September is always a time of new beginnings at my house. A new school year, the start of new projects, the first talk of planning for upcoming holidays and winter travel. But the first week of September this year brought so many changes for our family that my world looks entirely different than it did just five days ago.
First, we celebrated the wedding of my oldest son and my new daughter-in-law who are now off on a two-week honeymoon before returning to settle into their new apartment. Then I dropped off my daughter at the airport and watched as she walked toward the flight that would take her back to her dream job in New York City. And this morning at 7:30 a.m., I stood in the driveway and waved goodbye to my youngest son as he drove away toward his second year at college.
I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t shed a few tears as I walked back into my very quiet house and surveyed my only remaining roommates: two dogs and a cat.
But it didn’t take long before I sensed a stirring of excitement over this new beginning.
It’s true I’m entering into this season of “empty nesting” as a single woman. And I could fall for all of the sad stories that circulate about how lonely it is to live alone. Or how impossible it is for someone of a certain age to find love again. Oh, there are plenty of reasons to believe that this season of my life might not be burgeoning with gladness.
But I find myself feeling more like a girl than I have in years. Filled with hope for the future. Tingly with anticipation over what adventures might await me. Because this time, I’m waiting patiently for God to show me what He wants my life to look like instead of barging ahead with my own plan.
You see, when I was young and single, I had definite ideas about what I wanted for my life. And I didn’t listen to anyone who suggested I take some time to become who God created me to be. Without waiting, I jumped into constructing the me I believed I needed to be. I was a determined young woman intent on manifesting my vision of a perfect life. And I didn’t leave much room for God to work.
This time, I’m doing things differently.
I once read a book called The History of Love by Nicole Krauss that beautifully depicted the experience of waiting with blank pages. Blank pages, right in the middle of the book. So the reader could feel the quiet, uninterrupted time the main character spent waiting. I’m tempted to leave a blank space here in the middle of this message so you can feel what I’m feeling. But I’m afraid some of you might stop reading and miss the best part. So I’ll just say it.
My new life feels like a beautiful blank page, right here in the middle, where anything might happen.
And this time, I’m keeping my eyes wide open for the opportunities God will place in my path. Instead of rushing off to find my own way, I’m listening for His guidance and waiting for His call. Trusting Him with my future and finding joy in the stillness.
The God who has loved me all along is once again welcoming me into a fresh start. A new beginning and a whole new story.
Are you in a new season of waiting on the Lord? How are you learning to trust Him with your plans, dreams, and future? What joys are you discovering while you wait?
Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)