There are stages and seasons in everyone’s life that are best handled only by going through them alone. No amount of preparation or textbooks can adequately prepare you for certain chapters, seasons, and stages that you will encounter.
My kids were my world. I lived and took every breath with them in mind. Days when I felt unwell, I mustered my strength because my girls were my priority. After my last daughter’s marriage, the empty nest became a reality. The quietness of the home was deafening to my ears, as there were always voices all around. Immediately, I felt a void that I never felt before. I had no idea how I would cope without any of my girls at home. I was definitely not prepared for this new season inspite of my many lectures to them about learning to do things, as one day they will be on their own. I certainly prepared them, but not myself.
It’s amazing how quickly time goes by. I remember the days when I dreamt of having no deadlines or appointments. I looked forward to going places and never having to worry about preparing meals and cleaning up after them. My proudest moments were telling my friends and family all the great things my kids were doing.
Now, I’m living with the reality that my daughters have all left home. But, there’s something inside of me that still wishes I can hear the front door open, and their unique voices screaming out, ‘Hi Mommy’. I would listen intently to hear if the home phone rings, never wanting to miss a call from them. I look forward for the days when everyone would be over to share a meal. I miss my big family, as seasons do change.
My amazing husband and friend observing the effects that the empty nest was having on me, sat me down to talk. What a talk that turned out to be. We sold our big house, gave away all our furniture, bought a new condo and bought all new furniture to reflect a new beginning. After settling into our new life without kids ….we received another blessing in the form of my husband agreeing to accept a two year contract in our country of birth in the Caribbean. Our dream of living in the Caribbean as seniors during the Winter months was now being translated into a reality.
Like Adam in the garden, my dear husband created a whole new garden for just the two of us. Life took on a whole new meaning specially designed to custom fit the life we always dreamt of having in our retirement years. We no longer saw ourselves as parents, but now we are close friends. Our travels going back and forth between both countries, allow us to see the kids and their families whenever we are in Toronto – and having the option to escape the cold winter seasons in the Caribbean. It’s a whole new world for us where we get the better of the two countries.
We can now travel across the globe without the responsibility of having kids – vacationing in cities we always dreamt about. Life has taken on a whole new perspective of its own. The chapters, seasons, and stages of our lives should not create fear, but FAITH in God’s promises. He promised to do us good all the days of our lives on earth. There’s no more fussing about meals, endless grocery shopping, housework chores, deadlines, and long drawn out detail plannings that come with juggling children’s schedules. Now, we just sit and plan our months ahead, and determine where we want to be during any given month. Our empty nest was converted into a stress free zone with an easy, cozy, and enjoyable lifestyle – custom made for two best friends. I never imagined a life without my big family, but I can assure you that we’re loving every moment of our times together. There’s life after the kids have left the nest.
This new season allows me to be taken care of, rather than being the one who took care of everyone. I’m enjoying the attention and pampering, and to a much greater degree – “the empty nest syndrome.”
There’s one deep truth that I wish for you to get out of this chapter in my story, and it is – Exodus 14:14 ” The Lord will fight for you and you need only to be still.”
Change always brings fear and tears, but FAITH proves you can trust God to perfect ALL that concerns you.
God is always fighting for you. Whenever you don’t understand what’s happening, just bow your head and close your eyes, and say, “God, I know this is your plan, just help me to get through this.” Amen 🙏🏾