I must be feeling a bit nostalgic today. I was going through pages of my journal and found something I had written a few years back. It reminded me for one that this empty-nester stuff is not all it’s cracked up to be. When my oldest son first left home, I had no idea that I would soon be joining the ranks of the divorced. I would also begin to experience a new level of loneliness I had not thought possible. Then he announced his upcoming move to another state to continue working with his company’s headquarters. I literally felt my heart being ripped from my body at the thought that I might not see him anymore except for brief periods of time. I would catch myself thinking of how much I loved this young man with whom I had a hand in raising to his manhood, and I would sigh a very long sigh. I would think of the day he was born, of his Christian upbringing in a loving but very imperfect family, and how gracious God is to forgive and watch over my son in spite of my own failures. So, I sat down and penned the following and gave it to him the day he left.
Sighs emit from nose and mouth, unbidden.
Do you know that you are the first man I did not have to grow to love?
It was love at first sight. You were safe in your father’s arms when I met you.
Today I gave you back to your Father’s arms.
I never really owned you; you were on loan to me.
As it should be.
And now there is yearning in this empty space.
I have an awareness now that I did not have as I was growing older.
Longing will never be quenched this side of the curtain.
God’s wisdom allows us mere glimpses of His glory in those we love here.
When we love well.
There is no difficulty in a mother’s love for her children.
Moments at the breast turn to days at the knees, months in the classroom and years in the world.
All the while longing for this tiny soul to ripen into manhood. You are there.
You are on the cusp of expanding your boundaries.
You are beginning to experience this yearning of living and loving for yourself. Your heart longs for fulfillment of desire.
And so, my yearning is for your joy, and the satisfaction of all that God in His kindness toward you, bestows.
You see, He desires you most.
All our longing leads back to the Father.
He is our supreme happiness, the joy of our hearts, the satisfaction of our greatest desires.
And so we wait and hope for heaven while we live out our lives on earth with yearning.
I gave you back to your Father today.
He is listening to the sighing of my heart.