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Midlife Victories!--Meeting the Challenge Together!       Maria #388       DO/TS 3128       12/96
By Maria

Dear Family,
       1. There are many of you who are not at the stage of life where you feel your body slowing down or where you face midlife decisions and crises, such as people do who are around forty or fifty, or older. You may feel that the trials and tribulations of people at this age don't apply to you. However, when we were praying about this GN of prophecies about midlife, the Lord indicated that it would be good for all Family members, young and old, and He suggested you read it unitedly as a Home.
       2. The Lord's explanations in the prophecies here will help you not only to understand and relate to people at this age, but they give good counsel about loving consideration in general, about bearing one another's burdens, and about putting yourself in another person's shoes. As is explained in the FSMs about menopause (see FSMs 314-316), women at menopause may experience such problems as hot flashes, insomnia or excessive bleeding. These can make them very tired at the least, or become serious health problems at the worst. They may also experience mood swings or be overly emotional. Some men at this age also experience depression or a type of struggle generally known as "midlife crisis."
       3. The Lord wants us to understand more about these midlife physical and emotional problems so that we can see things through His eyes. Sometimes it can be easy to think that if someone is weak physically or is having problems with depression or anxiety, it is because their connection with the Lord is not strong enough. Although at times this can be the case, the Lord has often said that it is through these afflictions, sicknesses, and even personal trials that He draws us closer and makes us more dependent on Him.
       4. He allows tests to strengthen us, and they do not always come because of some shortcoming on our part. In fact, He has said that He can sometimes use us even more in times of weakness than in our times of strength. As Paul said, "When I am weak, then I am strong, for His strength is made perfect in my weakness." (See 2Cor.12:9,10.)
       5. The Lord is helping us all to understand this stage of life referred to as midlife crisis, so that those of us at this age will know how to handle it, and also so that other Family members can support, help, and work together with our women when they are menopausal, as well as men when they are at this age. Many of you--particularly you young people--may not understand what it is like to experience your body weakening and to feel the uncertainty of not knowing what the future holds, which is what some of our older people go through at this stage. There may also be others who, while they are at this age themselves, have not had the trials some others suffer, but need to learn how to relate to those who do. To help us all understand each other (and ourselves!), the Lord has graciously and lovingly explained this time of life to us.
       6. There is also a section in this GN with prophecies which explain more facets of the problem of depression. Some people experience this feeling at midlife, but it can hit at any age, because depression is basically an attack of the Enemy by which he attempts to hinder our work and take away our contentment by sending negative feelings. Therefore many of you may benefit from this portion as well.
       7. Thank you so much for the love and support that you show our Family members who are going through afflictions, sickness, or simply times of weakness. Those are times for the Lord's love to be shown in new ways, in deeper and more sacrificial ways. As you will read here, the Lord promises that He will recompense the time, energy, and effort we give to care for His beloved Family. God bless you! May He keep us all healthy, united, and loving Him together, as we press on in our calling of winning the world to Him.
       Love, Mama

Counsel for Those Living with Women Who Are at This Stage of Life

       8. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} Have I not said in My Word that when one member suffers, the whole body suffers with it? And that upon the uncomely part you should bestow the greater care? Let this be a principle that guides you during this time. When one of your members passes through this time of questioning, and is somewhat confused or emotionally perturbed, look upon this one in prayer and seek to understand and have a compassionate heart. For this is a time when support and encouragement meet a great need.
       9. Treat such a one with gentleness and faith, care and understanding. For many times during changes such as this, things are not black and white and obvious and clear-cut. There will be days when feelings are at odds, when feelings go awry, when things are not as you would have them to be. Therefore seek to pray together and to counsel so that you can understand these things.
       10. Read along with those who pass through these tests to understand more about this situation of menopause. For I would seek to educate My Family--you shepherds and caregivers and providers. I would that you all be united in your understanding and in your learning. For it is not a true saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. You can if they are puppies. You are all My puppies and you will always be so! I'll teach you many new things. Learning never ends in My Kingdom--not on this Earth nor in the world to come. You will always be learning.
       11. Therefore, seek and pray for an open mind and a hungry heart to learn, to understand and to be able to help and encourage those who are going through trials and tests. Avoid self-righteous judgment and criticism, but seek compassion, seek meekness, seek faith, seek understanding. And for those things which you understand not, seek patience and perseverance. For I do all things well, and what I have begun I will finish. Let this not be a device of the Enemy to divide or to cause isolation and feelings of isolation in those who pass through such things.
       12. If you seek Me, I will give you answers and leading and guidance which will help you through these times. When emotions change, let not these things affect you personally, saying, "She does not like me anymore," or "she is mad at me," or "she no longer cares for me." You husbands, be understanding and know that during this, like childbirth and many other times in a woman's life, her emotions are affected, and yet it is not a personal matter which should cause you concern. Look above these things.
       13. Educate yourself in My Word within these publications which I give you, and pray together. Seek unity. Be a support to those who are weak. For have I not said that you that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak? Even as Christ came not to please Himself, but to please others, so do I give unto you a spirit of love in this new day of love, to be pleasing and helpful to those who are in need in the hour when they need it. This is a sign of true love and true Christianity. Let your religion be seen of all men. Let it be a religion of love, of compassion, and of supporting the weak and caring for those who are passing through times of difficulty.
       14. I have used this as a great sample in many cases in the Family throughout these years--your sample of caring for one another, of being united and a true community, a true family, a true household. This has stood as a very wonderful and lasting sample, which has spoken more loudly than many of the words and preachments you gave. So shall it be, that in your care for those who are passing through menopause, you are one more example of the true love that I give unto My disciples when they follow Me and look to Me. Give freely and abundantly and I will repay! (End of message from Jesus.)

Support Her!

       15. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} This is yet another example of how to apply the Law of Love in a nonsexual way. There are many, without and within the Family, who perceive the Law of Love as only having to do with sex. You and your own Homes will now have this opportunity to apply the Law of Love in its real form, in real love, preferring one another, looking on the life of another rather than your own things. For by this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you show love one to another.
       16. Love is an action. Love is not something that exists just in your heart or in your mind. It is action--the action of understanding, the action of leaving people alone sometimes, the action of being Me for them. Be what I would be for them. Love is putting other people first; it means not worrying about yourself. For if you have lived with her for so many years, surely you must know that she loves you by now. Or you, her children who have been with her for these many years of your lives, surely you know that she loves you.
       17. Therefore, do not take things personally, but strive to see above these things and to look deeply into her heart and soul, to see that she is fighting a personal battle, and that you are called to be her support. Just support her. Put your hands underneath her and don't care how it affects you personally. Your job is just to support, just to support, just to support. Support and pray, I say. Support and pray. (End of message from Jesus.)

Mood Swings and Depression

       18. {\b \i (Mama:)} You will notice that in the above prophecy the Lord is saying, "Do not take things personally." The Lord is referring to how some women at this time of life experience depression or emotional upheaval that may be difficult not only for them but also for those they live with. While it's generally recognized that women experience mood swings during menopause, scientists have been unable to determine whether they are caused by hormone fluctuations or by the other changes in a woman's life at this time. Men may also go through a period of discouragement at midlife.
       19. Although menopausal women do seem to be hit with this, it is a problem that many other people experience as well--attacks of discouragement, sadness or just being down in the dumps for no apparent reason, perhaps because of some little event which is not big enough to warrant such an overwhelming feeling of depression or sadness. So we asked the Lord to explain more about these feelings, as they don't just come to menopausal women, but they come to men and women of all ages.
       20. His answers can help us all to see why the Lord allows these attacks, what we can learn about them, how we can grow through them, and how He can even use these times of sadness to draw us closer to Him and strengthen us in faith and in His Word.
       21. The following prophecy came because a woman in one of our units who was reading this GN asked if I had ever experienced mood swings or depression, since I am at the age where I could experience symptoms of perimenopause (the time right before menopause). As you know, I have had excessive bleeding that caused me great weakness, but I have not usually had battles with extreme moods of sadness or discouragement. Although I am just a normal person like you, and in fact I am less qualified for the jobs you hold than many of you are, the Lord has blessed me with a great heritage of faith both from my parents and from years of living with Dad. When we asked the Lord to explain why some women have mood swings more than others, He gave the following very beautiful answer.

       22. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} It is true that menopause affects women in different ways. Different women need different symptoms for Me to accomplish what I would in their lives. Your mother Maria has the gift of faith. Her faith has drawing power, to draw My Words through others, to help her to see the bright side of difficulties, to help her be cheerful and speak with ringing tones of positiveness when all around seems dark and bleak. Because of this quality, she was a wonderful help to David when he was on Earth. So in this she has already learned many lessons.
       23. But many other women have not had this lesson well ingrained--the lesson of seeing the Romans 8:28, of thanking Me in spite of the sorrow, of looking for the silver lining in the cloud. So I sometimes allow feelings of depression or sadness to overwhelm these women, so that they will learn to fight, to hold on to Me, to be humbled through asking for prayer, to claim My Word so that they can look at events through the filter of faith instead of through the lens of their feelings. For feelings are deceptive, and My Word is what stands. But when the feelings are so strong, it takes fight, perseverance and determination to hold on to My Word and My voice until the feelings fade, and the joy of living and of My Spirit and of My love is regained.
       24. I will bless those who fight these feelings of depression and sadness by giving them My love, My comfort and My Spirit, as they do all they can to come to Me and drink in My Words. And whosoever comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out, but I will be there for each one, in any moment of sadness, to wipe away the tears and to strengthen the feeble knees. I will carry them, and I will be their Helper and their very great reward. (End of message from Jesus.)

More on How to Prevent Depression

       25. {\b \i (Mama:)} I had a burden to ask the Lord for a little more on why these difficult emotions of depression come, and whether they can be prevented. The Lord is making it very clear in the previous message how to handle them, but I wondered if there's any way to prevent them coming in the first place. Or, I wondered if this is similar to temptation, in that you can't keep from being tempted with the thought of a sin, but when you have the thought, you have to attack it and resist it. Just because you have the thought, and even keep having it for a while, doesn't necessarily mean you have yielded to it, especially if you go on the attack right away in resisting it.
       26. Likewise, these emotions come when we least expect them, but if we don't allow them to linger, and we immediately go on the attack to fight them, we don't have to be bothered as much by them. They would then last for only a short time, or at least a much shorter time than if we had not gone on the attack against them. I asked the Lord how to prevent depression from taking hold, because I knew this would be a help not only for women during menopause, but for all of us at any time when our negative emotions seem to overtake us. Following is the prophecy the Lord gave in answer to these questions.

       27. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} These moods of depression are attacks of the Enemy, sent to trouble you, similar to attacks of jealousy, anger or frustration that you must fight against. Although they are very real, they are not simply caused by the event which touches them off, but they are as fiery darts sent by the Evil One. They can dent and press in your armor, but they cannot pierce it.
       28. It is very important to prevent these attacks having such an effect by strengthening your armor when you are not under attack. If your armor is strong, and your connection with Me is strong through the Word and prayer, listening to My voice and spending time loving and praising Me, then these attacks will not dent your armor and affect you as much as they otherwise would. It is important to maintain a strong link with Me so that the demons of doubt and fear and oppression do not push against your armor and attempt to influence you from the outside.
       29. You, as My child, have My strong and faithful protection, built by Me to keep you safe. But you must remain ever-conscious and ever-aware of this protection. This is the best prevention against these attacks--to keep your spiritual armor strong, so that it cannot be dented in. And once the attacks come, you can have faith that you are protected and shielded by My armor.
       30. It is similar to your physical health: When you are eating right, sleeping right, living right, your resistance is high against disease. In the same way, when you are daily and even hourly washed in My love, fellowshipping with Me, enjoying My Spirit, speaking to Me often in praises, receiving truth and input from Me through My Word and My voice directly to you, then these attacks and feelings of depression will not be able to dent your armor as much, and you will be able to resist them. They do not come from you; they are attacks from the outside, from the Enemy of your soul.
       31. But the Enemy can use a word, an action, a thoughtless gesture or unintentional word by someone you love or someone you live with to cast his fiery darts, to make a seemingly small incident almost impossible to bear. Therefore at times it is important to get prayer or to seek counsel, to find out the intent of the person who said this word or did this action, as the problem may not be as big as the Enemy would make it appear.
       32. But above all, you must strengthen your armor and be desperate to be close to Me in love and communion and prayer and praise, and I will be there for you. For I will never leave you nor forsake you. And I will bring you through to victory, with the shine of a battle well-fought and won. (End of message from Jesus.)

       33. {\b \i (Vision:)} With this prophecy I saw a person sitting inside an armored military tank, while the armor of the tank was being dented in and pushed against by the enemy on the outside. It was a scary experience, even terrifying to the person sitting inside. But one thing that could be done to prevent the attacks being so frightening was to strengthen the armor during peacetime, before the battle ever takes place.
       34. Secondly, in the midst of battle, the Lord wanted the person inside the tank to be able to have faith and rest in Him, knowing that the Lord would not let the Enemy pierce the armor. The idea was that even though the battle is fierce, we can know the Lord will protect us and keep us through it all. (End of vision.)

"I Will Repay!"

       35. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} Be Me for her. For I am walking around the house wishing to do many things for her, but I need your help. Therefore seek Me and ask Me what it is that I wish to do for her. In this way you can be Me for her. You can perform those things that I would do if I were there in the flesh. For I didn't pass by the hurt man on the way to Jericho, but I stopped and I gave My time and I made sure that he was taken care of. I want to do the same thing today for these. I want to make sure they are taken care of.
       36. Therefore, be not as the priest and as the Levite who walked by on the other side. But rather lend your support, lend your care, lend your time, and I will repay all that you spend. I will take care of the things that you can't do. (End of message from Jesus.)

I Will Show You How to Help

       37. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:) }In some women [EDITED: "the effects of menopause"] may be greater or less. It does not depend on her spirituality or even on the shape of her body, her physical conditioning. Therefore do not attempt to make judgments about her spiritual status from the way it appears that she is being hit by the symptoms of menopause. For there are many many factors at play. There may be many elements which, while they were once in sync in her body, are now battling and warring within her body. She herself may not understand what she is feeling.
       38. Therefore it is important to provide a cushion, to provide understanding. For it may be that as she talks, she will understand and she will then know what she can do. But if she feels there is no one she can talk with, the problems may seem hopeless.
       39. Have a watchful eye for the women with severe physical problems, such as extreme bleeding, which can even be life-threatening in some cases. Have an understanding attitude toward the women who cannot sleep well, knowing that this makes their work harder and their personal interactions more difficult.
       40. But in all things ask Me for the loving, understanding heart that is needed to help anyone who is going through a hard time, even as your mother Maria taught you in the Letter about Libby (ML #2936, GN 603). She had a severe headache. But what does this mean, "severe headache"? One person may say they have a headache. Another person may say their head hurts so bad they can hardly stand it. And the two people may be feeling exactly the same thing, but express it differently.
       41. Therefore you, the shepherds of these women, must ask Me for wisdom, and must have great loving concern and patience. Know that I love these women even more than you do, and I will lead and guide you and help you to understand their needs and how to help them. Above all, you can give them prayer, whatever the problem is. As you reach out to Me in prayer, I will help.
       42. As a woman experiences problems such as a great loss of blood, realize that with these problems she is not able to carry the physical load that she can normally carry. But she may be able to help in other ways--with phone calls, or with mail ministry, or with prayer and prophecy, or with other less demanding jobs. But realize that this, too, shall pass, and encourage her, and encourage yourselves. Just as when a woman is pregnant you know that she deserves and needs understanding of her physical state, so you can realize that the woman going through this period needs understanding of her physical state. She may need more prayer and more support than normal.
       43. Realize that this is a stage and she is progressing. Encourage her to keep holding on, knowing that just as a pregnant woman brings forth a baby, she is passing through the ripening of her life, and these troublesome symptoms will be over in time. Let her know that you will support her and not condemn her while she passes through the physical difficulties. Help her have what she needs, but most of all give her love, support and understanding, knowing that I supply all of your needs and I care for you until the end. (End of message from Jesus.)

When Problems Become Serious

       44. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} Menopause, as has been explained, is a stage of life. It is a transition. It is a time when your body changes and adapts from one stage to another. This is natural. This is how I have ordained it, and this is a normal thing that women go through. That is why I say that no one has died from menopause, because it is simply a step and a transformation. I take your body and I hold it in My hands, and I change it, as the potter forming the clay. I make you into a different vessel, but an even better vessel as you yield to Me. As you allow Me to mold and change the vessel, then I make it into a vessel of even more beauty and greater usefulness.
       45. However, there are times when there are complications. These can come from various causes. They can come because in years past you did not take care of your body. They can come because of stress and strain at the time of menopause. Or they can come as attacks of the Enemy, to try to weaken you and to destabilize you and to attempt to subvert your usefulness for Me.
       46. When there are complications, there are times when it is best to seek the counsel of a doctor. I said that no one dies from menopause, and by that I meant that no one dies from the process, the natural change of your body going from one step to another. However, at times there are complications which can be very serious. And in these cases, I wish for you to come to Me and seek Me about what your course of action should be. For example, your mother Maria had extreme bleeding, which can be very weakening. And yet, as she came to Me, I instructed her that it was better that she stay in My hands, and that she not put herself in the hands of the medical establishment, because I had a better way.
       47. However, there may be other people whose complications result from other factors in their body, other problems, other physical weaknesses which intersect with the situation of menopause and which cause a greater complication than just menopause itself. When there are extreme situations, there are times when counsel from doctors is helpful. It is similar to when your father David said that a broken bone can be set by the expert. It is a mechanical job, which the doctors can do.
       48. So although menopause is simply a change of life and a natural transition, if this change coincides with other difficulties that your body is going through, it may be best to seek the advice of the doctor, who is more skilled at recognizing problems in your body and spotting difficulties that may arise. If you do feel that you are in an extreme situation and you do not know if it is life-threatening or not, first you should come to Me and ask Me whether or not to go to the doctor. Secondly, when you go to the doctor you must pray and ask for My advice and My viewpoint and My counsel about what the doctor tells you.
       49. In all these things, I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you, and I will fill in the gaps in what the doctor has said. In some cases, I would have you follow the counsel of the doctor and his advice. In other cases, since I have more wisdom than the doctor, I will override his counsel. So although at times I may speak through the doctor, at other times I will override his counsel with My Own wisdom which is greater than his.
       50. So if you do feel led to go to the doctor, then ask for My confirmation beforehand, and afterward seek My confirmation or My viewpoint on what the doctor has said, because as I have explained, although menopause itself is not life-threatening, complications of menopause or the difficulty of menopause intersecting with other changes that your body may be going through may be life-threatening. Therefore this is a problem that some women may face. Some women may have difficult physical problems already, and the addition of menopause may cause a situation which necessitates counsel with the doctor. But as I have said, proceed in prayer and by seeking My Words, and I will fill in the gaps and lead and guide you. I will not leave you comfortless, but I will come to you and be with you every moment, and show you the way that you must go. (End of message from Jesus.)

What to Do About Times of Extreme Weakness

       51. {\b \i (Mama:) }In the prophecies we've already shared with you, the Lord talks about how He can refresh us and renew us during periods of extreme weakness caused by excessive bleeding or sleeplessness, when they lead us to spend more time with Him. This is a wonderful promise, but I was wondering about you mothers who have so many demands on your time and energies, and who may have difficulty pulling out of your busy schedule to have rest and fellowship with the Lord. You would like to have these beautiful, sweet times with Jesus, but there is such a whirlwind of activity in our Homes, with little ones to be taken care of, ministries to be pursued, so much happening that it is so hard to get extra rest when needed, and to use times of weakness to stop and take time with Him. Not only can the new feelings and emotions at this stage of life be overwhelming, but the workload you are carrying can be overwhelming, too. It can be very difficult to see how to get that time to rest and recuperate and spend time with Jesus. So I asked the Lord to show us what to do when faced with this dilemma. Although the following prophecy talks about weakness due to sleeplessness, the counsel also applies to problems with excessive bleeding, which can be even more debilitating.

       52. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} Have I not said that I am the God of all flesh? I made your bodies and I have put all of these needs within you--the need for rest, for sleep, and also the desperate need to pour out and to take care of those around you, to be faithful stewards of all the little ones in your care, to be sweet mothers and mates, to be loving partners to those I show you to share with, to be good stewards of your Homes, to be witnessers, to pour out My Words to the lost generation that you see around you every day. I have also given you the blessing of the great need and longing and desire that you have in your heart to spend time with Me. I have planted this great love in your heart that makes you yearn for Me and reach out for Me and desire and crave times of loving and intimacy and special fellowship with Me.
       53. I have created you with all these needs--physical needs, emotional needs, and spiritual needs. And though at times they seem to war with one another, this is one way in which I draw you closer to Me. Because as your life changes and as you progress in years, and even as you progress in carrying responsibility, you will need to ask Me day by day and sometimes even hour by hour what you must do.

Flexibility in the Schedule

       54. In your Homes you have had rigid schedules that allowed you to be more efficient. You have your sleep times, your awake times, your nap times, your times for getting together, your times with the children, your free times, your Word and rest days. In times past, all your needs were met by these. But as time progresses, you will need to learn more flexibility, and more of you have probably learned this. As your body has different needs and as your loved ones around you have different needs, there are times when you will have to adapt your schedule and be flexible.
       55. I know in many cases there are no others that can cover for you, and if you have had little sleep, it is extremely difficult to handle your physical responsibilities or even to be able to think and function as normal. But in these times, as in many other times, the secret is praise and thankfulness. As you look on these times awake in the night as a blessing and a special present from Me instead of a purge and a drain and a time of affliction and torment and agony, then I will strengthen you.
       56. As you spend sweet time with Me, I will give you strength that you know not of. Though you may feel much weaker in body, and you cannot do the physical jobs that you would normally be able to do, the sweetness of your spirit will shine forth. Because of this, I will raise up helpers for you and I will allow things to work out in such a way that the needs will not be so overwhelming, and those who are around you will be taken care of. For do not I know all of their needs as well as your needs? But flexibility in the schedule is what is required.
       57. However, while a lack of sleep can be a blessing in that you spend more time with Me, if the lack of sleep comes because there are habits in your life that you should change, then this is not a blessing; this is a correction to you. It is Me telling you that you should change in these ways. For have I not said that you should take care of your temple? That you should live right, exercise right, eat right? When one of these areas is a little off kilter, it can cause your sleep to be affected. Therefore be sure that you are taking good care of your temple and obeying Me in all of the rules that I have laid down and the guidelines that I have given you from Father David and from other publications. When you have done all that you can to promote good sleep and to take care of your body, then if you are still awake in the night, you will know that I have sent these times of sleeplessness.
       58. There are also times when you may be plagued by worry or concern. Then these times of sleeplessness can be times of prayer and times that I can show you how to work out the situations that are causing you worry and concern. This is when the times of sleeplessness are a blessing in disguise. What looks like a terrible burden can be turned into a great blessing when I give you the solutions and the answers that make the mountains melt away. When this has happened, and you have lost sleep and you need to get up and take care of the children first thing in the morning, ask those around you to help find a way for you to have a nap during the day, and then pray for good sleep on the following night.
       59. Again, I say unto you, this is a situation when your body is doing strange things. It may try to be awake when the schedule says you should be asleep, and your body may not match the hours on the schedule. This may be a big change for those that you're living with, as they may need to work it out so you can have a nap, or so you can go to bed earlier. This is where the verse comes in that says, "As much as lieth in you, strive to live peaceably with all men." This verse applies on the side of you who lose sleep, but it is also on the side of those who live with you, to allow you to catch up on your sleep in the daytime or the following night. They must understand that this is very debilitating, and losing sleep can not only cause you weakness, but it can cause you irritability and even feelings of depression or despair.
       60. Therefore, for your well-being and your ability to be used by Me, you need to be able to catch up on your sleep, and they need to help you to catch up on your sleep. This may be hard for them to understand and you may have to explain to others around you. If the children are in your care and there is no one else to take care of them, perhaps you can sleep when they are sleeping. And those who are old enough that they don't require a nap can either lie down and have quiet activity or they can do other quiet things so that you, their mother or caregiver, can rest and catch up on the rest you need.

God's Plan for the Younger Ones to Be Raised Up

       61. One of the most humbling things for a woman during this time of life is to express to other people that her body is no longer as it was. She is no longer able to do all that she once did. She is no longer as strong and she is no longer able to keep the schedule that she was able to five years before, or perhaps even two years before. She is simply changing.
       62. You look at older women who have gray hair and are the grandmotherly types and you do not expect them to do what they did when they were 30 or 35. So it is with these women of Mine that reach this time of change--they can no longer do what they did before. Those in the Home living with them need to realize this, and the younger ones need to take up the slack. Even the older children need to take up the slack and relieve their mothers of some of the physical burdens that they have had before. This will cause a change and an adjustment in the Home, but it is according to My will and it is according to the way that I have made the bodies of the mothers and the bodies of the younger ones.
       63. Many of the younger ones, those of JETT and teen age, are able to take more physical responsibility, but they aren't called upon to do so because the older ones are used to taking this responsibility. Yet the mothers will often need more rest, and at times will need help and will need someone to carry their load. Therefore they must yield to this and they must ask for help. Do not the JETTs and teens need to take on more responsibility? Do not they need to feel that they are needed? In this way My plan is completed, and the younger ones are being raised up to fill this very gap, this very need for someone to do the physical, even that which requires thought and prayer and decisions, so that their mothers can rest and so that the Home can carry on.
       64. Therefore, be not afraid, you mothers of God, to express your needs, to explain to others when you are tired and when you need to be able to rest. For I have given you these needs so that others will carry more responsibility. The humility that comes with expressing your needs is part of My plan for you, and the responsibility that you must pass on to those who are younger is part of My plan for them. Do not stop the cycle, but express to others how you feel and what you need and let them bear the load.
       65. Also explain it to Me. Tell it all to Me and cast your burdens on Me. As you do this, I will give you solutions and I will show you the path that you must take. I will show you those who can shoulder the load. So the first Person that you must tell about your weakness and your feeling incapable of carrying the load that you did before is Me. And as you tell Me about the situation and the way that you feel, then I will be able to direct you and lead and guide you as to how you can pass on some of your responsibilities to the younger ones.
       66. As you put the burdens on Me and express your needs to Me, I will also create burdens and desires in the hearts of these younger ones. I will work in their hearts and cause them to want to do more, both for you and for Me. So it all works together in a wonderful pattern to both grow you up into a more mature woman of God and to grow up the younger ones into more maturity and greater responsibility. It all works together. My younger ones have a greater need for responsibility; they have a greater need to feel that they are truly needed and that the work would suffer if it were not for their help.
       67. These times of change, these times of the winds of change, shifting your responsibilities and your schedules, will be a blessing to you. For all things do not continue as they once were, but the times, they are a-changing, and they will keep changing. As they change and as you come to Me and seek Me for My leading and guidance each day and each hour, you will know Me more and more and your lives will be enriched and made happier and more joyful. It will be a time of greater happiness than you have ever known, as you move into these new responsibilities and these new stages and these new times of happiness and joy and even ecstasy in knowing Me better than ever before. (End of message from Jesus.)

The Prime of Life!

       68. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} As I said, there is a time for every purpose under Heaven: a time to be planted, a time to grow, a time to sprout, a time to bud, a time to bloom, and a time to bring forth fruit. But you must remember that man often looks on the outward appearance and upon when a woman begins to bloom and to blossom. When a woman begins to bring forth fruit, the eyes of man often look at this as the prime of life. But they don't see things as I see things.
       69. For I look at a mature woman, one who has learned My lessons, the things that I have taught her, as being in her prime. When I said a woman shall bring forth fruit in old age, I didn't necessarily mean physical fruit, but rather it is the time for her to bring forth the fruit of her wisdom and her understanding of life and of people and of deep lessons. It is the time to bring forth the fruit of her maturity. Her latter end shall be greater than her beginning.
       70. It is not a time to be looked down upon, as though you can do no more. You cannot bear any more children; you cannot walk as fast; you cannot do so many things; but it is rather a time to bring forth the fruits of your experience, of your age, of your long life, of your wisdom and of your maturity. You bring forth these fruits by helping to nurture others, by sharing what you have learned, even by having a temperament to give love and understanding to those who do not yet have the wisdom of your years.
       71. Just as the System and man often look at things differently than I do, so is it with this. For I look at you as coming into real maturity, a full-grown spiritual person, able to take on new tasks, having fulfilled the growing-up stages and now entering the mature years. As I said, this is the beginning of the rest of your eternal life. For you have been prepared and fitted by now for the job that is ahead of you and is at hand.
       72. Therefore look not upon the younger ones as if they are the blessed ones. But rather look at them as those who have the energy to carry the torch, with you as the one who has the energy to guide the torch and wisdom to give them in many aspects of their outreach. For all the body should work together well, every piece being fitly joined together. Though others younger than you may now carry the torch, in some ways it is you who still play a major part in the foundation of My work, in supporting others with your prayers, your wisdom, your experience, your insight, your vision, your knowledge, and your understanding.
       73. It is also you who have more wisdom with which to deal with situations--maybe not the energy, but often the wisdom. Therefore you must be used together. In the olden days, the younger did seek the wisdom of the elder, and this is why I have said for the younger to always obey and respect their elders. In a body that is fitly joined together, these things will be done. The elder must turn over the torch to the younger, but the younger must look to the elder for their counsel. Together you get the job done. (End of message from Jesus.)

Midlife Crisis--or Challenge? The Lord Explains Why It Happens

       74. {\b \i (Mama:)} Although at midlife men don't experience dramatic physical symptoms like women do at menopause, they do notice bodily changes. Just as a woman's supply of estrogen decreases, there is decreased production of the male hormone testosterone, and men may have physical ailments or tiredness that didn't trouble them before. This is all part of the natural process of aging, and it is not to be feared, especially since we in the Family have had wonderful counsel from the Lord and Dad in how to take care of our bodies through the years.
       75. The promises that the Lord gives to our women about how He will make this transition easier for them than what the women of the System experience also apply to our men, who have the benefit of all the Lord's blessings for having served Him.
       76. What about the feelings of depression some men suffer at this time? The American Heritage Dictionary defines midlife crisis as "a period of psychological doubt and anxiety that some people experience in middle age." Several older men in the Family have written me about their battles along this line--not knowing where they fit in now that younger people are being raised up to positions of responsibility, struggling with feelings of discouragement as they feel somewhat uncertain about the future, and not knowing if their talents are still needed or appreciated. Others feel a bit weary in well doing after having done the same ministry for years.
       77. The prophecies that the Lord has given as a result of their questions about midlife have been wonderfully encouraging! In these the Lord explains that He actually allows this period of uncertainty because of the changes that He wishes to bring about in the lives of people when they reach this age. The first prophecy was given for a 48-year-old man who was experiencing depression and fears, having gone through some big changes in his life. In this and the other following prophecies we are not including all the personal words the Lord gave for these precious men, but just the parts about midlife crisis.

       78. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} You are not alone in your depression, for many pass through the same test during this time in their life. It is a time to be desperate, to take stock, to evaluate, to come to Me with questions so I can give answers. It is a checkpoint that I allow so that a man will not continue to go on with his life without coming to Me for new direction, new anointing, so that he does not become complacent and thereby drift on in what he has been doing for many years and miss the mark.
       79. It is a time to "check in" with Me, and through these circumstances I cause you to cry out with your whole heart, to be desperate, to get answers, to become more tightly attached to Me. Through the squeezing and desperation, you receive a second wind, and if need be, a change in life, in ministry, an overhaul, and become newly equipped to be able to carry on with what the future may hold.
       80. So do not fear the midlife crisis, but ride the wave. Seek Me, hold on to Me, and ride it out. Do not fight it, but let it carry you to the shore where you will find beautiful golden sands and firm ground beneath your feet again, and you will be on your way once more, sure of your direction and calling and My purpose for your life. (End of message from Jesus.)

       81. {\b \i (Mama:)} Isn't it amazing to see that the Lord actually allows this test, the feelings of depression, as a checkpoint in order to force us to take stock, to check with Him at this turning point, to be sure that we continue on in our lives in the direction that He wants us to go? He's promised an overhaul, a new anointing, and that He will newly equip us to be able to carry on for what the future may hold. Praise the Lord! The following prophecy was given for a man who did not know if he should continue working as a handyman and carpenter, and was struggling with a kind of identity crisis.

A Crossroads--And a Bright Future Afterwards!

       82. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} Now that you have come to a crossroads in your life, you are wondering which road I want you to take. You are experiencing the struggle of midlife, but do not be afraid of what is happening in your life--the confusion and tension that you are experiencing, the worry over the future, wondering what will become of you and whether you will continue to be useful in My Family, and not only useful but valued and needed by others.
       83. I know your heart. Do not worry. What you are experiencing now is not because you are failing, and it is not because you are no longer useful. It is not because I am far from you and have stopped loving you, but this is a natural process for many as they grow older. It is a time in your life when things can change. While you are experiencing these new thoughts and emotions and feelings, and realizing that you are not as strong physically, that you get tired more easily, then you feel an inner desire to seek My face in order to find My will for your life. These are all things that I am helping to accomplish in your heart, and not only in you, but in many of the older adults in the Family.
       84. It is a time when many take stock of their life. It is a wonderful time of life! It is something very special that I can do only with those who have reached an age of maturity. Because of their many experiences and their maturity, they desire even more keenly to follow Me very closely. Therefore this time in your life can be one of the best periods, one of the most fruitful in hearing My voice, one of the most satisfying in knowing that you're being obedient to Me. It can be a time of genuine fulfillment, knowing that I am leading you and will not fail you. Therefore, as you yield to Me and do My will, you will experience genuine satisfaction and fulfillment, even more than in your days of youth.
       85. For you have now come to the age where you have experienced many of the things of youth--the adventures, the challenges, the needs, the romance, the pioneering, the ups and downs, the joys and the tears of growing up and maturing. Now you seek deep, true satisfaction in doing My will, no matter what it is, for this is where true peace of mind and satisfaction and fulfillment of heart can be found--in the center of My will.
       86. So at this crossroads in your life, do not fear what My will is for your life but accept it joyfully, and know that your life is not over because you are 50. Your usefulness has not ended. You are of great, great value to Me! I have gifted you and talented you and trained you in the ministry of using your hands and your mind to create and build. I have given you one of My very own talents. I am pleased with your work. I am pleased with how you serve others in love. Your life is only just beginning if you will take up the challenge to not only use your hands and your mind to build and repair and construct beautiful things for others, but also to use your heart to build love in others' lives. Oh, what a beautiful new life is beginning for you!
       87. You have come to the crossroads, and the door is open for you to walk through into the beginning of a brand-new life, full of beauty, joy, peace of mind and contentment of heart! It is the path of humility and love for others. I promise that I am always near you, and I am especially nearer now and listening very carefully to your heart's desires and to your voice. I wish for our relationship and connection to grow stronger and deeper, for I have need of you. I will use you more than you have dreamed in the days to come!
       88. It is important that you draw near to Me. When you experience battles or difficulties, come to Me and commune with your heart upon your bed with Me in heart-to-heart communion. Draw on My strength, My grace and My understanding. I promise I will not fail you! Take time with Me. Spend more time with Me, and your love for Me will grow even stronger, and your reassurance of My love will not falter.
       89. So go into this new day with joy in your heart, knowing you are My bride, and with a spring in your step, because I love you. Look not at what you feel are your weaknesses or the things that hinder you, for I have made you the way that you are because I love you the way you are. I am proud to have you in the Family and serving Me. So reflect your love for Me to others in all that you do and say. Hold your head up and be proud to be My bride, and reflect My love to others. (End of message from Jesus.)

       90. {\b \i (Mama:)} The Lord says this is a wonderful time of life, when He wants to do something very special that He can only do "with those who have reached an age of maturity." Rather than this being a time to wind down and be less useful, the Lord says, "Your life is only just beginning if you will take up the challenge." He encourages this dear man to not only continue to use his hands as a carpenter, but to use his heart to build love in others' lives. The Lord encourages him to draw especially near to Him and to His voice, so that he can experience the newness of life that the Lord wants to give him.
       91. It's very encouraging to see that the Lord doesn't look at men at this age as though they are less able to carry responsibility or less able to have a positive effect on others. He says they are able to do more than they did before, but in a different way, perhaps in a new ministry; or if not in a new ministry, with a new anointing and a new loving approach.

A Challenge to Shtick!

       92.{\b \i (Mama:)} At this time in their lives, some people are in ministries that they have done for years. Although they may enjoy and appreciate them, sometimes their job can become a little routine, or maybe even boring. The following prophecy was given for a sweet shepherd who had helped his dear flock through many hard times, but was feeling a little unchallenged, having done the same job for a long time. Although given for a shepherd, this message from the Lord can apply to all of us, of course!

       93.{\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} The job of a shepherd is slow, plodding work and can sometimes border on being routine, monotonous, and perhaps even boring, if it weren't for My Spirit and My anointing.
       94. This man has great anointing, for I have put My anointing upon him. And though he knows he can of his own self do nothing, sometimes he becomes familiar with that anointing, not realizing how much love I have given him, how much patience, understanding and wisdom I have poured upon him.
       95. In becoming familiar with these gifts and with My blessing and with My anointing, he can lose sight of the fact that it's really Me. This is not because he's taking credit to himself, or not because he thinks of himself more highly than he should, but he just becomes familiar with these gifts. When he becomes familiar, that little spark of inspiration begins to flicker and fade.
       96. So what do you do in such a situation? What do My real-life shepherds out in the fields with their sheep do? What about farmers who have to plod along day by day, faithfully doing their jobs and tending to their crops and animals? What do they do? In many cases they just have to endure. They just have to learn greater patience. They just learn greater desperation with Me, and they just keep going by the grace of God.
       97. Other times, the monotony and the routine is broken by more difficult times, by natural disasters--winds, rains, floods, blights and insects. These are attacks, these are difficulties, but they do break the monotony. They cause the farmer and the shepherd to be more desperate.
       98. But more often, the farmer and the shepherd find their joy and their happiness in their fruit. The shepherd takes pleasure in the new lambs, as they grow to maturity. The farmer takes pleasure in the crop as it comes forth and is ready to be harvested. And so this man can find joy in the sheep that he has rescued again and again, and whom he has helped so much.
       99. A change of scenery and a change of pace is helpful too. Times apart take him away from the burdens, from the routine. They take him away from the press of the people. But these times away are only part of the solution. They're helpful, they're needful, and they provide a rest and a break, which is important.
       100. But this one just needs to admit that he's tired and he's bored and he's a little fed up with the job. He fears to say this because he doesn't want to hurt anyone, and in his heart he loves and values his job, and he knows it's from My hand. So it's hard to say these things and admit these things. It's a conflict, because he doesn't want to lose his crown.
       101. He doesn't want to leave his plow in the field, and he really doesn't desire to go anywhere else or do anything else, because he loves his job. Yet he still has these feelings of being bored, uninspired, unchallenged and drained by it all.
       102. If he will just share these things, if he will just unburden his heart and get the prayer that he needs, then I will restore him and renew him and reinvigorate him, and give him a new vision and the recharging that he needs and truly longs for. He has saved others, but he's finding it very difficult to save himself.
       103. He just needs to unburden his heart. He may not even know that some of these things are there. He may not understand them himself. He may not see it all so clearly, but unburdening his heart and requesting your prayers to cleanse him and to renew him will help greatly. (End of message from Jesus.)

       104.{\b \i (Dad speaking:)} God bless you, son! I love you! You've been a tremendous blessing and a help to the folks there. I mean, you've shepherded them for years! You've put up with their shenanigans and you've helped them time and time again. You've had faith for them; you've had love for them.
       105. Oh sure, you've been frustrated a few times and thrown up your hands in despair, but you didn't give up or quit. You just had faith, you kept plugging along, and the Lord did it. He rewarded your faith and your patience and your love for the sheep.
       106. I can sure understand some of your trials and difficulties and feeling a little what they call "burned out." I felt that way too sometimes. I got a little bored with my surroundings. In fact, I often did. I loved change. I loved to see new territory, new scenes, new vistas, and often the Lord would give that to me. But other times He wouldn't, because I had a job to do. He just made me stay put and do what I was supposed to do, because He knew the Family needed it and it was going to help them and bear fruit.
       107. He knew that my sacrifice and my staying put and staying in tune and doing the job He gave me to do was going to bear greater fruit and be far more helpful to the whole Family--and in fact, the whole world--than just accommodating my personal desire for a change of view and activity. So that just comes along with the job sometimes.
       108. Now you've been faithful at this job for a long time, and I can certainly understand the need for a break and I think you should take one. I'm glad you're taking a break here and there, but you need to be sure to make it a regular thing, to take that time away that you need.
       109. But don't lose sight of the goal! The Lord has you there for a special purpose, because He knows He can use you to help these folks through their trials and battles. And though it may seem wearisome at times, just hold on and the Lord is going to pull you through. These seasons in our life just come around every once in a while, and we simply have to weather them, so to speak.
       110. So hold on to that crown! Do the best you can, share your heart, get prayer if you need prayer, and take those breaks when you need them. Trust the Lord that He's going to bring you through, and that things won't always be like this. I love you and I'm praying for you. God bless you! (End of message from Dad.)

My Good, Mellow Vintage Wine!

       111. {\b \i (Mama:)} The following prophecy was received for an older man who was feeling a bit left out or like he was missing something because of the emphasis on training the younger people.

              112. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} Now is the time of testing and trusting, and I try the hearts and minds of My children everywhere. But I say these words unto you to encourage you and to lift your spirit: Be not weary in well doing, and fear not that I have overlooked you or your brethren.
       113. I show you now a picture to help answer your question. You are like vintage wine that is set on the shelf. You have been aged and processed and matured. You have gone through the winepress. You have been purged of your dregs. You have been tasted and tested. You have been set in a dark, cool place to continue to age and mature, and you have turned out well. There is no more need to continually put you through the press and do the process over and over. You are ready, and I have placed you on the shelf to use you for a special occasion.
       114. Your wine is mellow and sweet. It has a rich taste and it is smooth and no longer has a bitter taste. Yummm [DELETED] the fragrance is so rich, so sweet. Can you see it? Do you understand? Your wine is mature and I have not forgotten you. No, to the contrary, I have placed you in a safe place, in My cellar where your wine can only grow better and better with age. In the special time and special place I will bring you out and use you for that special occasion--that time that I've been waiting for. Would you have Me bring you out into the light where your wine would turn to vinegar? No, I think not, My son.
       115. So fret not when you hear the sound of the grape-gathering. Yes, it is a joyous time. Yes, there is much excitement, much dancing and singing, and even a time for love, as the women press the grapes with their feet to make the new wine. I am taking My young grapes and making a new batch of wine. They must go through the press and be bottled. And I am tending diligently to their care. I am overseeing every step and every detail, as I want this batch to turn out just as well as your batch.
       116. But that does not mean that I have forgotten you. No, My son, you are one of My vintage bottles and I am well pleased with you. Just a little while longer and you shall see the glory of My Kingdom and all will be revealed to you. All will become clear and it will be worth it all. The scales shall fall from your eyes and you shall rejoice with joy unspeakable. So hold on! Fear not and do not doubt My love. For I love you with an everlasting love. Now strengthen the brethren, My fine, fine vintage wine. (End of message from Jesus.)

              117. ({\b \i Vision:) }While getting the prophecy I saw the following pictures. I saw a hand holding up a beautiful wineglass, and there was deep red Burgundy wine in the glass. The hand was holding it up to the light and the light shone through, making the wine look even more lovely. There were no dregs in it; the wine was clear. The hand swished the wine around, and the Lord smelled the wine and it was full of spirit. The taste was smooth and mellow and warming.
       118. Then I saw big vats of wine, and in a special place in the back of the wine cellar were very fine bottles of wine. The bottles were in a beautiful case, being kept for something special. The Lord was really pleased with these bottles of wine and He was taking special care of them.
       119. Then I had a picture of the grape harvest, when the new wine is made. It's like a big party, with a lot of dancing, singing and loving. There is a lot of hoopla during the time when the wine is being made. It's a lot of work, too. The grapes are mashed, then put in big vats, and then bottled. It all has to be done just right, and the Lord was being careful that it was being done just right.
       120. But there was a big difference in the taste of the new wine and the aged wine. And although the Lord was spending a lot of time making sure it was all being done right, it didn't mean that He had forgotten or was no longer pleased with His vintage wine. It just meant He had to take the time to make the new wine, and also there was no need for the vintage wine to go through the whole process again, as it was already good wine. (End of prophecy and vision.)

Promises for Our Older Women
(From GN 738:)

       1. I would not have you suffer as do the women of the Egyptians in this time, during this change of life. For I, the Creator of all things, have created this process in your body. I have created you, and I will carry you through.
* * *

       2. Believe My promises, and you will see a ripening in your life, a maturity, a wisdom and a gentleness that goes with your years.
* * *

       3. When you feel sensations that you do not know much about, look to Me and seek Me, and I will speak to your heart and explain these things to you, and give you knowledge and understanding.
* * *

       4. We shall walk through this together, you and I [DELETED] for I am your Soul-mate, linked forever to you.
* * *

       5. Don't worry, but study to show yourself approved and mature. That is part of your maturity--to look to the Word and to apply it to your own life. With excellent counsel you can pass through this time without the smell of smoke upon you.
* * *

       6. Remember that these are deceptive feelings [EDITED: "of depression"] sent by the Enemy to rob you of your victory, and to drive a wedge between you and the Word and My promises that will sustain you.
* * *

       7. As we experience these ecstasies of love together, the feelings of darkness will be driven away and you will find a peace and happiness in My arms that you never knew.
* * *

       8. I can give you the feelings of happiness that you seek. But first you must hold to My Word. You must believe Me through the storm. You must know that I have never forsaken you and will never forsake you, and that all things do work together for good.
* * *

       9. In all these things I am telling you that while you may feel when you reach this stage of life that you are losing something, you are gaining much more than you are losing.
* * *

       10. You must realize that these can be your greatest years of fruitfulness, as you seize on My promises and My Word. As you apply them to yourself, you will find that many of the dreams that I have placed in your heart, many of the hopes and wishes that you have had through the years, will come to pass. They will spring forth before your eyes and will grow as never before, as you believe My Word and My promises.

For Those Living in a Home with Older Women
(From the above Letter:)

       11. Pray together. Seek unity. Be a support to those who are weak. For have I not said that you that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak? [DELETED] This is a sign of true love and true Christianity.
* * *

       12. Lend your support, lend your care, lend your time and I will repay all that you spend.
* * *

       13. In all things ask Me for the loving, understanding heart that is needed to help anyone who is going through a hard time, even as your mother Maria taught you in the Letter about Libby. You, the shepherds of these women, must ask Me for wisdom, and you must have great loving concern and patience.
* * *

       14. If you feel that you are in an extreme situation and you do not know if it is life-threatening or not, first you should come to Me and ask Me whether or not to go to the doctor. Secondly, when you go to the doctor you must pray and ask for My advice and My viewpoint and My counsel about what the doctor tells you.
* * *

       15. As time progresses, you will need to learn more flexibility.[DELETED] As your body has different needs and as your loved ones around you have different needs, there are times when you will have to adapt your schedule and be flexible.
* * *

       16. These women of Mine that reach this time of change can no longer do what they did before. Those in the Home living with them need to realize this, and the younger ones need to take up the slack.[DELETED] In this way My plan is completed, and the younger ones are being raised up to fill this very gap.
* * *

       17. Love is an action. Love is not something that exists just in your heart or in your mind. It is action--the action of understanding, the action of leaving people alone sometimes, the action of being Me for them. Be what I would be for them. Love is putting other people first; it means not worrying about yourself.

For Those Struggling with Depression or Midlife Crisis
(From the above Letter:)

       18. I will bless those who fight these feelings of depression and sadness by giving them My love and My comfort and My Spirit, as they do all they can to come to Me and drink in My Words. And whosoever comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out, but I will be there for each one, in any moment of sadness, to wipe away the tears and to strengthen the feeble knees. I will carry them, and I will be their Helper and their very great reward.
* * *

       19. [EDITED: "Midlife"] is a time to "check in" with Me, and through these circumstances I cause you to cry out with your whole heart, to be desperate, to get answers, to become more tightly attached to Me. Through the squeezing and desperation, you receive a second wind, and if need be, a change in life, in ministry, an overhaul, and become newly equipped to be able to carry on with what the future may hold.
* * *

       20. It is a wonderful time of life! It is something very special that I can do only with those who have reached an age of maturity. Because of their many experiences and their maturity, they desire even more keenly to follow Me very closely. Therefore this time in your life can be one of the best periods, one of the most fruitful in hearing My voice, one of the most satisfying in knowing that you're being obedient to Me.
* * *

       21. You have come to the crossroads, and the door is open for you to walk through into the beginning of a brand-new life, full of beauty, joy, peace of mind and contentment of heart! It is the path of humility and love for others.

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family