The cap and gown photos that have filled my Facebook feed in the past few weeks have made me feel a little bit sentimental. Looking into the faces of the high school graduates, flanked by their smiling parents, I remember those moments well.
I remember the euphoria and the relief. We made it! And I also remember feeling like the earth had just shifted beneath my feet.
I struggled to regain balance, but it was like a soul-version of vertigo. Off-kilter and uncertain.
Which way is up?
What do I do now?
What just happened here?
This morning, I'm thinking about moms in transition.
To the mom who has juggled work, carpool, science projects and an endless train of after-school activities for what seems like an eternity.
To the mom who has loved motherhood, and can't imagine what life will be like beyond it.
To the mom who is wondering if motherhood has been worth it.
To the mom who is facing the prospect of empty nest, without a clue how this is going to go down.
To the mom who wonders where the last ten years went.
To the mom how is trying to figure out what now?
To the mom who feels lost.
I'm thinking about you today.
I want to reassure you:
You will find your footing again.
You will find your way.
I know, I know. You've just got to get these kids off to college, or into their own apartments, and then you can think about it. Who has time for that now? But in the meantime you've got that sinking feeling that they'll drive away and take your last brain cell with them. And then what?
Resume a career you're no longer passionate about?
Turn to the Home Shopping Network for solace?
None of these seem like very good options.
But let me tell you, you will figure it out. After all, you've been working on it, even when you didn't realize it.
Think about it:
- The complicated family schedule you've managed all these years has made you able to think on your feet and juggle new information like an air traffic controller.
- All those late nights you spent waiting for teenagers to return home from hanging out with friends has prepared you well for going back to college to finish that degree, if you want.
- Helping your kids work out sibling rivalry has sharpened your mediating skills.
- You are a creative problem solver.
- You see the glass half full AND half empty, because you have a knack for seeing, well, everything.
- You know how to love - deeply and fully and sacrificially.
- You can handle everything from the disappointment you felt over some of your teen's choices - to the excitement of ten screaming sophomore girls at a concert....and all the emotions in between.
- Your faith has been honed by years of prayer - yes, He's heard those "Help me, God!" prayers uttered in complete despair...in your closet...all alone...in your underwear.
And you've still got some dreams of your own....but you're not sure if they're any good anymore, or if you've got what it takes anymore.
But Honey, don't worry.
Because you will fly.
You will rediscover your creativity, your spark, your mojo. It's all been in there, this whole time. Maybe you're doubting yourself, thinking you never had any mojo to begin with, or that you lost it at the water park in the summer of 2012, along with your sunglasses and patience.
I promise you, it's there.
Yes, it might take some work to find it again. But hey. You've been working like a trooper to get these kids launched, and when you finally get a chance to turn that energy toward other things?
Well, watch out.
That's the time you'll see that you have so much left to offer this world. So much yet to give. You can truly open your eyes to your community, your church, your friends and your inner soul life...to ask questions and seek answers you didn't have time or energy for before now.
What brings me joy?
What do I do that brings others joy?
How can my life experience make a difference in the world around me?
And all those threads of your life, from your years of frying chicken and looking for lost socks and driving to soccer practice and reading books and worrying about practically everything, will come together into one beautifully messy collage. It will be full of vivid color, incredible design, and jaw-dropping brilliance.
You've become a masterpiece.
This is your life, and a new season is about to begin.
So listen: Don't be afraid.
God's got this.
And you've got what it takes.
This is gonna be good.
Holding your hand,
I'd love to connect with you.
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PS You might also like these posts: Motherhood from the Way Back Seat