So What’s Next?

Nichole Huffaker

Nichole Huffaker

My firstborn turned 21 the other day. While he was celebrating his birthday on the other side of the globe I was home alone reliving his childhood through scrapbooks. (Cue the violins.) Wiping away a few tears I offered a prayer thanking God for allowing me to be his mama and buckets of mercy along the way. Then I cooked one of his favorite meals and we ate it without him. Ha!

I’ve been trying to remember who I was before taking that pregnancy test 22 years ago. There’s a fuzzy memory of splurging on a keyboard so I could work on my dream of becoming a singer-songwriter like Amy Grant. Within a few short weeks my plans were directed away from creating music to surviving eight months of morning, noon, and night sickness and preparing to be a mom.

For the most part I’ve always done whatever was asked of me, whether it was homeschooling or working part-time at the church. Raising a couple of boys may not have been at the top of my dream job list, but as I think back over the last couple of decades it is the thing I’m most proud to have on my resume.

These days nobody’s asking me for much other than what’s for dinner and I’m not quite sure what to do about it. It’s not like I went to school for a specific career, took time off to raise a family, and can now go back to that career. My dreams of becoming a singer-songwriter are long gone. Heck, I’m not even the same person I was 22 years ago and that’s a very good thing. So what’s next?

I believe one of the greatest gifts as parents we can give our children is the gift of moving forward and continuing to grow as our kids move forward and outgrow us. I’m not entirely sure what that looks like for our family, but I’m committed to doing whatever it takes to find out.

I may not know exactly what I want to be when I grow up yet, but here’s what I do know: I want my sons to love God with all their hearts, souls, and minds. I want them to go where he says to go and do what He says to do. Period. Full stop.

I want that for me too.

Lord, this is my prayer. Show me the path forward. I don’t want to keep looking behind when new life is waiting for me up ahead. Give me courage to go forward even if it’s the wrong direction knowing you will redirect me along the way. I can trust you because you have never ever failed me. In Jesus’ name.

But I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way, who can’t see where they’re going. I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don’t fall into the ditch. These are the things I’ll be doing for them—sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.”
{Isaiah 42:16 The Message}

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