“I’m going through a season of loneliness and not knowing what to do now that all my kids are grown. I feel like I have nothing to offer but that I need to find a place where I can contribute to society. And I’m feeling old, there are also some unresolved issues with my father. I can’t seem to break away from the pain he caused me as a child. How do you move forward when you don’t know what forward is?” ~ Terra
Hi Terra: )
After reading your question, I felt like I needed to reach out to others who are struggling in these areas too.
The I Don’t Know Season
I’m not sure how old you are, I’m about to turn 50. I can identify with the age thing, especially having all my kids out and in different states doing their own thing now.
I’ve gone through and am still transitioning into this new phase of “I have no idea what to do now.”
It makes me laugh when I type it out but it’s certainly been no laughing matter. I’ve dealt with depression and sickness this past year, and finally a full hysterectomy, which caused me to question my ability to be myself anymore.
I can honestly say going through this season of stripping away and waiting on a shelf has caused me to turn to the Lord in a deeper way than I’ve ever experienced.
If I could offer any help, I would say to you, write about what you are going through as if you were writing to another younger women as to prepare her. I think there are many of us going through the “I don’t know season” and we feel alone.
Falling Forward into Your Destiny
I don’t think you have to worry about your career or finding a place to contribute to society. I think you will fall forward into it. It’s the least likely things that God uses to push us through to the next assignment. Look for ways you can help someone in need or be a blessing. There are countless organizations, churches, hospitals, libraries where there are needs to be filled.
Just don’t sit at home feeling useless. Get out and make yourself useful. There are gifts and talents you’ve probably never realized that you have yet.
I also get the figuring out the parent thing.
For many years, I believed that my own parent didn’t love me. I felt as though I didn’t belong or matter. That can sometimes happen when parents tend to have favorites, it’s a very destructive game to play. I would love them from a distance as best as I can if being around them causes more grief than joy. Especially if there is any abuse – physical, emotional or mental, going on.
As far as trying to figure out why, I take the position of Joyce Meyers, “So God can be glorified through my testimony and that I can relate to those who are hurting.”
Don’t waste time and cause yourself emotional stress trying to figure out why people do the things they do or why they don’t do things they should do. Your part is to accept them for who and what they are through Christ’s strength and let God do the changing. If they never change, you can provide the mercy and grace that you yourself hope to have when you need it.
Forgiving others and letting go of past hurts doesn’t make them right but it does allow you the freedom to become all God has for you to be. Don’t continue to let them steal your life, your peace, and your future.
Let go and move on.
If I were you, I would literally lay that parent that you struggle with down on God’s Altar. I would cast all the unanswered questions to rest as well. There are things that even those who hurt us can’t answer. It’s best to let go of any hurt before it creates a dark vacuum in your life.
I’ve used painted rocks. I’ve written on them my hurts and the names of those who hurt me and scriptures of God’s promises. I built a small altar and dedicated it to the Lord and quoted this scripture, “ Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.” 1 Sam 7:12.
Every time I started to take up any of those things that were written on the rocks, I would go look at it and say, I can’t take up what’s been committed to God. It’s his pain to deal with now.
I hope this will encourage you. You’re definitely not alone in all these things. God is working. You may not see it or understand but He does love you and He can turn all your pain into something beautiful.
Don’t give up.
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Also published on Medium.