by Barbara Rainey
Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails. PSALM 71:9
It was not easy for me when our youngest child, Laura, left our home for col-lege. There's a sense of importance that comes from your children being dependent on you. It becomes your identity. Motherhood defines who you are. And when that is taken away as children leave your home, a life-sized portion of your sense of importance, self-esteem and purpose goes with it.
When she left, I felt as if I had been fired from my job. Downsized and shown the door! Who was I now? What was my purpose?
Even though we had talked a great deal about this transition in advance, I discovered I needed my husband to help me evaluate this new season of life.
Even though the change was also drastic for him, for me it was much more. I had seen some women fly into anything just to stay busy. But when you ask your husband to listen and guide and process this new chapter together, it gives you the opportunity as a couple to face your future on purpose.
Walking this strange, unfamiliar road together can bring a new level of unity to the marriage.
When I was going through this process, I needed a lot of talk time with Dennis. One day I'd wake up feeling excited about my new freedom; then I'd find myself sad all over again at the loss. It was unpredictable. Few of our discussions ended with clear direction.
But there's no other way that God's purposes for you and God's purposes for your spouse can become God's purposes for us unless you're walking through this together. God has more planned for your lives beyond the years of raising children. And that can be exciting!
What do each of you see your life looking like once the children are grown and gone? How can you practically prepare for that?
Pray for the grace and patience to care for each other well in all the seasons of marriage.