As I watched the young robin my thoughts trailed back many years ago when I was young. A robin nest fell from a tree in the back yard and two or three aqua blue eggs were inside. One egg succumbs to the impact, but two remained intact. We placed the nest back on a lower level tree branch with hopes the momma would come back and care for the survivors. Each day I would sneak a peek to see if they had hatched. It was a slow process, but one day, to my surprise there were baby birds instead of the beautiful blue eggs.
I was way more interested then my brother at watching the daily growth of the birds. Momma would cuddle and keep them warm, go to get food to feed them and nestle down often to protect them from predators. As they grew the space in the nest was getting quite tight. You could hear the young robins squawking for their food and then see momma deliver larger orders of food. As time passed you’d notice the young birds getting ready to try and fly, mostly sitting on the edge of the nest. But, it wasn’t long before they took their inaugural flight and made their landing in the soft grass below. Mom seemed to be sitting off observing her youngsters, encouraging them with loud chirps, saying “you can do it!”
Many days had passed and the nest was empty more than full. The birds were off working to find food for themselves and investigating their surroundings. It was getting harder to distinguish the difference between mom and the youngsters. The young ones didn’t seem to use the nest much and were off figuring out how to collect twigs and branches to make their own nest.
This story reminded me of the phase of life many of us are in, have been or will be in. The empty nest stage with our children.
Our last son, has graduated high school, secured a full-time job and is trying to spread his wings to be on his own. It is a fact of life for anyone with children, that we focus all our time on our children to provide for them, teach them to walk in God’s way, emphasize living skills and do’s and do not’s of life. And then, in what seems like a snap of your fingers, they are off on their own to start their own lives and eventually going through this same process themselves.
This stage is referred to as the “empty nest” phase of life. When your children are leaving home and you are left with yourself and your spouse. There are two ways it seems most people handle it – Good or Not So Good! Simply said. It seems to be a problem for some of us. The transition is a challenge. For most of us, the goal is to move through it smoothly without harming ourselves, our children or our spouse.
I believe the best way to move through this stage is to focus on God and his Word. It is a must to turn to God in this time of upheaval. Our emotions can get the best of us if we let them, thinking of all the what if’s and what now’s. It can drive a person to crazy thoughts. Trusting is the driving theme, to believe God has our children in his arms and will lead them to where He wants them to be.
In my quiet time with God I was reminded of a few verses that affirm to me this time is natural and one we have prepared for. A time when I must remain stable in my thoughts and prayer life. The verses say it well for me……
Proverbs 22:6 (NCV) 6 Train children to live the right way, and when they are old, they will not stray from it.
Ephesians 5:31 (NIV) 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
God teaches us to raise our children in the right way so they will follow him and remember they will find a mate and start a family of their own. It is simple if we let it be, yet it is hard to live out.
A goal of mine through this transition time is to enjoy the journey and each day I can see them grow into wonderful adults. Then I’ve done my job well. Even if they hit a few snags along the way. Always repeating to myself, “it’s ALL GOOD, it’s in God’s hands!”