To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1
I am an empty nester, and I love it. It wasn’t that I was anxious to get my two little birds out of the nest. It was just that when the time came – I discovered that this is also a good season of life. I love the young women our daughters are, and I also enjoy having my husband to myself.
But, I became an empty nester sooner than my plans would have allowed, far sooner than I would have expected when we first started our family.
We had hoped to have three to five children. I was thankful to be marrying a godly man who wanted to have several children. Randy and I knew it was ultimately in God’s hands what size our family would grow to, but as we discussed our plans in those early years, we both hoped to have at least three to five children.
We do have five children. We have two here, and three in heaven waiting for us. I had two miscarriages and one precious newborn baby girl who only lived on this earth for two very short days.
So, my cozy nest was never as full as I had hoped it would be. I thought there would be many more years of little ones underfoot, and to make our family fill up more chairs around the table, more little ones and growing ones to love and to cherish.
But God had other plans. I don’t know why, but I know Him. And I rest safe and secure and loved in knowing Him and knowing He is a sovereign God.
I also recognize and know that I am blessed beyond measure in all I have been given, and when my empty nest years came sooner than I thought they would – I found that my life is full, so very full. God fills me up! In whatever season of life I am in, He fills me up.
God gave us His strength and comfort to heal from our loss, and grace to accept that His plans for our lives and for our family were not the ones Randy and I discussed early in our marriage. We learned that in accepting His will for our lives we were also graced with peace and joy to embrace what we had been given.
Yes, the empty nest years came sooner than I anticipated, and the rhythm of life greatly changed upon the departure of both daughters as they went off to college and built their own lives. They are thriving in the new season of their lives, and my husband and I are thriving in this new season of our lives.
Life is full of changing seasons. Yet, through life’s changing seasons, I have found there is one thing that will never change. I can and I will trust God with it all and through it all!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6
Kathy Cheek is a freelance writer with articles appearing in various Christian publications including Journey and Mature Living magazines. She also contributes to several online ministry sites. You can read her devotions on her site In Quiet Places at kathycheek.com. She and her husband live in Dallas, Texas and have two grown daughters who also reside in the Dallas area.