Anyone have any advice for making it through the initial shock of empty nest?
My husband and I just flew back to Thailand where we are missionaries. We are in the States quite a bit actually, but will be in Thailand for six to seven months this time.
Our oldest son, 20, stayed in America last year for school. That was hard on me, as he and I are very close. But, I still had my youngest son with me last time. He's seventeen. But, this year, they both stayed in the states for work and school. So, now I have neither son with me, have pms this week, jet lag something awful, we are starting a new Bible school (for adults), a children's home (for orphans and empoverished children), and just overall depressed because of all the changes.
So, I can use advice and prayer! And, of course, I know one thing to do is quilt. ;) But, I don't have much time for that right now. Hoping to get some hand quilting done on this trip though.
Thanks for the thoughts and prayers! I need 'em.
God BLESS you for all you do, Marcy! Empty nest is hard to deal with when you're in your own environment but it must be even worse when you're away from home. I will keep you and yours in my prayers. My youngest child went off to college and adult life almost ten years ago and I still feel pangs of empty nest. I was a Sunday School teacher back then and one of my students had lost her mother that year to cancer. I kind of adopted her as my special girl. I didn't have anything to do with her day to day care, but I did make arrangements with her father to help out when she needed a school chaperone, shuttling to after school activities and I gave a weekly piano lesson. Her needs changed over the years, as did mine, and she is a senior in high school this year. We still have a special friendship and she often tells me that she has been thankful for me in her life. She probably has no idea just how important she has been to me as well, especially in those early days of empty nest syndrome. Find a special child that needs you. That child will never replace your own, of course, but just having a child to do a few special things for can take the sting away. Good luck and again, God bless. I will be praying.
God Bless you. You are doing some awesome work. I know being away from your children is hard and You will be in my prayers.
God bless you , Marcy. God will fill your empty heart! With those little orphans, probably. You are in my prayers.
Marcy, Georgia gave some great advice. Working as you do with the children's home will hopefully fill some of the void. I have been so fortunate to have one of mine build his new nest right next door!
Well, I don't have great advise but would be glad to share my story in the hopes that you may find some comfort in the fact that you are not alone. I divorced 11 years ago and remarried 8 years ago. My new husband had an opportunity to open a Bass Pro Shop in Council Bluffs IA and so 6 years ago we moved 3 hours North leaving 4 of our 5 children behind. The oldest (29) was married, the next (26) was on his home, engaged, with a good job, my daughter (25) was in her second year of college but still lived at home and my youngest (21) was only a sophomore in high school. He moved in with his dad and my daughter (who became hysterical at the thought of living with her dad) moved into an apartment paid half by me for the first year. So I went to empty nest prematurely and at once. It was, to say the least, extemely painful.
But through every pain we suffer, God is good to comfort and show the way to peace. It wasn't easy but looking back it was the best thing that could of happened. Still not easy but I do not think I would have the relationships with (most) of my children that I do because we had to work harder at it. I have always let them know I am there for them, I FB with them, I call them, I text them, I send cards, money, support whenever I can. And a funny thing happened...they know I am there for them and they respect my decisions. Before, I think I was the one blamed for everything wrong in their lives and taken for granted. Now they have to deal with their father more and understand more, not only why I moved, but why I divorced.
God has blessed me so much in this move. I have a MUCH better job than I ever have, the best church I could ask for, a growing AWESOME quilt ministry, a beautiful house we designed ourself to include a wonderful quilt studio, a new long-arm business that is actually going to become a reality. I would have NEVER thought I would have anything but stress and struggle and living one day at a time. Now I have hope, peace, a future. And I don't take that lightly. I know where the blessings come from and I also know that if it were all taken away tomorrow I would be just as blessed!
So, embrace the pain as proof that you have great love in your life. Pray for your children daily. Keep your eyes open for ways that God will fill that "empty nest" in ways you could never dream of yourself. You are blessed to have a loving family and a God-given purpose in your life to keep you grounded. God gave me my first quilt ministry at the time my marriage was falling apart. If I didn't have that to anchor me in my life, I could have easily turned to other, non-healthy alternatives.
Stay strong in your faith and love without holding back in everything you do. And cry as much as you need to. LOL
That is an awesome and inspiring story. Thanks for sharing. We never know what plans God has for us when doors close.
Prayer and action seem to be the best solutions for me. If I sit too long, I think too much. I quilt, read (a lot), help others, work a little harder at taking care of myself. It also helps to find someone to talk to
LIVE! LIVE! LIVE!
Marcy looks like you got some good advice just know you will be in my prayers as well. Maybe you could start a quilt meant for them and work on it when you have time. That should keep them even closer to your heart, if that's even possible, when you pick it up and work on it.
Jeanine, God Bless You or I should say God has blessed you. I have a person in my life just like you who inspires and keeps me on the path to God every day of my life. I fall and she picks me up, she is one of God's Angels. Your email is exactly what she would have said to me had I been in that situation so you are also one of God's Angels. BTW she lives in California, not next door to me so she sits on my shoulder, as an Angel would, especially when I'm in crisis.
Jeanine - thanks for sharing your story.
Marie:she is one of God's Angels
It is amazing how God puts people (angels) in our lives at just the time we need them. I have had wonderful friends cross my path.
Jeanine, we've both been blessed!
thank you so much for your words of wisdom, advice and prayers. yes, i have many kids here in thailand that are in need of someone to love them and i know that will help fill a tiny bit of the void over time. thank you so much for your words. it is a comfort!
wow! thank you so much to everyone. jeanine. thank you for your words. and your openness to share your heart, pain, and love. i can't thank you enough for what you shared. thank so much for all the prayers. after i posted this request earlier, i went to bed and slept for 3 1/2 hours, but am now awake again. left the room, so i wouldn't wake my husband and got on here to find all of your kind replies. thanks i needed this. jet lag is awful right now, but missing my kids is so hard. i too have had an early empty nest, jeanine. my oldest is 20 and i have had time apart from him last year while i was here in thailand and he was in america, but it was only for 2 months. but, now my youngst is just 17 and so he moved in with some friends of ours since he's not 18 yet. i never dreamed he'd be out of our house before 18. i always knew he'd leave earlier than his brother. actually my oldest is still in our house, but it's just us that moved overseas. so, our oldest is technically still at home with us, just across the ocean. doesn't make it any easier though.
THANK YOU! to all of you. keep up the prayers. the first week of jet lag is usally the worst, so i know that it is adding to the emotions right now as well.