I have entered a new season of life which most people call the “empty nest”. My youngest child, the baby of the family, just left home for college in Spokane, Washington, joining her older sister. I was not sure how to anticipate this phase of my life. I knew some of my friends went into mourning at the loss of their child-rearing years. Other friends celebrated their new found freedom with great glee. I think I am somewhere in-between.
They say when you become a parent your heart is never again your own. I suppose this is true as it feels that a part of my heart is now in Washington State and part of it is in Orange County. The humorist Erma Bombeck said children are like kites. “You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground. You run with them until you’re both breathless … they crash … you add a longer tail … they hit the rooftop … you pluck them out of the spout. You patch and comfort, adjust and teach. You watch them lifted by the wind and assure them that someday they’ll fly. Finally, they are airborne, but they need more string and you keep letting it out. With each twist of the ball of twine, there is a sadness that goes with the joy because the kite becomes more distant, and somehow you know that it won’t be long before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that bound you together and soar as it was meant to soar — free and alone. Only then do you know that you did our job.”
So as I approach my empty nest I feel a sense of satisfaction and even pride that I have done my job and done it as well as I know how. All my children love the Lord and are ministry minded. I am confident that they are following God’s call for their lives. I know I will have sad moments and certainly I miss my children very much. But the adventures that await them are going to be grand and glorious. I have no doubt that they will all do great things for God.
I am also excited for myself and this new season of my life. Grand adventures await me as well. With the “empty nest” comes more time for pursuing God, more time for my marriage, and more time for ministry. I look forward to being able to take more mission trips with my husband, begin a new ministry, and perhaps even go back to school myself.
This last year my favorite Bible verse has been Hebrews 11:8-10; By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
God called Abraham out of his comfortable life in Ur to a life of wandering (in the desert) and wondering (God’s purpose) Yet Abraham had complete faith in God and obeyed even without the details. He was able to obey because he had his eyes on his final destination, heaven with God Almighty.I do not know what this next season of life will bring for me or my family. Every year I become more and more aware of the brevity of life. Certainly I have more years behind me than ahead of me. But I intend to follow Abraham’s example and get out of my comfort zone, follow God wherever He leads, have great and grand adventures, and do it all for the glory of His Name.