Life is shifting and changing, but you are not left in the dust.
“My best years are behind me.”
“I focused on my career and never married or had children. Now that my career is ending, I feel completely lost. Who am I?”
“I am ready for more, but I don’t know where to even begin to find it.”
“I feel like God is finished with me.”
Do thoughts such as these circle around in your head? If you resonate with any of these statements, chances are you are in a place we call “halftime”—a disorienting midlife transition for which no one prepared you.
What was most significant in your first half of life either no longer fits or no longer even exists. The children you raised have left the nest or soon will. The career or volunteer work that once gave you fulfillment and significance no longer brings you joy. A foundational relationship that once gave you a sense of identity or belonging ended in divorce, death, or relational breakdown. Or it may be that you simply have a gnawing sense that something is missing in your life. Whatever the road that led you to halftime, the daunting question is, “What now?”
The good news is there is an answer to that question, one that is as unique as you are. As challenging as it may seem right now, your halftime season is actually a gift—a time to discover a new source of energy and significance for your next season. Just as sports teams take a halftime break to regroup in the locker room and strategize with their coach, your midlife transition is a time to pause and strategize for a winning second half. We believe the key to reigniting your dreams and finding renewed joy and purpose for your second half can be found in the words of Scripture in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (NIV).
It is not just a figment of your imagination; midlife is full of unique challenges for women. These include navigating changes in family relationships, balancing work and personal life, rediscovering self, securing enough resources, coping with loss and transition, managing health problems, and dealing with menopause.
These mental health struggles are only compounded by other challenges common at midlife, which include crippling debts, crumbling relationships, feeling left behind at work, dealing with empty nests or unlaunched children, and caring for aging parents. All of it leaves many middle-aged women feeling that life is an unending burden. It also demonstrates how difficult this season really is. The struggle is real!
To navigate midlife well, women need resources that are not only tailored to their unique needs and challenges, but that also draw on the experiences and wisdom of other women. We believe you can emerge from your halftime on the other side with renewed confidence and purpose. God still has work for you to do, and his dreams and plans for you are bigger, better, and more significant than anything you could come up with on your own. There is hope for your future. You are not done.
We encourage you to invite a friend or a group of women to journey your halftime season with you. The wisdom of Scripture tells us, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed…three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12, NLT).
You may also find it helpful to process your journey with a certified coach, counselor, pastor, or spiritual director and the Women at Halftime book. Women are at their best when they are in safe and nurturing relationships with others. If you tend to isolate or withdraw when you are struggling, we invite you to take the risk of inviting at least one other person to travel with you during this season. It could make all the difference.
Jeremiah 29:11 encourages us for this journey with these words from God: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (NIV). We believe a meaningful and abundant life is available to you in your second half. Welcome to halftime.
Shayne Moore & Carolyn Hux Castleberry
Shayne Moore is the author or coauthor of five books, including Ending Human Trafficking: A Handbook of Strategies for the Church Today. Shayne served as director of operations at the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College Graduate School, and she taught the course on anti–human trafficking for Wheaton’s MA program in humanitarian and disaster leadership. Her book Refuse to Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery was named Resource of the Year by Outreach Magazine. Her first book, Global Soccer Mom: Changing the World Is Easier than You Think, chronicles her work with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. With an MA in theology and with varied interests, Shayne holds a certificate in the professional program in screenwriting from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television. She is also a contributing editor for Everbloom: Stories of Living Deeply Rooted and Transformed Lives. Shayne has traveled the world to see firsthand the realities of poverty and modern-day slavery and is a speaker on the topic of human trafficking.
Carolyn Castleberry Hux is a former journalist and cohost of Living the Life on ABC Family Channel. She found her second-half calling coaching women in Halftime and teams in national security for transformational change. Carolyn is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Genos Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, and the author of several positive change books, including It’s About Time!