Most of us reach adulthood with dreams for our lives. It could be the dream of an exciting career that takes you places you couldn’t get on your own. It might be the vision of the family that you know is yours. Maybe it’s a place you’ve always wanted to live, or a goal you wanted to accomplish.
And then life happens.
The years go by quickly. And for most of us, life doesn’t end up the way we ever imagined it would. But even if it does, there comes a day, when everybody wonders what’s next in my life?
It was a cool fall day in 2007 when that happened for me. My son had left for the US Air Force in May, and now just six months later, my daughter was doing the same thing. My nest had officially been empty for a few years, but they’d always found a way to come back home again. This time they were flying away for the last time. And in the space of just a few short months, my parenting journey had ended and the house echoed with silent insecurity, as the questions bounced out of my head and ricocheted through the emptiness.
When one purpose ends, it’s easy to feel that there is nothing left. That all of the important parts of life are over and all that remains for you to do is live out your days in some sort of faint imitation of a former life.
The truth is that we may have multiple purposes throughout our lifetimes. There might be career years or parenting years. There might be times of service or times of developing skills and talents. A purpose may live out it’s lifetime during a particular season of our lives, or it might morph into another purpose that builds on your previous experience.
Just because life seasons end doesn’t mean that we have no purpose left. Here are three ideas for finding and embracing a new purpose for your life…
- Look at the future as an endless possibility. Remember, when one season ends, the future is a blank slate. It could literally go anywhere. There’s something exciting about that!
Everything is possible for one who believes. Mark 9:23
- Trust the purpose that God has in mind. He knows where we’ve come from and the best place for us to go next. We might make our plans, but His will always be best.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
- Then take that first step. When God identifies the purpose, we can’t sit and wait. We need to put one foot in front of the other and walk into what He has planned.
Now since we have chosen to walk with the Spirit, let’s keep each step in perfect sync with God’s Spirit. Galatians 5:25 (VOICE)
As life changes, we have a choice of responses. We can be saddened, worried or frightened. Or we can choose to grab hold of whatever God puts in front of us and run with it.
I think I’ll choose running today. How about you?
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A great post, Holly! Thank you. 🙂
Thanks, Melissa! Glad you stopped by!
This is wonderful. I can tell you are running with purpose! Thank you for encouraging us with this post!
So glad we can all encourage one another to run with our own God-given purpose!
thank you Holly for sharing your words, and encouraging us to thrive beyond motherhood.
Thanks, Teresa. It’s hard when such an important purpose appears to come to an end. But there’s also a sweet season in that too..While I no longer parent daily, my sweet children still need their mama!! And they have become great cheerleaders for me in my current purpose too.
A great post offering such encouragement & hope to every woman! Yes, as long as we are breathing, we have purpose. May we pursue Him every day!
Thanks, Joanne. I appreciate your encouragement to always pursue His purpose!
Endless possibilities. <3 your attitude.
Absolutely endless! Because our Father has a much greater imagination that we do! 🙂
Yes and amen! I understand the empty nest but it will hit full force next year when both my sons get married. Thank you for your encouragement today.
It will hit hard then but just think of those two special girls you are adding to your family! God has given you a new purpose in their lives that you will fulfill beautifully.
I love this, Holly, and especially this line: “As life changes, we have a choice of responses.” Isn’t that the truth? We can see our purpose ending through various “endings” in life, or we can see it just beginning in a new direction. I think that my purpose, my essence, my core will always remain the same, but that through each passing season, the assignments in how God wants me to live out my purpose will change. The key is not to become discouraged, but to make the choice of embracing change and rising to the new challenge. Thank you so much for living your purpose!
Lynn, you said that so beautifully about our assignments changing. Thanks for the encouragement to embrace our new seasons as God brings each one along. xoxo
Wise words, Holly! I am an empty-nester, too. When my “kids” left home, I had a mini-breakdown. Well, “mini” is an understatement. I floundered. I didn’t feel important. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t feel like I had any worth. Unfortunately, I made the worst mistake possible at that time and I took my eyes off of God. Boy…did I fall! But, God in His infinite mercy pursued me. Even though I looked away from Him, He NEVER took His eyes off of me. And for that, I am so grateful! Through His love and grace I have a new life…a new and improved life! 🙂 And wouldn’t you know it? He is using my experiences through that time to encourage others. God never wastes a hurt…and I am so blessed.
In His grip, Joan
I’m so sorry for your struggle, Joan, but totally get it! What a beautiful story of redemption God has given you as He pursued you to make sure you didn’t get lost. God doesn’t waste anything, ever! Thanks for sharing your story with us.
I am close to becoming an empty nester. Part of me is looking forward to spreading my wings again. The other part has been in morning for awhile. Whenever it happens I know God has something waiting for me. ?
Oh, Debra! It is a season of mixed emotions, isn’t it? But let me tell you that it is a wonderful season too! There is nothing like seeing your children live the lives you have helped them discover. Believe me when I say, you will always be needed. My kids and I are closer than we have ever been and they are the joy of my life (the grandkids don’t hurt that cause either!). 🙂 But I love seeing the fruit of all those years of single parenting and God has graciously given me much to do in my life now. So enjoy it!!