“This I learned from the shadow of the tree, your shadowself (influence), will fall where you can never be.” (Author Unknown)
You always hope as a parent that when your children are away from you, they are remembering the lessons you’ve tried to teach them while they were growing up. You pray that they will make good choices and not post pictures on Facebook when they’re making poor choices…just sayin’ 😦
You pray that they will follow hard after God, not because we tell them to, but because they have seen Him work in their own lives and they know He is faithful. You want them to find their own way with God. They need to experience Him all on their own!
It’s a tough go for many of these “fledglings” leaving the nest. Having to make their own way, making their own decisions, trying to find a balance between wanting to hang out with friends until the wee hours (because they don’t have the same parental curfews anymore), and then having the sustained stamina to get up for classes or work the next day. They must learn how to eat well and not subsist on fast food. They have to learn how to budget, pay bills and still have money to go to the movies once in a while. They have to discover which friends build them up, and which friends drag them down and they must be willing to let go of all those past and future relationships that are not healthy or God-honouring. Yep, it’s a brave new world for those young people.
Week Five of being an Empty Nester has not been so much about my husband and I being alone in the house and discovering life just the two of us, but it has been primarily about spending concerted, directed prayer beseeching the Father to intervene in the lives of our children more than we’ve ever done in our lives. We have prayed since their birth that they would seek out and serve God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength and love Him with all their heart. We have prayed that they would find good friends who would journey with them through life, with mutual respect and admiration; friends who would love them even when they were at times unloveable.
We have prayed for their future spouses. Prayed that our children would find Godly partners one day; for our daughters that their future husbands would be willing and able to provide the spiritual leadership within the home and for our son, that his wife would be a “Prov. 31” woman with a tenderness towards God, our son and to their future children. We have prayed especially that our children would stay pure and understand fully that “true love does wait”.
This week, each of my children have struggled or had a challenge to overcome in some way and they have sought us out either to rant, complain, ask advice, or just to talk. I have worn many hats this week: nurse, teacher, doctor, lawyer, counsellor…but mostly a prayer warrior standing in the gap for each of my children.
God is in control. Amen.