Our Kids and Our Worries
One of the disappointing things about being an Empty Nester is that I still worry about my kids. I remember when I was young with little kids watching my older empty nester friends who didn’t seem to have to worry about their children any more. I looked forward to that freedom I would experience. And then my kids grew up and left home and I still worry. It’s a real bummer.
You would think that by now we would have learned to trust our kids to the Lord–to release them with great abandonment into His care. Not so! We still wear the hat of Mom, and for at least 20 years we’ve spent lots of emotional energy in worrying and praying and trusting. The cycle doesn’t automatically end when they leave home.
Worry comes in a different form now. If our children live far away we worry because we don’t know how they are really doing. And if we have a creative imagination we can conjure up all sorts of worries about an absent adult child. If a child lives nearby or bounces back to live at home again they bring with them their own concerns and issues which we can’t escape because they are right under our roof again.
So what do we do when we still worry about our adult kids?
:: Recognize how easy it is to let your imagination conjure up false fears.
:: Share your concern with a friend and have her pray for your child for a specific period of time (like every day for a week).
:: Recall specific examples of how God has been faithful to you and to your child in the past. One of the advantages of being older is that we’ve lived long enough to have many stories of His faithfulness to tell.
:: Get involved in a new passion that occupies your mind and your energy.
:: Remember that God is bigger than anything that your child is facing. He knows what is going on and He is still in charge.
:: Say God’s character traits out loud.
And oh yeah, those empty nester older friends I used to watch and imagine that they were free from all worries. Well, they weren’t! They were just like you and me.