Stephen Bedard

Reflections on Turning Fifty

For some people, turning fifty years old is a traumatic event. It has not been that bad for me, even though I have talked a lot about it. I am thankful for the experiences I have had and the family in my life.

As I was thinking about my life, I thought it would be neat to look back at where I was at for each decade of my life. It was amazing to see how much change took place in such a short period of time.

10 Years Old

I was living in the Merritton area of St Catharines with my parents. I was in grade five at Glen Merritt school and I was attending church at St James Anglican. My dad had just turned 49 and was thinking about his own approach to this landmark birthday.

20 Years Old

I was still living in Merritton with my parents, was attending Brock University and was in the Bachelor of Business Administration program. I had become an atheist in my mid-teens and was just coming out of that at this time. By 20, I was probably more of an agnostic. This was also a time when I was heavily abusing alcohol.

30 Years Old

Everything had changed. I had become a Christian and was attending McMaster Divinity College. I was living in Brantford and was in my first paid ministry position as the youth pastor of Queensway Baptist Church. In fact I think I was at a youth retreat for my birthday. I was dating Amanda Peschell.

40 Years Old

Everything had changed again. I had married Amanda, we had two children of our own and we had adopted three others. My father had already died and my mother was less than a year away from dying. We were living in Meaford and I was the pastor of Woodford Baptist Church and First Baptist Church. I assumed that life had settled down. I was wrong.

50 Years Old

After a three year break in ministry, I am now pastoring again. We are now back in our hometown of St Catharines and are at Queen Street Baptist Church. Two of our children live in a group home because of autism. I had gotten sick with sarcoidosis in my mid-40s but am doing better than ever now. I am very happy with life and all that I have experienced. Things have changed but things are good.

Doing this exercise has made me realize how quickly things can change. My intention (like it matters) is to live to be 100. What will each of those decades hold?

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