slowly off his haunches. Like a wary wolf, he walked a wide circle toward the desk until he stood before the volume and read the word:
      “Immanuel?” he muttered to himself, then spoke in a tone of disbelief. “God with us?” For the first time the hooded head turned squarely toward the face of the Father.
      “No. Not even You would do that. Not even You would go so far.”
      “You’ve never believed me, Satan.”
      “”But Immanuel? The plan is bizarre! You don’t know what it’s like on Earth! You don’t know how dark I’ve made it. It’s putrid. It’s evil.It’s…””
      “But what of their sin?”
      “I WILL Bring MERCY.”
      “What of their death?”
      “I WILL GIVE LIFE.””
      Satan stood speechless.

      GOD spoke, “I love my children. Love does not take away the beloved’s freedom.
      But love takes away fear.
      And Immanuel will leave behind a tribe of fearless children. They will not fear you or your hell.”
      Satan stepped back at the thought. His retort was childish. “Th-th-they will too!”

      “I will take away all sin. I will take away death. Without sin and without death, you have no power.”

      Around and around in a circle Satan paced, clenching and unclenching his wiry fingers.
      When he finally stopped, he asked a question that even I was thinking. “Why? Why would You do this?”
      The Father’s voice was deep and soft. “Because I love them.”

      • Dear Cindy……What a nice reply you gave to me. I appreciate it with all my heart. I particularly love the excerpt from ” An Angels Story.” I have read it several times so far. It was so very nice that you took the time to do this. I pray and pray and pray every day, The people (most of them) think that I am trying to show people up by the way I dress, but this is just me. I am sure that The Father loves me just the way I am. I am going to save your reply and thank you again for it. It is helping me to get through this terribly hot and humid day in PA. Hugs and prayers, I send to you…………..Betsy Basile

  9. Kristin,

    I shared your devotion x 2 and wanted to comment as a 58 year old to encouraging reader. I agree with you, there’s so-o-o-o much that is good about this age and stage. I’m grateful.

    My mom gave me good advice in my 30’s saying fully live each decade. Look for the good and enjoy that season!

    I’m so grateful for all my years and find them to be getting better and better.

    Lisa Wilt

  10. I’m in my mid-sixties, never married, but spent many times wishing I were. I finally reached a place where I am simply content with who I am and what Jesus directs me to do. Amen!

  11. I’ve learned how to’ pick my battles ‘
    Not to sweat the small stuff. Our bodies and brains don’t need to be in overdrive at this age.
    Deep breathing is a great tool. Go get a massage.
    Self care
    Jesus is Peace ~

  12. Kristen,

    Welcome to the 50 club-I’m (59). Happy belated birthday. On my 50th birthday my co workers threw a party for me. Trouble at home is my hubby has same birthday just a year younger.

    My hubby & I don’t care much about anything. We simply go about our business & enjoy what life we have. For me the 50s were a time I grew spiritually. I know readily trust God no matter what! Each day I praise & celebrate that Jesus died for me.

    I’m an introvert who doesn’t need a lot of friends. My preference is a few good ones to share life with. This stage of life is so vastly different. I find myself with no one to care for anymore. Both my parents & my in-laws are in Heaven. Our two iguanas have also ascended. This year we celebrate 20 years of marriage. We’ve been through a lot, but now are realizing just how much we truly love each other.

    Blessings 🙂

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