The spotlight has moved on. Mike & I and our two boys used to be at the center of everyone’s attention……especially at Church

We were part of that vital segment of society called young family; we were important.  Only thing is, we didn’t realize it at the time.

I wasn’t aware how much a sense of identity and belonging I enjoyed & derived from that role.

To be honest, do we ever TAKE time to process and evaluate when we’re in the midst of dancing from one school/sport/music/XYZ activity to another?   On the surface, as one mom to another, we might have shared common complaints, but it was from a place of feeling VITAL and NEEDED.

For the most part, Mike and I have adapted well to the “Empty Nest”.  We work our jobs and we look forward to nesting in the evenings, sharing dinner and conversation.  We rejoice when we talk to and visit with our kids and grandkids.  But they live plane-rides away. We find ourselves now at the margins of their lives, when before we shared center-stage with them.  Apparently that is normal, but it does take some mental & emotional adjustment. And a going back to God’s Word to gain our new bearings.

Mike read the other day that parents always love their kids more than their kids love them.   Ouch! Guess I didn’t think how my parents felt when Mike and I struck off on our own.  How did THEY feel when ‘Act II’ opened for them?

I must have missed the Entre’Act – that segué when the stage-hands physically create a new scene.  So last weekend was revelatory to me.  Loud and clear, came the news that cameras were rolling for this next Act in my life.

I participated in the PCC Women’s retreat 9-10 February.  (PCC is the church which houses my school – I’ve enjoyed taking part in about 4 of their retreats in past years.  I know some of the gals and they are a friendly group, willing to take in a non-member).  What struck me this year was how, at age 55 with adult children no longer living in the area and grandkids that we see only occasionally, my roles have changed.

I am now one of those OTHER women!  You know that group; the older gals who are supposed to guide and instruct the younger women?  My job description got updated and I didn’t see it coming!  My gifting, bequeathed to me upon my arrival at the shores of menopause,  is to be interested in/ help out/ listen well to the ‘younger moms’ who are right in the thick of life with little kids and husbands, etc.

I guess I felt envious. (Forgive me, Father!) And I wasn’t anticipating this insight.

The couple of days that followed the retreat were difficult. Tears & emotions that burbled out all over my surprised husband came from not having accurately articulated to myself some newly discovered truths.  (Preach the Gospel to yourself daily!)

But thanks be to God, Gospel truth for this new job description has begun to sink in and guide me as I study how to “Abide in Christ”.  Too slowly obviously, ( but forward, nonetheless!) I am making baby steps and learning the lines for my new role.

Picture a triangle with “Abiding in Christ” safely in the middle.  Security-Identity- Belonging are the 3 corners.  If you are a new creation because you have been divinely and spiritually seeded by the 3rd member of the God-head, then you are safe in the Triune Refuge.  The key is to do life from THAT position..and not to wander outside looking to create one’s OWN identity and purpose.

I’m going to have to get used to my new role. Meanwhile, in the midst of dabbling in self-pity this week, I was reminded of a profound truth, one that CS Lewis has articulated –

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

I take that to mean that if we have a longing that leaves us with an empty ache, then surely satisfaction is coming.  Knowing that, I can wait for that sure, yet future, GLORIOUS fulfillment by God in heaven.  One day, I WILL rest secure at the center of love and belonging-ness with family, but in a way that is tailor-made for me.

So even though, in THIS life under the Sun, Mike and I are on the tailing end, the best, the INFINITE best is yet to come.

As Robert Browning penned in Rabbi Ben Ezra:


Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made:

Our times are in His hand

Who saith “A whole I planned,

Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”


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