Join the Club
by Barbara Rainey
Encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:11
Soon after our youngest child left for college, I was invited to a baby shower for a young woman expecting her first baby. I anticipated this one to be just like the dozens of other showers I've attended over the years. Or so I thought. As I sat there listening to a roomful of conversations about babysitters and laundry and little ones getting sick in the night, I was suddenly struck with the realization—for the first time in my life—that I wasn't part of this club anymore.
It was a very strange feeling, one that for some reason caught me totally off guard. I sat there thinking, I want out of here. Only one other woman at the party was in my season of life. Unfortunately, she pretty much just whizzed in, dropped off her gift and departed.
That's when I remembered something I was told once by a woman about 10 years ahead of me in this empty-nest transition. She remarked how important it is for us to talk with one another, to get together often to share our common experiences, to remind ourselves that we're not alone in feeling like we do. In my baby-shower moment, I discovered she was right.
Maybe for you right now, your struggle is not about adjusting to life without children. Maybe you're up to your ears in them! (I know how that feels.)
But no matter where you are in the journey, don't hold your feelings in. Find a veteran mother who can share what you're dealing with. Together, you can cheer one another on.
What's some of the best advice or counsel you've heard about handling your current season of life? Identify a couple of women or couples that you could get together with for support now and in the season you'll soon face.
Husbands, pray for your wife. Wives, ask God for the discernment to know when you need help, when you need a listening ear. Each of you should pray for the humility required to be real, to admit loss, to share each other's pain.