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Leaving the Nest

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Photo by Gary Ashton-Coulton Photo by Gary Ashton-Coulton

Kathy's Faith Walk


My household has been in flux for some time as some of the inhabitants decide where to go next, where to live, how to live, and how to best serve God once they get there. That reference is, of course, to my grown children. I have noticed they are not much different from animal babies born on the farm. Birth seems to be the most basic, easy part. Growth and maturity... not so much. This is going to take some faith.

Babies on the farm have wobbly legs but once they get the hang of how those legs work, holy cow! Look out, babies comin’ through! They are curious and constantly under the watchful eye of their mother. She never lets them wander outside her sight. In fact, on the farm, you KNOW when a baby has wandered too far because Momma lets out an unmistakable neigh, a moo, or a squawk that lets everyone know junior is AWOL. The babies come back and all is well. Then one day they begin to grow and mature. They begin to feed themselves and choose where in the sun to lie down. They stop asking for permission to move farther from their mother. They pick their companions in the herd, spend less and less time in their mother’s company and eventually leave the farm for parts unknown. Just like human babies. Just like my babies.

This leaving thing should not come as a shock to me and really, it doesn’t. The first time one of my babies left the country I was with him and we all came back together. But my daughter left the country alone the first of April to work in missions. I have never seen the town where she lives. I don’t know the people she is with. I have nothing except her weekly phone call which really, she doesn’t have to make. In short, I cannot protect her and I am always aware of this. It does not help to neigh, squawk, or moo—she is on her own and she likes it that way. Who’s idea was it anyway to teach this girl to be independent?!? Oh yeah. Right.

My son is moving to the other end of the continent later this summer and I don’t recall him asking permission either. The band he is in is being signed to a big label. One day he just started gently reminding me that this is for real and went about filling boxes. He has been tossing things out over the last six months and tying up loose ends. It is all happening as I sit in my chair with a lump in my throat the size of a coconut. 

Next fall, if all goes well, my other daughter will move to the other side of the continent as well to attend culinary school. She will be gone for a long time and it will be what she has dreamed of for years. She didn’t ask permission either. She just laid out a plan and is making it happen. The lump in my throat is now the size of a watermelon. The knot in my heart is growing too. 

My babies are leaving the farm and they have our support and blessing to do so. They are all deep worshippers of God. They are all on very good paths with a future. But in my heart and mind, they are still too small to do this. The world still beats people up and in the face of this I talk to God a lot. I ask for wisdom so I can be an encouragement; for peace so I can let go; for joy so I can celebrate these changes. 

God is always so generous with grace it is remarkable. He reminds me of the days we gave these babies, these grown women and men, to Him as soon as they were born. They are coming into maturity. God reminds me that He loves them more than I ever can and He has them safely in the palm of His hand. He reminds me, too, that my life will change and it will be okay even if I don’t like it, even if I can no longer see my babies. 

This is going to take some faith.


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Author info

Kathy Osborne Kathy Osborne is the editor of the Co Op Country Store's newspaper, the Co Op Round-Up. In her spare time she checks in on her three grown children, or listens to her husband play music.

Tagged as:

empty nest, parenting, growing up, Kathys Faith Walk

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