We are in the countdown. In less than ten days, my youngest son will leave for college, and I will step off into a new season of life as an “empty nester.” My son is excited about the change. I am feeling something altogether different.
It’s interesting how this HUGE season change for me is happening as summer transitions into fall. It’s like God is providing an appropriate backdrop for this particular change. Leaves are turning colors and me changing the paint color in my son’s bedroom. It may be the new guest room. (Don’t tell him.)
Honestly, I’m excited about this change. Don’t get me wrong; I am also sad. I am happy/sad. The reality of having no children in my home after 30 years is completely foreign, uncharted territory. This new territory will require me to depend entirely on God to tell me which way to go. Until now, I knew how to proceed and what to do. Now, I’m not sure what is coming. What will God want me to do with my time? What will He give me to do to fill the empty place where parenting used to be?
There’s something exciting about that. Swimming in unfamiliar waters with God as my lifeguard.
What season of life are you enjoying? Or, maybe not enjoying? Do you look forward to the next season even before you move on from this one? Can you see the season changing?
Change is not easy, especially significant changes like your son moving out (at least for four years). Change can be painful, or it can be pleasant. Change can be hard, or it can be hardly noticeable. However, whatever is going on in your life, know that it will change. It doesn’t have to be a child moving away to constitute change. Change happens to everyone.
In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon reminds us that nothing stays the same. Everything will change. With life comes death. When you plant, you will harvest. With suffering, there will be healing. And so on. Without one, we cannot recognize the other. Until we understand that life is full of changes and also full of stability as well as joy and sorrow, we will not find contentment. We will always be disappointed.
You have heard people say, “Nothing ever changes.” Not so. Solomon, in all his wisdom observed that change is everywhere. It will come to our work, our relationships, our bodies, our emotions and our circumstances. Time does not stand still on this side of eternity. Only in heaven will there be constant, consistent, eternal glory, and as Revelation 21 says, there will be no tears, no death, no crying and mourning, no pain, all of that will be gone. There will be no more change.
Most people say they don’t like change. Me neither. It’s much more comfortable here in this exact place where I am, before my son leaves. This is comfortable. Who wants to leave their comfort zone? Sister, don’t get too comfortable because something will change. How painful that change is will depend on our heart attitude.
When you start to feel a little uncomfortable and notice that things are not the same, remember this: every event in our lives is ordained, prepared and planned by God for His good purpose. Any change in our circumstance and situation is by God’s design, and that makes change good. Can you accept change with the knowledge that it is all part of God’s plan? Will you cooperate with God’s will to change your life, or will you choose to hold on to what is comfortable?
Some of you may know what I am experiencing. You have felt the breeze as your last bird flies away. It is reassuring to me and others who are going through the same struggle (or, those in the future who will experience the same) that you have survived. That means I will, too (she said laughing a little).
Father God, praise you, praise you. We are thankful that you are in control of every part of our lives. We see change; you see your plans unfold. Help us to accept the changes and depend on you live in those changes. Amen.