In 2015, my husband and I launched our last child out of the proverbial "nest". Our youngest child was headed to college and I found myself floundering in what I would call the “middle years”. I have never really liked the term “midlife” especially since it is typically followed by another equally disliked word…"crisis”. I remember thinking to myself…what’s next? Research shows that the middle adulthood range is from age 40-65. It is deemed the period of the lifespan between young adult and old age. That is quite of few years to embrace a new season in life, 25 years to be exact! If I’m being perfectly candid, I spent about 3 years in a fog. I knew that I was a counselor by trade and a caregiver by nature, but what do I do now?
I had always had home-based businesses while my children were still in the home, which was so good for the mind, but I was longing to fill the caregiving void in my heart. In December 2014, I saw a mama Chihuahua and her puppies posted on Facebook. They were in need of fostering for 4-6 weeks. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to provide a cozy home for the holidays. For the next 2+ years, my home was a revolving door to homeless pets. I loved caring for these babies and their mamas, even though, at times, it felt sad and hopeless. Especially when some didn’t survive or they had to go back into the system for adoption. God was showing me that a small void in my heart was being filled. I loved watching the fur babies flourish, it was an amazing experience! In the midst of giving care to animals, I decided to become a Stephen’s Minister at our church. This is a ministry that equips caregivers to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. Hmmm….the middle years were evolving. God was certainly showing me something. Then in the Summer of 2017, I listened to a podcast and purchased a book that would prove pivotal to showing me that my middle matters. The book was Know Your Why by Ken Costa. As an impatient person, I desperately wanted to know how these middle years would unfold.
God was using this book to show me that “the Spirit is the one who is constantly by our side reminding us of our callings, giving us insight into our work, and equipping us for each task.”
I began to pray, watch for where God was working, and wait for His perfect timing. I knew that He would equip me for this next phase. Today, as I reflect on the journey to my middle years, I know that my education as a counselor played into my caregiving heart and ultimately lead me to my coach calling! And guess where that all happened? You guessed it…in the middle years!
So how are you navigating the middle years?
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