Feathering the Empty Nest

In “Confession Time,” Lori of The Generous Wife blog shares some of her life with us. One comment just jumped out at me:

6. I’m surprised at the changes in my life as an empty-nester. I used to carry my kids around in the back of my head. I knew where they were and what they needed pretty much at all times. That’s all gone, so there’s like a hole in my head. I also used to bake cookies and color and drive the kids places and … that’s all gone too.

I’ve been thinking about the empty nest a lot. I have three kids; all of them will be moving out within a few months of each other later this year. I did a lot of grieving a few months ago, wondering who I will be when I’m not a mother to anyone who lives with me.

I worried that I’ve missed important instruction, from laundry to scrubbing the toilets to answering the phone to renting an apartment to how to clean cast iron skillets. I fretted over the things I’ve missed in their lives and all that I would miss in the future. I was heart-broken that I’d struggled with depression and that my kids were parented by a sad and stressed mama, that our finances had been so difficult that we weren’t able to afford many of the opportunities I’d so wanted them to have, that I’d been so angry at God that my children hadn’t learned what they needed to live a godly life—or maybe  they wouldn’t want to.

I had several hours here and there when I was curled up in fetal position, sobbing out my worries, my sorrow at the loss of the physical presence of these human beings who I carried under my heart and in my arms, my pride in the wonderful adults they’re becoming, my joy that I’ve been able to watch these human beings grow from needy infant to independent adult.

God’s timing is truly wondrous.

After two years of working hard on our sexual relationship, early this fall I recognized what God had wrought in my life and in our marriage. I was able to see that I truly was a different wife than I’d ever been before. I used to wonder what would happen to our marriage after the kids were gone. I’d always assumed we would either argue even more with no witnesses around  or, worse, that we would become total strangers who didn’t even care enough to argue.

During one of my sobbing episodes, when I was crying out to God, I finally took a break between my talking to God to catch my mental breath—and in the quiet, God allowed me to see the blessing in the timing of this journey.

Just as I most needed comfort, trust, and love to get me through the empty nest process, God gave me my marriage back and an exciting future to look forward to with my husband. I am fairly certain I have more crying in my future as we get closer to my kids actually leaving—but at least now, I know that my husband will be right there beside me.

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2 Comments on “Feathering the Empty Nest”

  1. It does take some getting used to. I realized that much of my identity was about my kids. That’s OK to a point, but thankfully there is more to me and I have the rest of my life to explore the rest of me and have fun with my sweetie. (Thanks so much for linking to my post.)
    Lori <

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