I sat in my favorite chair, nursing cups of coffee in my “mid-life mom” grief. Wandered around the house, peering aimlessly out windows. Watched football for hours (I don’t even like football). You see, I found myself in the midst of hanging up my active-mama hat and exchanging it for the “we’ll call you when we need you” hat.
I didn’t realize exactly how hard that would be as a mom of four, with only one left in the nest.
When the oldest married a few years prior it wasn’t too awfully bad because I still had three left.
But then, the two middles departed at once. For two different colleges in two different states.
And my life felt empty and less-than.
I adored my at-home girl. But she was gaining independence also.
Such an unexpected paradox of emotions waged war within me!
Excitement for my kids, embarking on their journey of new life experiences.
But ill-prepared for the desolate wasteland called my soul.
The feeling became all-encompassing. A heaviness I didn’t expect enveloped my spirit like a fog engulfing mountainous terrain.
Emptied of life as I knew it – what more was there?
My life goal achieved – to be a mother – swooshed out the window and I found myself at a loss.
Hope for the mid-life mom
Before I formed you in the womb,
I knew you.
And before you were born,
I consecrated you” ~Jeremiah 1:5a,b
“But I thought my purpose was mothering? What else is there?”
I cried to the Maker.
And He showed me.
He directed my paths to the world of writing, encouraging other moms.
That was my purpose.
I had been here before. So scared, not sure.
But, in my loss, I said, “Yes.”
In the past year, since I answered that call, God introduced me to a whole new family.
A strong, Biblical blogging community.
New purposes and avenues of encouragement to others.
Moms dealing with this same loss.
Just last week, I learned of another mother entering the empty nest.
She took her life, because she felt she had none left.
“Oh God, let me be a light to these dear mamas who think their lives are over too!”
Purpose for the mid-life mom
And He breathed in me, as it were, the breath of life anew.
A new purpose, a new goal.
Always in the role of mom I’ve learned…
That they still need me – they will always need me.
Long conversations with my normally private son – pouring out his life plan, expressing passion for lost souls.
A daughter, seeking her place beyond college (there’s a boyfriend) yet reassuring me, “I’m so proud of you – encouraging other moms to keep on – you’re my hero and I want to be just like you!”
My oldest, affirming, “Mom, I don’t know what I’d do without you. You’re a great Gigi and I’m so thankful for your influence in my life.”
And that baby still home in the nest? The self-sufficient-since-she-was-three, always knowing her mind girl? She’s still seeking me out for walks, games, or discussing life over coffee.
Once a mom – always a mom!
But others also need me now.
Exhortation for the mid-life mom
Oh dear mother, you think you’re losing your whole world – hear me true!
God has big plans for you!
As long as you are on this earth, He’s not done with you yet!
Seek, and you shall find – knock and it shall be opened unto you!
God sees you, dear one!
For in the seeking, you will gain life, sustenance, joy and peace with God’s holy direction!
How precious are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with You. ~Psalm 139:17-18
Run and reach forth to the things that are ahead!
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus ~Philippians 3:14
The past is full of precious memories. But the future holds both promise and purpose.
Lean hard into Christ, and practice a forward motion. In the moving, He will make your paths clear!