Being I got married when I did and am starting to experience empty nest at the age of thirty-something, the next step of being, once again, without kids in the home is not one of hesitation, pessimism, or reluctance. Rather it is met with excitement and hope. (Not that I have not enjoyed a full nest.)
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5 ESV)It will be, in essence, a new beginning if you will. A second chance at an opportunity I passed up when I was immature and naïve...when I was too short sighted to see anything beyond the tip of my nose...when I was undisciplined.
The first time I attended a university, I was on my own with no life experience. (I wish there was a way to give our children a bit of that before they try to "fly solo".) I was unfamiliar with the ways of the "worldly". I stepped from the safety and familiarity of being a "little church girl" into the chaos of finding my own way. I was not very wise and did not have much "street smarts". I trusted people easily, was a terrible judge of character, and more or less "went along with the flow" instead of staying focused on what was important.
This time around, I come with an arsenal of common sense, practicality, understanding, exposure, and seasoning! I have a lot under my belt, now, and a better handle on things. All of which keep me from being hindered or thwarted when it comes to my goals.
But, if it is the will of God and not my own! Pastor John Piper states the following regarding the "empty nest" season,
Everybody in our culture knows the meaning of the term empty-nester. Behind it is the assumption that one of the meanings of marriage is to be a nest for the younger birds until they can fly and find their own worms and build their own nests. And if we are Christians, we say that the very essence of that nest is the flesh-and-blood drama created by a husband and a wife living and showing and teaching the covenant-love between Christ and his church. That activity is the essence of the nest. (By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org.)
Okay, so I still have a good number of years before I am completely and officially an "empty nester" but I am preparing now...getting my ducks in a row. And, above all, trusting in God.