When Your Nest Empties

by Calvin and Lisa Wulf

"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things" (Matt. 25:21 NIV ).

"Terrific graduation party, honey," he said, whisking the cake back to the kitchen.

"Yeah, but I just feel so sad," she sighed as she picked up the plates. "Like nobody needs me anymore."

"Aren't you glad to finally be free?"

Calvin and Lisa Wulf"Sure, but I feel lost. What do I do now? It seems like my life is over."

This scene comes all too soon for parents. We've given our lives to raising our kids. We love having them around and we even like their friends. Then suddenly they're gone. They leave an empty bedroom. An unoccupied bathroom. A silent phone. More than that, they leave a real hole in our lives. Do we still have a purpose?

If we are truly honest, we'll admit that our children are guests in our homes only for a season. They're not our property; they belong to God. He has a destiny for each one. If we hold on too long, we could be blocking His eternal purpose. Even the mother of our Lord had to release her son.

So what now? Well, God has a plan for your life, too. It includes parenting, but if we make that our only purpose, we're missing out on God's greater plan. When the parenting season is over, look for His fresh direction. You are more than a mom or dad to God.

This is a bittersweet time for many parents. Letting go is always hard. Consider these suggestions to help your transition:

You are truly facing a loss. Allow yourself to grieve.

Share your hopes and fears with family and friends who understand. Rest in God. Allow the Lord to guide you to your new purpose.

Down inside we know that we aren't really losing them. Our relationships are just changing. Your experience as a parent prepares you for His next step. Go deeper, trust God, and stay open for your new assignment. He isn't finished with you yet.

Lighten the Load is distributed by Joshua Faith Ministries.

© 2000 Calvin R. Wulf and Lisa Aré Wulf