An Empty Nest

by Penny Van Wyhe

Empty Nest Syndrome is defined as a transitional period in life that highlights loneliness and loss. It is a real phenomenon and one that I have been feeling lately, wondering if anyone else is experiencing it.  It’s definitely a loss when one has protected and nurtured a young one only to have them “leave the nest”.  

The nest is typically a place of security, comfort, camaraderie and sometimes chaos; but it’s “our” chaos.  It’s a place to talk, laugh, cry, share, and sometimes scream, but it’s ours. We get so used to our own routines and ways that sometimes we even forget to respect each other’s privacy.  Sometimes we get in each other’s way or interfere in each other’s lives, yet somehow we come back together and find the comfort and care again. We find a way to intersect at almost any time, but especially at the most crucial times.

I’ve been experiencing this phenomenon, knowing it is temporary, but feeling the loss.  I do know that God is in the midst of it all, but sometimes I just can’t feel His presence.  I know He is there, but I just can’t find Him. And I’m missing the chaos of my nest. I want those who are missing to be near me.  I want to feel needed again. I want to nurture them and feed them and protect them. Then I remember this:  

Consider the ravens; they do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds. Luke 12:24

I quickly remember that God is in the midst of it all.  I know that He is the one who provides, nurtures, protects and feeds.  He is our security, comfort, and always with us. Luke’s gospel reminds us of this very fact.  What a promise! I am quickly reminded that when my empty nest is making me feel empty I need to turn to the one who filled it.  I need to trust Him with those who are not in my presence, and know they are in His. It’s then that I can praise him for being Lord of all.  My prayer becomes... 

Jesus, I surrender all to you.  I give you those I love and trust them to your care and provision.  I pray that you will keep them safe from harm. I pray also that you will fill me when I feel the emptiness most.  Amen.