It’s no secret that I struggled when it came time for our youngest to go off to college.
Classic, huh? Kinda funny now, but I can tell you that I was in no way faking how I was feeling.
Sometimes when we’re in the midst of a struggle we often see only the difficulty and can miss the blessing. The first few months after we left our son at college (5 hours away), I moped around in quiet loneliness.
Having four children these days is considered a large family, and our home was often occupied by many more than the six of us, which meant that it was seldom quiet! Memories of laughing, playing, hungry children far overshadowed memories of sleep deprivation, piles of dishes and loads of laundry. There wasn’t a room in the house that wasn’t full of memories that could make me cry.
It was only a couple of months after beginning this new season of life that my husband and I traveled to his alma-mater–Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL.
He was asked to come speak in chapel to the football team. He played football all four years and was co-captain his senior year, so he was thrilled at the opportunity. I didn’t attend Wheaton, so I was just a tag-a-long… or so I thought.
“You will seek Me and find me when you seek Me with all your heart.” A well-known truth from Jeremiah is deeply imprinted on my heart. Well, I had been seeking God, and He knew right where I was–physically and emotionally. My wonderful husband was looking forward to this new season of life–and was looking at it from a completely different perspective than me. I struggled to even talk to him about it for fear that he would think that I wasn’t as excited about our new “freedom”. This was supposed to be a time of re-discovery and new adventures. This trip down memory lane was kind of the beginning of a new chapter. One where I could freely travel with him, when in the past I would have needed to stay home with the kids.
I knew that he would do a great job speaking to these young men, not just because he had been where they are now, but because of his passion for the sport and the spiritual lessons it had taught him.
What I didn’t expect was that the message I was to hear didn’t come through him, but through the young men who stood to testify to their peers. Three senior athletes shared their testimony of how God had saved them and led them to attend Wheaton and play football. Every story was different, with one similarity. All three of these young men spoke of their grandparents and the powerful impact they had made in their lives… That night it was as though God said to me, “See, Vickie! I’m not finished with you yet! This high calling–of wife and mom–is a forever calling. You will continue to have an impact for generations to come!”
I fully believe that a mother’s job is never done. We never stop caring, praying and loving on our children, and the mission continues as those precious grandchildren come into our lives.
My nest will always be a resting place: HOME
Never vacant: full of love.
Never unoccupied: a place of refuge.
It’s not uncommon for me to think back on those days and cry–but more often now those tears are not the heart-wrenching “those days are gone” tears, but the “Oh, how blessed I’ve been!” tears of joy.