Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricane Ike stopped by our house Sunday night, yes, all the way up here in New York. He pruned our trees for us, dead little branches and leaves over a couple acres and probably 130 pine cones down from our two pines. Thousands of homes lost power, but ours remained. He also lowered our temperatures by twenty degrees.

Small stuff. I can spend a couple days picking up debris. But Ike earned my respect, for this was only a remnant and he'd had thousands of miles over which to lose his strength.

I have a friend with just one child left in her nest and she's struggling, wanting her family back, especially since her husband left the nest, too, a few years ago (though technically, she does not want him back). I give her advice, encourage her to create an exciting life for herself, fill her days and time with new adventures and new friends. A new 'family', if you will. But even with my words and my own experiences, still she must find her own way and go through the pain of letting children grow up. There aren't many things in Life harder than facing that pain, letting it wash over you, rather than avoiding it, only to feel it slap you around eventually.

Some things we just must walk through. And Heaven help you if you walk through them alone.

All these changes in our Country! Biblical-scale prophecy all coming about in, like, two weeks it seems. But we were warned a couple thousand years ago of all this in pages and pages of the Bible. Rather like my friend who was warned probably by all her relatives that her three children would grow up someday and fly. After all, that's what parenting is vastly all about.

But when the changes happen our mind reels backward (mine did) and recalls--mainly--the dearest times of parenting. The harmonious, sunny days when everyone got along and Life felt like a picnic. When facing the empty nest, the stormy, hard, uncomfortable times mysteriously are forgotten.

But I have found that a whole, different life once past the pain of letting go, can be Amazing. Amazing! Because for some of us that's what it takes to finally cling to the only unchangeable One in the universe. An empty nest is often the link to the relationship with the One who will never change... never get mad and not speak to us.. and never fly away.

It's the pain of an empty nest (or an empty bank account or a destroyed home) which can push us into the path of seeking Him who, yes, we should have sought much sooner, especially in a deeper, more intimate way. But isn't it astounding that He can stand in the path's middle for years and years, with an open hand, waiting for us? Waiting to continue our Life's journey with us, making it more incredible than we ever imagined it could be. Even with no small children... even with less money or less house or tweaked circumstances--things we once believed we'd die without should they ever be there no more.

My kitchen is above again because this weekend I hung the red shelf on the wall to the right. Just had to show you. :)


Anonymous said...

Hello Debra,
Stopping by to say hello. It's been too long as usual to finally come visiting my favorite bloggers. I love reading your lovely posts so full of insight and wisdom. I enjoy reading from other women who have already been where I will soon be. Time really does go by so fast and it's nice to hear how others may go through things before us, for example, the empty nest thing. It's true, my youngest is only 3 but my oldest is going to be 14 in January. I sometimes wonder how I'll feel when he leaves home. I wonder if I'll ever be prepared when my babies start leaving me one by one.
Anyway, take care Debra. Has you hubby got his tractor yet?;)

Patty H. said...

I enjoyed reading this post. We are getting closer to the empty nester yrs. I often wonder how things are going to be here in the home when it's just hubby and I.
When my daughter left for college 4 yrs ago, I realized I depended on her too much. So, it was really a good thing for me. I've grown up a bit since she left. I miss her terribly tho. My son will be 18 in Jan. So, a part of me is looking forward to the yrs to come but yet I'm a bit anxious about the unknown. But then again, God is waiting for me to take His hand so He can guide me thru those yrs, making it "more incredible than I can ever imagine it could be".
Holding onto God's promise that He has plans for me, plans for good and not for evil, to give me a future and a hope.
Patty H.

Anonymous said...

Good post, Debra. Well put.

When a child becomes an adult things do change. Ours have left our home at different ages and thankfully the youngest is yet with us. We have learned that you never really know how things will be until your child marries. With our older 2, frankly we raised them for other families (in-law families)...or so it has been this last decade and more. You do adjust. Our FATHER is so merciful to turn our grief into a "distant grief"...my name for it. Yes, you recognize that it is grief, but you go on and make the best life you can. There is no warfare going on, really never has been...but somehow we are basically just not part of their lives. We do think things will be different with our youngest, but yet one can never truly know until they marry as to what will occur. I do think our older 2 miss us, but they like to please OTHERS more...and know we will love them regardless. One day they will maybe wake up...but I rather think we will be gone by then. But the FATHER never leaves us comfortless. Life can be stranger than fiction...the main person who has called us and kept in contact all these years is the chum my son had growing up. "Our other son" I call him. An unexpected blessing. I so often think of Elizabeth Elliot's writing that we must not let the "not-given" spoil the "given"...so very true!!