I wanted to ignore the facts and pretend this day wouldn’t come. It did anyway. One August day before I turned 50 years old, it happened. My oldest child left for college and our home began the journey to an Empty Nest.
I tried to prepare, but there were few books available on the subject.
As a result, I was concerned how this might be a make-or-break season of my life. I had many conversations with women who were really struggling with anxiety and depression as they faced the dreaded Empty Nest Syndrome. I wondered, “What will it be like for me?”
It all began to hit my heart at the Freshman Orientation for College Students. Our oldest child was now all grown up and ready to join the college scene as a young Christian man.
I worried. Was he ready? Even more, I had fears of me being ready. I was so grateful to still have two high school kids at home, so technically my Nest was one-third Empty.
Before I knew it, our second son packed the car to leave for college. I realized I was loosing a tiny piece of my heart with each child leaving the home.
It was painful.
It was exciting.
In this season of life, I knew in a desperate way I needed to draw closer to God.
If you are facing this season too (The empty nest), or even if you have a Tween who will all too soon leave you waving on the doorstep, consider taking these preemptive actions.
1. Pray Together
One of the biggest changes we made in our marriage was when we began to kneel together to pray every morning before we started our day. This was a game-changer. We have not missed a day since we started. If one of us is traveling we still pray together over the phone and this prayer time is where the battles are fought and won! There is truth in the statement PRAY TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER!
Three short years later my baby girl started college and the Lord stretched me again. Ouch! It was official. My husband and I were now Empty Nesters.
My attitude was admittedly stinky at times and I allowed negative self-talk into my head.
As a result, my husband lovingly but strongly encouraged me to stay positive and change my attitude. He was right, though I hated to admit it. An attitude adjustment and a heart change were just what I needed.
I didn’t want to talk about it. Yet he just kept sharing all the positive things to think about. I soon had to get onboard or just jump overboard and drown.
I always considered myself a positive person with an uplifting attitude but he was right. Something had changed in me. The fear and worry was grabbing my heart.
Therefore, I had to choose my new positive position and decide to allow Jesus Christ to be enough no matter what. I started praying Psalm 138:8 on a daily basis.
Click here for 3 Simple Things I Learned About Prayer From My Mentor
2. New Attitude
Finally, I started using positive words and said them to myself out loud,
“I may have a home that is empty, but I’m not finished!”
“I’m not planning on sitting on the sidelines and watching life pass me by.”
“Use me, Lord! I want a stronger marriage and to make a difference in the lives around me.”
I needed support and finally, began meeting with my mentor on a more regular basis.
It wasn’t easy, but I learned from her that I didn’t have to do life alone.
Mentoring isn’t just a checklist or formula, it’s a relationship.
My Mentor was “Jesus with skin on” guiding me with God’s Words and sharing her very own God stories to help me navigate this new empty nest season of life.
Instead of falling apart I started to pray and ask God to pull me together.
For more Mentoring Stories visit: http://www.jaymeleehull.com/tag/mentoring/
I am giving away a copy of my book Face to Face Mentoring!
While I was studying God’s Word to know Him more, He led me to three Scriptures that changed my life. I decided to write them on index cards to read and reread until they became my new way of thinking.
Here’s a little Marriage Secret:
Pray Scripture over your marriage and see God’s Hand renew your heart and marriage in an empty nest.
Are you struggling with the season God has you in right now? Maybe, just like me, you need God to show up in Scripture, your circumstances, and through a mentor. I know mentoring changed my life and it will change yours too!
Grab some paper and write out these Scriptures to begin a new journey with God as He speaks to your heart and uplifts your soul and spirit!
“The Bible teaches that true joy is formed in the midst of the difficult seasons of life.” Frances Chan
3. Learn and Apply these Scriptures:
1.God Holds All Things Together — Purpose
- Colossians 1:17 “ He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (NIV)
2. God Will Pick Up the Pieces — Peace
- Jeremiah 17:14 “God, pick up the pieces. Put me back together again. You are my praise!” (MSG)
3. God Put Me Together — Positive Plan
- Psalm 139:13-14 “You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because You are to be feared; all You do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart.”
I’d love to give you a copy of these scriptures to print and use as a visual reminder of God’s promises! Click Here to Download them.
“The key is understanding some basic principles that don’t just apply to any one season of life but transcend all seasons of life – not allowing our circumstances to define our outlook on life, but allowing what God’s Word says about life to define that outlook.” ~Max Lucado
Dear Lord, We need you. We can’t do life alone. Please come and comfort our hearts and souls in this difficult season of life. We are totally dependent on you for our purpose, peace, and the positive plan you have for us. Use us for your Kingdom and Glory. In Your powerful name, we pray!
Thank you Jayme! I love it when I can clearly take a next step away from an article!
You can find Jayme at http://www.jaymeleehull.com/ and be sure to enter to win a copy of her book Face to Face Mentoring
We are in a 30 day Series called Reclaiming Hope & Joy in Your Marriage
Here are a few of the Articles so Far:
Finding Joy in Being a HelpMeet to Your Husband
Perspective in Marriage: from Surviving to Thriving (Part 2)
Can You Reclaim Hope & Joy After Betrayal in Marriage?
The Unexpected Path to Happiness in Marriage
3 Ways to Stand Firm in the Battle for Your Marriage
7 Practical Ways to Reclaim Hope and Joy in Your Marriage
How to Restore Honor Back in Your Marriage
Reclaim True Hope for the Hurting Wife
Keep up with all the posts on the Main Biblical Wifehood Page or Get them direct to your Inbox and read them when you have time
And Don’t forget to Enter the Ultimate Reclaiming Hope & Joy in Your Marriage Giveaway!