I am an empty nester for the second time.
The first time was when Keturah moved into her own place after college.
To be honest with you I am not sure how I thought I would feel after the big day, but I can say that the year passed quickly. And let’s not talk about the last two months. There were times when I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I can only imagine the emotions that were stirred in Keturah’s heart.
Can we talk about the people who approached me and asked “What will you do now”? First of all, she got married, she did not move to “Zimbabwe”. These are not my words but this was the analogy from the bride to be. I searched my heart many times this past year and there was no room for sadness because this is what I prayed for.
Being the parent of an only child placed a burden on my heart that all parents should carry.
Lord, bless Keturah with a husband, not just any man, but a man that will love her like Christ loved the church. A man that would give his all to ensure that she is safe after I am long gone to be with you. I believe I have said this more then once… I didn’t wait until she was an adult before I started to believe God for specific things to happen in her life.
At conception, I prayed
Pre-school, I prayed
Elementary, middle, and high school kept me on my knees; not that she was a rebellious kid, but I knew the pit falls that the world could hold.
College, was the time to see if everything I poured into her would stick.
Remember, that scene in the “Color Purple” when Mister cooked Shug Avery a horrible breakfast and she threw it against the wall? Next, Celie cooked Shug a wonderful breakfast, but didn’t know how Shug would respond, and Celie said, “I’m gonna wait to see what the wall say”. As parents, that is what we have to do, we equip them, and then wait and watch.
Now my little girl is married.
If I didn’t learn anything else from this journey, I learned that I couldn’t love her selfishly. I had to let her be her own person even when my heart said “hold on”.
Can I say this?
It has been a honor and privilege being her mother. I am absolutely sure I would not be the same person if God had not chosen me to care for. Loving her changed my heart. It grew me up in the Lord. It helped me to see how much God truly loves me. I have been asked time and time again what I did. My answer has always been “I raised her right by accident”. But then a light came on. It was no accident. I prayed each day and asked God to show me what was best for her. He spoke to my heart, and I followed his instruction. She is my testimony. One day when we were driving home and I told her “If anyone deserves a “fairy tale” wedding, you do. Truly, I can’t think of anyone more deserving.
What did I think about this past year?
I thought about the day she was born and when she would hear my voice and lift her tiny little head to find me.
Her chubby cheeks and big eyes.
The way I loved to see her run into school and watch her little red polka dot skirt swish.
The day she asked me “Mom, why don’t we go to church like we use too?” (See, sometimes we can get so busy making a living, we fail to give God some of our time).
The middle school years when she had to stand up and be the person she wanted to be, verses doing what everyone else was doing. The awkward years that I believe every young girl experiences.
What was I thinking standing at her side on her wedding day? How blessed I was to be a part of the entire journey. I heard somewhere “If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans”. I think it was Madea; that made me chuckle. Our plan was that Luci would be standing by her side, but God knew that little Henry would need his mother. How fitting that two mothers were standing by their child for different reasons.
What did I see in her?
A joy that only God could place in her heart. I believe we all know the difference between joy and happiness. Just in case you don’t know. Happiness is based on what is happening around you. As the flower girls cried, that joy was there. When her dress was stepped on and we heard a tear, that joy was there. Even when the 2nd part of the sand ceremony was skipped, she laughed and I saw “joy”.
God is so awesome. He prepared us for this season. We have talked a lot about trust and having faith in God this year. I still don’t know all the answers. Yet, at the end of the day, I know God is faithful.
There is no reason for me to cry, only reasons to give God praise.