I started this blog as part of the transition I am making from a full time homeschool mother to an empty nester. I homeschooled for 21 years and continued to be the Director of a homeschool co-op for an additional three years. I feel that I actually became an empty nester the end of May when I resigned from directing the co-op, hence the name of the blog, “Two Birds Flew the Coop.” I’ve been thinking about the kids this morning and decided to share a little of the emotion involved when your kids leave.
God gave my husband and I the job of nurturing and guiding two of the most amazing people on the planet and we are now in a different phase. Our nest was full to overflowing for 21 years and then it began to gradually empty.
I always enjoyed having my kids around. I homeschooled both of the kids from pre- school through high school and enjoyed that season of life. I remember asking someone whose last child left how it was and she paused, then said it was good and when it’s time for the kids to leave , then it is time.
My son graduated from high school in May 2010 and decided to attend the Honor Academy in Garden Valley, TX, about 5 1/2 hours away in August 2010. The last Wednesday night before he left, his Youth Group was doing a farewell service for all the Seniors and Keary and I decided to go. Jeremy was playing his guitar in the Youth Band one last time and we wanted to see him. They called the seniors up for prayer and our Youth Pastor sent word for Keary and I to come up and pray with Jeremy and as we walked up to the front, I lost it. I did not cry quiet tears, I sobbed, loud, hard, snotty, wet buckets of tears. Thank God for the music in the background because it was not a pretty sight. Actually when I cried, all the girls in the Youth Group started crying. This was not my finest moment. I know my husband thought I had lost my mind, And most importantly, thank God that Jeremy was praying hard and did not see the spectacle that I made of myself.
I was an absolute mess the week leading up to Jeremy leaving. When we brought Jeremy to the Honor Academy, we attended a farewell chapel service and I started with the hard snotty sobbing during praise and worship, yes blubbering like a spoiled child, not because God is an awesome God and I love him but because I was going to miss Jeremy. And at that moment, God told me in that still small voice that this was not about me and I needed to get over myself and let Jeremy live his life. OUCH, that hurt! But it was good correction that I needed. I dried my tears and KNEW that this was the right thing. At that moment, God gave me a peace that passes understanding. It was “well with my soul.” And three years later, he is still with the ministry traveling with their Acquire the Fire band playing electric guitar.
My daughter had been in and out of the house since 2007. She participated in numerous short term missions trips, would be gone anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months and that was ok because it was not permanent. She also attended college about 45 minutes from our house, lived on campus during the week and was home most weekends. Actually she attended our church the entire time and it was like she still lived here.
Jana moved to Burundi, Africa on Dec. 28, 2012 and it was hard but it was” well with my soul” because I knew it was what God had created her to do. She was home this summer for 6 weeks. It was great but when she left, I knew it was time for her to return and Burundi is her home. She will not be home until May and God has given me a peace. Her birthday is next week and this will be the first time I haven’t seen her for that but “it is well with my soul. ” She will not be home for Thanksgiving nor Christmas and” it is well with my soul.”
As I write this, tears are streaming down my face, tears of joy. Both of my kids are doing what God created them to do. They are living their dreams and God gave my husband and I the privilege of guiding them to this point. We are still their parents, offer advice when they need it (sometime it is now welcomed but I’m the mom and that’s my prerogative.) There are time that I miss them terribly but it is “well with my soul.”
The above picture was taken right before my daughter left for Africa.