I never thought I would struggle with the thought of an empty nest.
I love watching my kids explore the world.
I smile when I know they’re risking it all to pursue their dreams.
I’m a believer in a great, big life for each of our children, and
I admire their deep passions and brave souls.
But this last bird,
this last winged creature within my home,
has done a number on my mommy heart.
I’m not sure if it’s because we scooped her up and added her to our nest by choice
because she’s our only little female chick
because she was the last egg hatched, the last ball of feathered fluff entrusted to us for a season,
maybe it’s all of those things mixed together……………
whatever the case,
I’ve been a different kind of mommy bird to this little birdie.
I’ve been the kind who anticipates the next need and already has a solution.
I’ve been the kind who flies so closely “beside”, “behind”, and “in front of”
this poor little chick that she has to swoop above or below me just to catch a view of the big world outside our home.
Lately, my ability to fix and solve and explain life has fallen short, though.
Some things even a mommy bird can’t make all better.
And just like every other struggle this world throws our way,
God has used this feeling of helplessness to prepare me for the very thing I’ve been trying to avoid.
These words have frightened me for so long,
because this world is so cruel and my nest is so safe.
Wouldn’t it be better to just stay tucked here under my wing?
Thoughts of her emptying her closet and packing her bags have gotten the best of me so many times.
An always-made bed.
Everything about these things has made me see “an end” to such a huge part of who I am.
Over the past couple of months, though, the water of our lives has begun to warm up…………….
to a place of boiling.
And when things boil, they can make a mess if something doesn’t give.
So I’m turning over a new leaf in this chapter of motherhood.
I’ve clipped my own wings a bit in order for her to feel the very real and needed protection of His.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
I’d love to say it’s been easy.
I’d love to say it’s been painless.
But I can’t.
I can say this, though:
It’s been for me the very thing she has needed.
I’m stepping away from her life in places many moms probably stepped up away long before me.
(I’ll use grief as my excuse……………….
because there’s something about loss that makes you hold on tight to everything else within arm’s reach.
And boy, have I held on tight!)
I’m finally realizing that what I once saw as an end she has so wisely been seeing as a beginning.
A beginning of her own journey to independence……………
Trusting in God with her own kind of faith
She has needed me to step away so all of these things could become her very own.
Oh, I’m still here………….
“in the wings” as they ironically say,
ready to help if needed;
but I’m no longer the fixer of all things broken,
the healer of all things hurting,
the doer of all deeds waiting to be done.
And, man, this is hard for me.
So very hard.
It’s strangely wonderful too!
The joy I feel from the release has overshadowed any sadness I thought might come my way.
I’m realizing more and more every day that in order for my last little chick to fly high she must first learn how to fly alone.
I’ve talked to several friends who have “flown this way” before me……..
even my own mom who did this very thing with me years ago.
I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer, too;
and I’m so thankful for a God who says,
“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
This quickly-approaching empty nest doesn’t scare me as much as it used to.
It’s really not the end.
It’s the beginning of a whole new world.
For her………………..and for me.
I’ve got about ten more months to watch her fly within my wing’s reach and then…………………
God longs for us both to soar.
I want to be ready.
And I want her to be ready too.
I love you, Olivia Faith-Pallavi Nischan.
Thank you for showing me the beauty of new beginnings when I was only able to see the end.