So What’s Next?

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}

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Kris

    I’m jumping up and down, clapping and cheering you on! Not just that you are back writing (which, personally, I think may be your “road”) but because I know what God has done in and through you and I can’t wait to see what your “full speed ahead” looks like. Love you, my friend – so much.

    1. Nichole

      Thanks, Kris! I appreciate the encouragement more than you know.

  2. Karla Davis

    This is one mom who is very proud of her girl! Through all the years of watching you grow while a teenager and then a wife and mother you never quit striving for what God had for you!! You’ve never given up! Through the good and the bad you’ve praised Him!! What a blessing you are to your family and I’m sure to the Lord! Love you my Nicci girl!

    1. Nichole

      Thanks, mom. I love you too.

  3. Suzanne

    Hey girl I love this post you’re a beautiful person with a beautiful soul and a love for life you have 2 wonderful boys that I know you must be so proud of so I would sit back and relax but I’m sure as a mom you know that there is more that you want to do I agree with your one friend that said writing is your forte I could not agree more Love you girl thanks for this post it hit home with me As to following our roads and letting the Lord lead us

    1. Nichole

      Thanks, Suz! I appreciate you so much. Hugs!

  4. Julie

    “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.”
    FULLY AGREE!!! Here’s to moving forward in Christ and toward all the goodness He has in store. So excited for what He’s doing in you ???

    1. Nichole

      Thank you! We can do this!

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