My husband and I have recently reached a significant milestone in our lives—the empty nest. Our two oldest daughters moved out last year to share an apartment in the city. They both recently got engaged and will soon be starting homes of their own. As our children embark on their own journeys, we find ourselves in a new season filled with mixed emotions. While we may experience a sense of loss and longing, this season also presents a remarkable opportunity for renewal, rediscovery, and, most importantly, a deepening relationship with God. Let us embrace this chapter in our lives and seek His guidance as we navigate the path ahead.
"For I know the thoughts that I have toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." (Jeremiah 29:11)
It is important to remember that the Lord's plans for us do not end when our children leave the nest. Instead, they take on a beautiful new dimension. Just as we have nurtured our children through each stage of life, God wants us to nurture our own spirits and discover the unique purpose He has for us.
Reflection on the Past:
Take a moment to reflect on the years you spent raising your children. Remember the joy, the challenges, and the lessons learned. Recognize the ways in which God worked in and through you, shaping your character and faith. Give thanks for the gift of motherhood and the blessings it brought into your life.
As we transition into the empty nest phase, we may find ourselves grappling with a sense of loss and uncertainty. But remember that change is a natural part of life, and it presents us with countless opportunities for growth. Instead of dwelling on what once was, open your heart to the possibilities that lie ahead.
For years, our focus has been on caring for our children, often setting aside our own desires and passions. Now is the time to rediscover who we are as individuals, to nurture our own dreams and aspirations. Spend time in prayer, seeking God's guidance and wisdom as you explore new interests, hobbies, or even pursue long-held dreams that were set aside.
Strengthening Your Relationship with God:
With the demands of motherhood lessening, we have a unique opportunity to deepen our relationship with the Lord. Invest time in daily prayer, studying His Word, and engaging in connecting with people. Seek His will for this season of your life and allow Him to reveal the purpose He has for you. "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you..." (James 4:8b)
Investing in Others:
As empty nesters, we have the capacity to bless others with our time, love, and wisdom. Look for opportunities to serve within our church and community, sharing the love of Christ with those in need. Mentor younger women, supporting them on their own journey of faith and motherhood. By pouring into the lives of others, we can leave a lasting legacy that extends beyond our own children. I love that our church has recently started a mentorship program for women. This would be a great way to not only get involved in a ministry but also invest in the lives of young women.
The empty nest season is not an end but a beginning—a fresh chapter filled with opportunities to grow, serve, and deepen our relationship with God. As we embark on this new journey, let us be encouraged by the assurance that the Lord has plans for us—plans to give us hope and a renewed sense of purpose.