My husband and I are alone now. It is the first time in nearly twenty years that we have gone grocery shopping and only had to purchase food for two. We still bought more than we needed for a week, but old habits do not die easily.
It is the first August in many years when I am not counting how many days are left of summer break, before the school year begins. It will be the first fall I am not standing on the sidelines cheering for the cross country team to finish strong. The first winter I won’t wake up to snow and wonder if the boys will have the day off. No more parent-teacher conferences. Spring breaks. Count down to the end of the year.
My husband and I are alone now.
Our sons are in college, living on their own, choosing their next adventures. The familiar story of your children chasing you for attention only to have it turn and you now chase them for attention rings true. My mother was right, the kids leave just when they become interesting adults.
My husband and I are alone now. So now what?
Now we will continue on. We will continue to drive into work together, chat during the day, drive home together in the evening. We will continue to serve together in the children’s ministry on Sundays. Do errands after church and then go home to work in the yard, play with the dogs, watch movies in the afternoon.
We are still a couple. In three weeks we will celebrate our wedding anniversary and we will look forward to the adventures and experiences the new year will bring. We are still planning how to grow our small farm into something sustainable for the long term.
We are still a couple. We are still stronger together.
When I think of those who encountered God in the Old Testament: Noah, Jacob, David, Abraham, Moses; I wonder what happened when the voice of God grew quiet, grew silent? Did they believe that their relationship was no longer viable? Did they feel that they had fallen out of God’s favor? I don’t believe they did. For my husband and myself, I believe the answer is in Psalm 46.
“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.
There is a river — its streams delight the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High. God is within her; she will not be toppled. God will help her when the morning dawns,” (Psalms 46:1, 4-5 HCSB).
Psalm 46:10, which says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth,” (NIV).
We are still the children of God, we are still here for a purpose, even when the hats of being a 24/7 parent are hung on the peg. God is still God. Our roles and tasks may change, but the calling He has put on our lives has not.
My husband and I are still called to love God and love people. To serve others, to sow mercy and grace. To come along side those who are hurting, in need, those who are in need of a friend.
We are still here. We are still called to work. And so we will continue until the next season of change comes along. May we be found faithful until then.