Empty Nest Moms


Are you trying to force your dreams upon your adult child?  Do you expect him or her to follow in your footsteps?  Have you mapped out their destiny for them?

God sent Jesus to this earth to redeem humanity from sin (1 John 4:10).  It was His destiny, before the foundation of the world, to die on the cross (Revelation 13:8). 

Now, let’s just pretend here for a minute.  Mary, the mother of Jesus, has other plans for her baby boy.  She wants him to follow in the footsteps of his earthly father, Joseph the carpenter.  All this talk of Jesus saving the world makes her more than a bit nervous.  Carpentry is a much safer gig.  She’d rather he make crosses with Joseph than die on one for God.

One day, Jesus picks up a tiny bird with a damaged wing.  Unable to help himself (remember, we’re just pretending), Jesus lifts the bird heavenward, says a prayer and, voila, the wing is instantly made whole.  The bird flies off, and everyone is happy.  Except for Mary!  She runs to Jesus and rebukes Him. “Jesus, what have I told You about doing miracles?  I don’t want You using your gifts for God.  Now go and help your father.  He’s in his shop making a table.  You like making tables, right?”

Can you imagine what would have happened if Mary had kept Jesus from following in His Heavenly Father’s footsteps?  What if He, born out of a desire to appease Mary or in fear of displeasing her, had resigned Himself to be a carpenter instead of a minister?

It may sound far-fetched, but I’ve heard of several grown, adult children who are leading less than fulfilling lives.  They’d rather do what is expected of them than stand up to their parent’s dreams and expectations for their lives. 

If we are not careful, we can impart fear to our children.  Fear that they can’t make good decisions, fear of failure if they don’t follow the path that we’ve instructed them to follow and fear of disappointing us, the parents they’ve admired all of their lives.  Our children have a God-given destiny that was planned for them even before they entered our womb.  God created them for His purpose, not ours. 

I love what the Bible has to say about Mary.  Look at Luke 2:17-19:

Now when they had seen Him (Baby Jesus), they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Mary pondered instead of pushing!  She allowed God to shape the destiny of her son.  And aren’t we glad she did?  Mommas, we are wise to follow in her footsteps!

From the time my son was three years old and even before I had a relationship with Jesus Christ, he demonstrated a pure heart towards God.  He’d speak of seeing angels and once said that he saw angels and demons warring in his bedroom.  To this day, he has a tender heart and a love for God.  He is prophetic, often giving others a word of encouragement from God. He has a strong teaching gift and loves using it.  He’s a natural born leader.  I could go on and on about this kid…

However, for as long as I can remember, this young man has had a passion for sports.  Whereas my daughter would be outside feeding the chickens or riding horses with Joe, Rudy would be inside watching sports on the television.  The kid lived and breathed football and basketball.  He played sports in school and excelled at whatever sport he played. 

My heart was for him to follow in my footsteps and be a teacher of the Gospel.  I just knew he was supposed to be in the ministry. At every opportunity, I would tell him my hopes for his future.  Though he wasn’t opposed to being used by God in ministry, he would inform me that he was going to be a pro-basketball player.  I would tell him that I was going to pray (for my will to be done).

When it came time to choose his profession, he decided on being a sport’s trainer.  He’s great at it.  It’s not what I wanted him to do in life, but he’s fulfilling the dream that God placed in his heart.

I’m so thankful that I didn’t insist on my son doing what I thought he should do or being who I thought he should be.  He is in ministry.  His ministry is to a bunch of high school students who share the same passion for sports as he does. 


I’ve learned that our best is not always God’s best for our children. Selah!  Instead of pushing them to choose the path we would like them to take, we need to be more like Mary and ponder the Father’s heart for their path in life. 

Your child may be preparing to leave your nest and head off to college.  I encourage you to pray for God to lead them into what He has for their future.  Your spouse may be a dentist and, therefore, you think that dentistry is the obvious choice for your child.  All the while, your child is secretly scared half to death to tell you that he or she wants to be a vet.


From the moment our children were placed into our arms, our maternal instinct has been to lead them and guide them.  But there comes a time in their lives when we must place them completely back into the arms of their Heavenly Father.

One of the most difficult things I’ve learned as a mom is to trust God for Rudy and Kalyn’s future (I have to do the same thing now for my grand-children…it just never ends, ya’ll).  He loves them and has a great future mapped out for them.  If we are not careful, we can get in the way of His plans.  Years of experience have taught me that I am to point my children to their Heavenly Father, lead them to seek out His wisdom and guidance, and then trust that they are capable of hearing from Him. 

Let the One who created your child, direct their steps as they leave the nest!

I’d love for you to share with me ways that you have overcome in this area.  If you struggle, I’d love to hear from you as well.  Let’s grow in our journey together.

Feel free to email me and share with me some of your trials, lessons learned, and the experiences you’ve had as your children have left the nest so that I can share it on my blog and others can learn from your journey. 

Leave a comment, and please…share with friends that, along with us, need strength for the journey!

Learning to soar,


Connect with Cindy at Sftjm7@yahoo.com

Cindy Schroppel is an author, blogger and speaker

For more information about Cindy Schroppel or to order Skandalon visit Sftjm.com

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