I did a Bible Study with SheReadsTruth.com this fall on Ecclesiastes. In this study, I learned I would have to, needed to choose to embrace the feelings the transitions of this fall would bring. I knew I needed to not stuff the emotions, but I learned they were legitimate and God designed me to feel. It isn’t Biblical for for me to try to not feel. It hurts my Heavenly Father when I try to change the way He made me.
In sixteen years of single parenting, I don’t think anything has been as emotionally difficult as the heart-ripping, sucking void of having a child move out.** Vince’s dorm is a two bedroom, two bathroom full apartment designed for four guys to live in. So, my heart believes he has moved out for good. In case you didn’t know, 3,500 miles is really far away. Just saying’…
It is never again expected he’ll share a home with us. I know this is good, right, healthy, what I clung to God to prepare him for as best as I could – but, oh man. The sucking void of him not coming home for dinner. not running through to grab stuff on his way to class, Cross Country, cello practice, orchestra…. or the inevitable, “where’s my other sock?!” every.single.time. he had to walk out the door.
Weekends are the worst. definitely the hardest.
Even with a serious girlfriend. a sweet girl who attends our church, the same service we go to – Vince always sat with Christine & I. each Sunday. Sometimes he was between us, sometimes on one side or the other of us. Eight more weeks until he’s home for Christmas. But, will he sit with us? Such an inconsequential detail – but such a big deal in my heart. I was so blessed he always sat with us, never even asked to sit with friends. even though most weeks he drove to church separately because he had a full schedule right after. (and I don’t do full schedule all day Sunday)
Going to church has always been something we’ve done as a family. Gone are the days of me volunteering – teaching Bible Study, leading in Women’s Ministry, MOPS Steering Team, AWANA leader, and more recently as a Youth Group leader – through it all they were in childcare or whatever child activity was for their age at the time. The last four years have been the Vince volunteering and both Vince and Christine being part of the Youth music. The last two years I didn’t even drive them because Vince could take them and the majority of their activities were the same time/same place. In order for Vince to fully step into his own leadership, I stepped back.
While I believe it was the right thing to do, and I don’t regret the decision even the slightest – I’m finding myself in a very strange place – a stranger in the church I’ve called home for 20 years. Our church is big.
I’ve found emotions to be very difficult. I’ve always been accused/labeled as sensitive. Honestly, I expected them to be “bad”, hard. I did not expect the excruciating pain.
**I just want to say, there just aren’t words in me to express how much my heart aches for you if you’ve had a child pass away or if you’ve had a child move out for less than ideal circumstances – I am so very sorry. I can’t imagine your pain and I am just so so sorry.**