Did you ever play that game as a child?
I have a confession to make. There is a truth that is nagging at me and I know that by confessing it, I might be able to encourage someone else who needs to hear it.
THE TRUTH: I dropped off my baby boy at college two weeks ago and I’m still struggling. YES, I’m happy for him–he’s in a great place, and he didn’t have to start this new stage of life alone. He has friends and family, but more importantly, his faith. He’s searching for the right church to serve in, and has already had an opportunity to play for worship.
Even though people have been telling me for years, I am facing the reality of the statement, “Enjoy every age and every stage of motherhood–those children grow up SO fast!”
Honestly, I am still in a lull and can’t quite figure out how to handle this “empty nest” thing. After winding down from all the craziness of summer and the life-changing events that I’ve still not really processed in my head and heart, I decided to look through some old pictures. One of the ways I connect to the events of my life is through photos, so I thought I’d do a photo journal of the Summer of 2012. I am not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination, and most of my pictures are shot with my iPhone. Trying to process where I’ve been and figure out where I’m headed, I take a journey down memory lane…
Unbelievably, right in the middle of my pity party I click on my Picasa Photo Album and to my dismay, ALL of my pictures DISAPPEAR! I am devastated and frustrated that I hit such a roadblock. Not being allowed to focus on what has been overwhelming me for some time, it kinda feels like defeat.
He often uses these kinds of circumstances to draw us closer to Him. Looking for peace in pictures seems silly when I stop and realize that what I really need is time with Him.
Thankfully after a few days, my wonderful son-in-law was able to recover many but not all of my pictures. While I may never recover them all, I am reminded to be thankful for the things that I have right in front of me:
A loving husband who will stay even after everyone else is gone! :0)
…Grandchildren to fight over me! (AND another on the way! :0)
My struggle can only be defined as a spiritual one. I know that my God loves me and continues to work in and through me. My hope doesn’t come from any accomplishment or accolade. My hope is in a God who has already planned for my future. One of my life verses reminds me again that when I am in a place of uncertainty or fear, I need only to look to Him and His Word for direction–not people, circumstances or coincidence.
If I only hear the truth, but don’t let it change me, I face THE CONSEQUENCE: I can follow my flesh into fear, frustration, and uncertainty–or I can be controlled by the Holy Spirit and reap love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. I am choosing to follow God’s plan for me in this season of change, and I am looking to His Word for direction. By faith, I want to obey what I know He is saying to me about what He wants for me today, tomorrow and on into the future.
This empty-nest season of life has served me well; it has drawn me closer to God as I search for answers only He can know. When well-meaning people ask me, “What will you do with your time now?” the only answer I might have is, “Seek Him!”–and that is enough!
“We waste our lives when we do not pray and think and dream and plan and work toward magnifying God in all spheres of life. God created us for this: to live our lives in a way that makes Him look more like the greatness and the beauty and the infinite worth that He really is.” [John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life]