Thanksgiving is almost here and I cried when my oldest son said he was coming home. When one of my kids is missing, the hurt in my heart is loud. There is just something about our whole tribe gathering that just breathes peace into my soul. My youngest is now 17 and the empty nest vibe squeezes my chest from time to time as I miss each one of my 4 adult children who have flown the coop. It means I have the opportunity to express my love in creative ways and perhaps the opportunity to reach out to others. When I am tempted to feel shame for an empty nest, I remember that my significance is not in a role. An empty nest does not mean an empty heart.
Sometimes I can feel shame over my current spot in this life. The wrinkles are growing and the gray hair, too. My kids don’t need me like they used to. But this does not take away from my significance as a creation of God. Our significance was never based on the family we are in or a station in life or an achievement of our own. It is based on the honor God gave us as a child of God.
When I am tempted to feel lonely or sad because I do not have my tribe all around, I realize my relationship with them has shifted, not ended. It is then that I also realize that most days the phone is ringing as they touch base with me and I am so very thankful for that. The season of early motherhood is gone, but it has equipped me for the next season, no less important and perhaps with even greater needs.
We are not confined by our position in this life mission we are on. We are not bound by an empty nest. It is a place of freedom, so my husband and I have discovered. 😉 Trying to escape the pain that an empty nest brings will not relieve the need to find fullness right there in the midst. And perhaps it opens the door to an even more fulfilling season of life.
An empty nest does not mean I cannot be full.
An empty nest does not reflect my significance.
An empty nest means I am not needed anymore.
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. -Philippians 4:11
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