When Our Role Shifts

When we place our value and fulfillment on what we do, we’re only one life-change from heartache and confusion. Today’s guest shares how God used a major change in roles to center her in something much more enduring. And fulfilling. For all those facing a time of transition, may Eileen’s story bring you peace and encouragement.

Could the best be yet to come?

I didn’t think so eleven years ago when I entered the empty nest. My active mothering had ended. On top of that, my mother died.

These events threw me. I pondered my twenty-five year journey of training my children to be God-honoring, well-balanced, responsible adults, and realized in some ways I was still a child myself. With my mother gone and my father close behind her, I felt a free fall into maturity I didn’t fully want to take.

I was it—the next generation carrying the baton and pass it off.

The message God kept bringing to my mind: Enjoy Me. In this new season of life, enjoy Me! The best is yet to come. But in my written plans (yes, I charted out goals) to enjoy Him, I struggled to wrap up in His love.

Reviewing journal entries from that time, I retrieved a letter my husband, Chuck, wrote to me. He expressed his joy at the gift God had given him in me. He wrote: “We’re on the ride of our lives, and I’m excited! I know the best is still ahead!”

Back then, I didn’t share his enthusiasm. I entered the second half of life drained and vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. After two weddings, two graduations, caring for aging parents, losing my mother, turning 50, and entering menopause, I needed good old-fashioned rest. Instead, my typical reaction to grief kicked in—get busy! That hindered me from God’s admonition: Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10a NIV).

"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10

I wanted to enjoy God, Chuck, and my new life. But most of my planned “enjoyment” required work! I needed to give myself permission to rest in order to regain my emotional equilibrium. For me that means reading a good book, sleeping in, taking long prayer walks, or visiting with a friend over coffee.

When we make the journey with Him, the best is always yet to come.Eileen Rife

I realize now that the passage to the empty nest requires celebration. While I helped my children celebrate their milestones, I forgot to plan a party for me!

During this transition, I focused too much on the deficits and not the pluses like my three sons-in-law, eight grandchildren, developing my talents and ministry potential, and dancing with my hubby.

More than that, no matter what season I found myself in, I would always have my Savior. When we make the journey with Him, the best is always yet to come.

God has a plan and purpose for us at each stage in our lives. Our value is immutable, and our purpose is not dependent on our ever-shifting roles. To find out more and how to rest in the incredible freedom and peace of knowing who and Whose you are, join us for our next Wholly Loved Conference.