This is what I want to do these days. I want to curl up on the couch, with a blanket, a half gallon of ice (peanut butter & chocolate), and just cry. I just want to be sad. You have moments like this?
I’ve had some changes in the last few weeks. Changes other than my hair. That’s no big deal. Changes at work. Changes at home. Wanna grab your favorite ice cream and sit next to me here on the couch?
I’ve worked with my boss for six years. That doesn’t sound like a very long time, but my boss is also a friend. It took us a couple years to get to know each other’s minds and how to work together without driving each other crazy. I learned how to read this guy’s mind, really. I learned how to anticipate what he needed before he could even ask for it. I learned so much life stuff from him as well. Such a great teacher!
So, with some reorganization, things are changing. I’m slowly breaking up with my work husband. Lol. Tasks have slowly been turned over to someone else. With each one, it felt like a little piece of my heart was leaving. I know, it may sound silly. The sadness came in. And today, it felt like it was final. I don’t know how he feels but it feels strange to me. I am grateful for the opportunity to still be doing what I’m doing, and I pray for him and his new direction. I am now working with a new person, feeling like I’m starting all over in learning a new personality, learning styles, work habits and what they expect, etc. I love what I do and who I work with. I think my sweet co-worker caught me with a little tear in my eye and asked what was wrong, and all I could say was, “I’m sad” and told her that this felt like a break up. She reminded me that this is a loss and I’m grieving.
We often think of loss in events like losing a loved one or losing a job, among other things. I used to think loss only happened in relationships like marriage or families. I’m realizing now that loss happens in work relationships as well. I’ve worked close to this guy for a while. I learned that he loves coffee more than anyone I know. I had some great laughs as he lost his keys and/or wallet, so many times. I learned more about God through his love for Jesus and the way he just ate up God’s Word (he’s a Pastor). I think I’m a better leader because of his guidance. All things will be good, I know they will. His office is still in the same spot, and since I consider him a friend and my church family, he’s not going anywhere, so I can harass him anytime.
There’s been some other changes here on the home front. My oldest daughter, 23, is moving out. She’s starting a new adventure in her adulting life, moving in with a friend, and now will be on her own. For her, I’m sad and excited. Have these two emotions ever waved through your heart simultaneously? It finally hit this week. Tears of gloom and tears of pride, trying to roll down my cheek in the middle of the work day. Any Mama’s with adult children flying the coop? Are you like me and wanting to hold onto their legs while they’re trying to run out the door? This is my second adult child to leave the nest. Cue the Waaaahhh! from above. My nest is getting emptier, gals. Some of us may fear change or become anxious because we feel out of control. For me, though, I don’t feel these things. I just loved doing work life with my boss and doing life and with my daughter under the same roof, has been such a blessing. Of course, I’ll still see my girl at family dinner or when she comes home to do laundry, but when you don’t have that “someone” in your every day shenanigans, it just feels weird.
So friends, if you find yourself in a place of loss or grief, how are you holding up? I say we lock arms and grieve together. We are not meant to be in a little inflatable boat out on the water trekking through changes and grief all alone. We are meant to be in the same boat. A lot of us are already in the same boat, so let’s welcome those of us that don’t have any boat mates to sail through this crazy life with. We are meant to float on the water together, whether the water is rushing like massive waves of the ocean or like a calm little stream.
Remember with me, the wonderful words of the prophet, Isaiah: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). This brings me hope. God’s doing a new thing in you and me. He’s doing something new in my former boss and in my new boss. He’s doing a new thing in my daughter and my other children that are skating through the roller rink of adulthood. And, girl, in our heartbroken sadness, God will make a way for us. He helps us get through it. He’s got a new path for you, for me, everybody going through some kind of change in life.
If you’re in the empty nester (almost) boat like me, I’d like to remind you of the sweet words my sister told me today, “The goal is to raise your children to leave the nest and become adults and have the life God intends for them.” Perhaps these words work for work relationships as well as family relationships. Maybe, my new adventure with a new boss is me leaving the “nest” to live out the life God intended for me. Maybe, this is God’s plan for you in the wilderness or desert you are in today. God doesn’t intend for us to stay put on the hot, flat ground of the desert or the wilderness with giant tumbleweeds rolling by. This is where the “new thing” comes into your life. This if for you, Sister. What new thing is in front of you that may be hiding behind the cloud of sadness you’re in? I got to thinking, yes, we suffer a change or a loss, and we will miss that part of us leaving our heart; but, have you thought of what the Lord can put in that place? The new thing he’ll fill in that hole of your heart?
Let’s cling on to our Mighty Father, because you know what? He never changes. He remains the same. Our worlds get turned upside down, more often than we’d like, over our lifetime. As we remain in him and he remains in us, when change comes, he’ll keep us standing amidst the change. He’s not gonna leave you to grieve alone. He’s always with you. He wants you to embrace the change, saying, “Bring it on.” And you’ve got your #tribe to come alongside you, to listen and just hang out by your side, while you’re being sad. Your tribe can also #celebrate the change and the “new thing” with you, just don’t forget to pull out that half-gallon of ice cream and be sure to have a spoon for each and every one of you, and I highly recommend peanut butter & chocolate.
Hugging you so tight,