With tear filled eyes we stood in our son’s bedroom and I found that my feet were unable to move. My husband looked at me and then turned to our son and said, “I think you mom needs a hug.” Leaving his room took on so much meaning to me in that moment. If I walked out, it meant this is real, this is permanent and there is no going back. Most of my son’s belongings were already packed into his truck and the items to stay were put away in boxes. We received our last minute instructions on some items left in the room and now it was time to go downstairs, yet my feet would not, could not move.
Although our son had spent four years away from us at college, we were still blessed to have him home every holiday and to spend part, if not all, of summer with him. His college was only three hours away and quite often he would come home for the weekend. However, now it was different. No longer would he be coming home at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Spring breaks. No longer would our long summer days be filled with him, his girlfriend and his friends at our home. Now, he is off to start his career, his life in the military as an officer.
My heart is warmed as I think of him pursuing his dreams, but that doesn’t change the overwhelming feeling of emotions I feel in that moment and will be feeling for days and weeks to come.
I am reminded of my teaching about the baby eagle learning to fly as his momma eagle pushes him out of the nest. I think about the process the father eagle goes through with the baby as he is teaching him to soar on the winds. These are all the things we have taught our son and now it’s time for him to build his own nest, his own life, and to follow his dreams. I know in my heart he is ready for all of this, but that doesn’t change the overwhelming feelings that are flowing through me now.
Change can be so permanent. It often means we have no ability to change, to return, or to resume to what was once so familiar. Life as we once knew it, lived it, and were comfortable with is now different. Our house seems quiet as I sit here alone writing this, but I know that this quietness is not forever. Yes, there will be times when our home is filled with our children and their families as they grow, however, in this moment, the quietness feels too quiet. The stillness feels too still.
As the stillness and the quietness envelopes me, I have a choice. Perry Noble in his book Overwhelmed said, “Change begins with a decision: to be overwhelmed or to overcome.” How do I overcome when there is so many feelings swirling around inside of me?
I start with this simple thought;
embrace the stillness, the quietness that is all around me.
Instead of “feeling” that it represents emptiness, see it as an opportunity for Christ to reveal new insights, revelations, and a freshness of His presence in and through me. Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Our children becoming adults and moving away, regardless if it’s across the United States, does not mean our lives are over. It represents a season coming to an end. Summer can’t stay here forever, as the ground needs abundant nourishment to thrive. This season of stillness, of quietness represents the shifting in us. It means we are in the fall season, the letting go season, and winter, the season of abundant nourishment, is right around the corner.
For now, I am to rest in God’s presence, in the stillness and the quietness, and to know that He is God and that is unchanging. In Psalms 46:11, just one scripture away from the one I just shared, we read, “The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.” Today as I am letting go, embracing the fall season in our lives, in my life; I choose to overcome. I choose to know that God is with me and to find refuge in Him as I rest in His presence. It’s that simple. Embracing the stillness and the quietness surrounding me and allowing God to minister to my needs as I learn another level of letting go.
Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know