During these last few months, I have been on quite a learning curve. If I’m honest, I have to say I recommend a mid-life plot twist and I don’t! It’ll be the ride of your life!
Just imagine going back to graduation—high school or college—just as a young whipper snapper. With all sorts of possibilities and the world as your oyster, you look with anticipation toward all your options. That is where we are. And it is breathtakingly beautiful and scary–all at the same time!
I remember a couple of years back being envious of my oldest as he was setting off for his first year at university. So much youthful excitement and a no holds barred approach–I was envious.
I was so excited for him and all the unscripted future had for him. I remembered what it was like to have your whole life ahead of you. So much hope and promise. So much anticipation to follow new paths and dreams!
And, now, here I am. I am ready.
I have spent 25 years of ministry serving as a pastor’s wife. I use to tell my Love, I love being his wife, no doubt about that. Just maybe not a “pastor’s wife” sometimes. I learned much and gave everything I had. The role comes with difficult tasks. With some cool opportunities and blessings thrown in along the way, too. Now, though, I am ready to do new things…serve in a different way.
Our new beginning is before us.
Given to us as a gift.
Staring into the sunshine, the road is wide open in front of us.
Only this time I have three world-changers in tow. This road we chose over 25 years ago, has presented them with many unique challenges and opportunities. Each child has processed and walked them out differently.
As I sit and look at the bright and shining future, we have these amazing kids to guide and shepherd. This time around, it is not a solitary journey or private decision to be made. Change is hard for even the strongest of us. I have no doubt God has a beautiful future for each in my tribe. We just have to guide them into this bright new future.
That was the word God gave me for this season with my babies (they will always be my babies. can we just agree to let me call them that? just humor me!) Even with all the excitement of a bright future the transitioning has been challenging. More so for some than others. Loss is hard. But God is greater.
My Love and I must shepherd our children well through this transition.
We have a responsibility to guide our children through the shadows. Through the tears. The goal is to get EVERYONE to the other side. I told my youngest Little,
“In this family, we are all for one, and one for all”.
We stop and sit with, pick up and carry, hold the hand, give love and receive love. We shepherd our children through the pain of rejection, loss, betrayal, and disappointment.
No one will be left behind.
I have always hated the pre-flight airline spiel about putting your own mask on first and then your children’s. I understand the logic and know it is best. But, my overly compassionate self screams, “I will put their’s on first, thank you very much!” But, that doesn’t really make sense, does it?
So, I have decided I am in a similar spot in my life. It is time for me to get my oxygen mask on first and then I can administer life breath to them.
These world-changers deserve the very best I can give them.
There is wisdom to give and hope to share. There are dreams to help them dream. There is a future brighter than anything of the past. Even with all the beauty we did experience, there is more to be had.
I need something to give to them. So, here is what I am going to do to strengthen myself.
- Exercise and build physical strength.
- Write…which is following my own dream.
- Give creative Bible journaling a try.
- Attend weekly worship at a safe and loving church.
- Read for enjoyment and growth.
- Stay accountable to wisdom.
There it is.
I have been busy working hard to keep my family between the ditches…putting out fires, battling fears and wiping tears. Because, sometimes life just hurts. All of that is incredibly important.
But, now it is time for me to get out of that defensive position and into the intentional, offensive position.
Now, here is the next important piece of the puzzle.
My Love is leading spiritually intentional and strategic discussions during dinner on Wednesday evenings.
With a preteen and a teenager in the house, it can’t get too serious or stifling. But, God gave this idea as the perfect way for us to shepherded them. Like most moms, I do much of the crisis management throughout the days; one of Dad’s roles is to give purposeful direction. They need his voice and strength cloaked in velvet.
We will not allow the negative to win. We will not leave anyone behind. We have bright future days. I will not live on the defensive, but work from a place of intention and strength. For what the enemy means for destruction, God transforms into beauty. He will shepherd us. We only need to cooperate.