Coming of Age

By Annmarie Miles

Did you see them? The fresh faced cherubs in their stiff uniform jumpers; school trousers with the tramlines ironed down the front of them, pleated skirts almost to the floor, with just the flash of white socks in shiny shoes? Facebook was flooded with ‘back to school’ pics – kids off for their first day to a new class, some to a new school. There was none of that in my day, you know. You waited until the “school photo” time, that’s if your mother could afford the school photo.

Oh great! I’m channelling my father now.

It wasn’t until secondary school that I came into my own. I grew in confidence and got involved in all sorts of stuff (that didn’t involve running or kicking a ball). I was on the Amnesty International committee, the Women’s committee (at 14?), the student council; I ran the school choir for a while and had lead roles in the school plays in my last two years. I even became ‘mates’ with some of my teachers; I was sorry to leave secondary school. And if you’re thinking I sound like one of those “twonks” you knew in school - yes, I was that person. I wasn’t NEARLY as cool as I am now. *coughs*

Age is a funny thing. I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared this with you before – but I was surprised to reach my 40th birthday. I never thought I’d make it. I was sure that, through sickness or sadness, I would die in my 30’s. So I was delighted to be 40. Hence the shindig I had to celebrate it. I don’t think anyone knew how significant that night was for me. Although it’s hard to see the significance of anything at an 80’s themed party – too many luminous hairbands and plastic bracelets.

I do know that God’s blessings are for every age and stage.

If we take in to account some of the things that we hear about age… that it’s only a number, and you’re only as young as you feel, that it’s not the years in your life but the life in your years, and youth is wasted on the young. And bearing in mind that you’re only young once and life is what you make it... and… well… I’m not really sure what those things mean in the context of eternity.

But I do know that God’s blessings are for every age and stage. Dreams, visions and the strength to carry them out – He provides it all. He’s a God who wants us to grow in our faith, yet remain childlike in it.

So I don’t have to totally grow up!

Thank God for that; I’m only 40 something.


Annmarie Miles is originally from Tallaght, now living in her husband Richard’s homeland, Wales. If you’d like to read more between VOX Magazines, her blog is called Just Another Christian Woman Talking Through Her Hat. The Long & the Short of it, her first collection of short stories, can be found at, or you can pick it up in Footprints bookshops in Dublin.