We just took our youngest child to college and arrived home to an empty nest. I said to Bill, “I feel like a baseball batter who has had balls constantly being thrown to me, one after the other, and I keeping hitting them even if I don’t like the pitch!”
I was emotionally spent and didn’t want to hit another ball. The last few months had been so full of extra things beyond my normal responsibilities of work and home. I helped my mother move. We traveled on four Soul Shepherding ministry trips, including two to Mexico. We helped a family member deal with back-to-back car accidents. I helped a friend in crisis. Our son graduated from college and started three companies. Two of our three kids moved home for the summer and moved back out again. Our middle daughter changed colleges. And now, our home is empty of children for the first time in twenty-two years!
How Do You Care For Your Soul?
What do you do when you’re tired? When you’ve given and given and feel you have nothing left to give emotionally what do you do?
Maybe you watch television or go on Facebook. Maybe you go shopping or clean the house. Or maybe you get a snack for yourself. I’ve sought comfort in these ways, but they don’t provide real rest for my soul. They don’t help me connect with the compassion of Christ.
I sat down and said to Bill, “I’m too tired to pick up the bat and swing at another ball!”
Empathy and Resting in the Lord
I needed Bill’s empathy for my emotions!
Fortunately, we had blocked off some days in our calendar with space to be together as we adjusted to our new stage of life. What to do with that space? I was tempted to catch up on projects waiting for my attention. Bill had been offering for us to get away on vacation. These things felt like getting back in the batter’s box. I needed more space to feel my emotions, process them out loud with Bill and receive more empathy, and relax on our “staycation.”
After sharing with Bill we decided to go to the pool nearby and float on rafts. We held hands and floated for two hours, talking a little, but mostly we just rested. As I floated I meditated over and over on the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest…”
I spent several days resting in the Lord and sharing with Bill. Occasionally I found myself wanting to pick up the bat and hit a ball. But if I didn’t, I trusted Jesus that he was happy for me to rest and he was restoring my soul.
Dear Lord, you alone are the Good Shepherd who provides rest for our souls. I pray that when we’re too tired to hit another ball we’d find someone safe to share our heart with and that we’d turn to you and your words of life. Teach us to lay down with you in your green pastures and beside your still waters. Then with restored souls we can better follow you on the path of life, loving others in your name. Amen.