Single mother empty nest - How do I make the adjustment?
I could tell it was coming. . .I was going to be a single mother with an empty nest. My son was moving out! Greg came to me and asked how I felt about him moving out and I tried to hold my emotions together. When my son moved out the very next day, I looked out the window to see him loading his blanket and pillow in his truck along with the rest of his stuff. Oh my mother's heart! No matter how ready I thought I was, I wasn't. Are we ever really ready for that day?
Shortly after Greg moved out, I moved 2000 miles across the country for a work opportunity. A life altering change like this made my nest feel very empty. The life I related to as a single parent had changed and my network of friends was now completely different.
Since I got pregnant with Greg just out of high school, I had no idea what it was like to be single or how people would view me as a single woman. I tried all sorts of things to connect and belong -- choir, orchestra, church. It was all so new and foreign and I found myself trying too hard to find my purpose. I succumbed to TV, food, and isolating. Later I became addicted to a computer game and forum and spent hours in front of the computer, interacting with strangers. I was creating a façade and looking for belonging, affirmation, and acknowledgement.
Single Mother, Empty Nest – Finding Purpose
Empty Nest - Learn More
What was my purpose? As a teenager, when I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I had found my purpose -- I knew how to take care of babies and children. I could love this little one and care for him and he would love me in return. So, when the nest became empty, my purpose vanished! It took me a long time to realize what had happened.
I found great purpose and help from the Bible. God tell us to love Him with ALL of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. There's such validity to that. While I knew my sufficiency and identity was in Christ Jesus, I didn't put feet to it. I tried to find friends, connections, intimacy, and it just wouldn't happen; and if it did, I didn't recognize it anyway.
I'm disappointed that it took me seven years of bumbling around trying to find my place and purpose, but God is faithful. He didn't waste a minute of that time. He was calling me to “Be still and know that I am GOD,” to rest in Him, to let Him be enough. He brought me to this place of singleness for His own purposes.
“The basis of my personal worth is not my possessions, my talents, not esteem of others, reputation. . .not kudos of appreciation from parents and kids, not applause, and everyone telling you how important you are to the place. . .I stand anchored now in God before whom I stand naked, this God who tells me ‘You are my daughter, my beloved one.’”1
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