My children are all grown. This vicious truth seemed impossible a few years ago. I was riddled with emptiness and bound by fear in a lost identity. Having been a mom longer than most, I didn’t know how to be who I needed to be post raising kids.
I poured so much of who I was into my family, that when the last one stepped into adulthood, I was an empty shell. This is a problem for many. We hear the term empty nest, relating to the home; however, the more prominent issue is the empty soul — a feeling of loss and uncertainty that leaves physical pain within.
It was then I decided to write with a bit more intention. I love the art of storytelling. With a life story with the possibilities of a Lifetime movie, sharing my journey comes easy. My words flow in pure authenticity because it is authentic.
In writing, I found a stronger version of myself with each word. I saw past the surface of a situation and embraced the more profound truth. Life doesn’t have to break us. We can reassemble the broken pieces over time. The cracks that remain are secret places where we carry the pains and burdens of our hearts. I can run my finger along the crooked edges and feel the seam of tender memories, but I don’t have to stay in pain. If you hold yourself up to the light, you find a magnificent new creation.
What have I discovered in near 50 years of living? I know perfection doesn’t exist, and reality is a beautiful compilation of imperfections. The mystery of completeness is never known. People do not complete our peace; possessions leave us wanting more. Jesus is the answer, and while I know this, that inner longing to be with Him and not in this world nags. The promise of wholeness is like a mirage I never achieve.
There are lessons in the mission. We are obligated to fill our hearts and minds with the message of Christ. Our longing for more is satisfied with the urgent desire to share the gift of salvation with others. I hear the gentle whisper, “It’s not your time to come home. Go, and do the work I called you to do.”
When all I want is eternity and to finally be free, I have to find my purpose and existence in less. I have to take this empty shell, and fill it with a new beginning, new hope, new memories. I will refill and pour myself out again. After that, I will repeat the process. I get it now. Life is a constant flow of energy. We breathe in God’s love, and we pass it on to others. The endless waterfall is fueled by Him and not by us.
When we believe we are at a crossroads, God himself directs our path. It was never about turning right or left; it was about the pause and the refueling necessary for the next turn in the pilgrimage home. We don’t have to choose a direction if we allow Him to lead.