Empty Next?

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Rosemary Hill | 4 comments

Grandson sunlight

{As 2015 becomes part of our years, I share this piece adapted from a writing I submitted for a small group of bloggers who have been writing one another during the Christmas season. They read the gist of this yesterday. Today, I share it with you in hopes that it will encourage you as you face whatever leaves you wondering what is next. My prayer for you, kind reader, is that God will fill your year with good things that prove to you he has not left you in the mire of sadness, emptiness, or loneliness. He is certainly pointing out all the ways he has planned to give you a full life. Let’s open our eyes each morning to his new and fresh mercies with much joy for his glory. Read Lamentations 3:21-24. Happy new year!}

Are you familiar with the empty nest? Maybe you are in it or maybe you are the reason someone else is all too familiar with it. Perhaps you are dreading it?

It’s funny, but for some reason, when I type those two words for years now, they most often come out as E M P T Y  N E X T.

Are you facing an empty next? What do you dread? Why?

I find it rather ironic that I do this so often because I believe something deep inside of me has a dread of this season that has moved me from being a full-time wife and mom at home to doing whatever is next.

That was the problem, though. I had put my identity in my being wife and mom at home and had made it an idol. For 25 years I had been clinging tightly to that idol.

A sure sign of bowing down to the bugger was that as I was in the midst of the emptying season, I wondered what would go on next? Would it be full? What would I do now that I was eliminating my position as full-time mom? How would my marriage move forward? What was I to do with all my time?

Surely, my life was going to be empty and not just my nest.

Have you talked with God about this empty next? Perhaps he has been trying to show you the root of this?

One particular morning during my prayer time I came to the above realization of where I had placed my identity for so long. That’s when I concurred with God that I had made it that ugly idol. Was it any wonder I couldn’t fathom moving forward? That’s what idols do, you know. They hold us hostage until we suffer from Stockholm Syndrome and serve and yearn for that slavery from our captors with whom we’ve fallen in love.

That day, by God’s grace, I remembered my identity is found in God through Jesus Christ.

He made me a woman with gifts, talents, callings, and gave me responsibilities to handle for his designated time. Season after season, if I focus on honoring him day by day, when the next phase in life comes, I can proceed more at ease if I keep him as my focus rather than myself or my title.

Thankfully, God has warmed up my heart and mind to the thought of moving forward into the next phase of life.

The nest might be empty, but life in this next season is abundant with blessings.

I have more time with my husband and we finish sentences, whole conversations even, with no interruptions.
I get to volunteer for things other than room mom.
Spending time with our first grand baby is pure bliss.
Seeing our sons and their wives in marriages that hold up the Gospel is rewarding.
I have time to assist our four parents when necessary.
Hobbies that were dormant or nonexistent are finding their way into my life.

My sons and daughters-in-love need me in a new capacity. I’m enjoying focusing on being their sister in Christ who encourages rather than their mom who oversees and disciplines.

My fear of the N E X T was because of my sin of idolizing that season’s main role for me. I had to let it go.

What might you have been gripping that needs to be released? How can your perspective change for the better? Have you thanked God for your past, your present, and your future?

Just as there were blessings before children arrived and while they shared our home, there are blessings in this next season. I don’t want to miss one of them mourning over something that I’m no longer called to do. It’s time to move forward excited and trusting God in what he has planned next for me.

E M P T Y  N E X T? Not a chance when our focus is on him.

 

4 Comments

  1. So well written !

    • Nancy,
      So happy you stopped in and read today’s post. Thank you for your encouragement.

  2. Loved this Amy!! it is so hard to believe we are empty nesters. I have such sweet vivid memories of us starting our families at the same time…

    • Hey Jill! So happy to hear from you. It was just yesterday when we gathered our babies for play time. Those are precious memories! Enjoy your empty nesting. Love and hugs to you!

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