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Today I want to introduce you to my new friend, Kim Wilbanks, who is sharing the story of her bold response to God’s nudging.  Welcome, Kim!  #BeBoldGirl

I had it all figured out.  I had a plan for my life, for my future.  My husband and I successfully guided a son and then a daughter all the way through the teenage years and before we knew it, it was time for them to go to college.

I imagined them choosing a school not too far away from home.  Somewhere just far enough away to get the “going to college experience”.  Just like I did.

They would graduate from college and find jobs and spouses close to home.  Just like I did. 

My daughter and I would spend Saturdays together shopping or going out for coffee and the family would eat lunch together every Sunday after church.  You know, just like I did.

For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord….

Well, somewhere along the way these two offspring of mine did not get the memo.  Nope, these two decided to attend colleges in Alabama, 600 miles from home!  We are Floridians.  We didn’t even know anyone in the state of Alabama.

I held out hope that once they completed their education, they would come home.  Alas, that was not to be . . . they stayed right where they were.

Just like that, they were gone.  Like the 3 little pigs, they went off to seek their fortunes in a distant land.  They flew the coop leaving me and their dad with an empty nest.  This was not part of my plan.  Oh, I knew they would leave home and have their own lives . . . I just never imagined they would be so far away.

…plans for welfare and not for calamity… 

I had a hard time with that.  For a couple of years, I felt like my life was over.  I know, that is a little dramatic.  It seems silly to me now.  My number one job in life was being a mom but with two independent children two states away that job seemed to be a bit obsolete.  What was I supposed to do now?

Living in the empty nest gave me more time to think, to ponder.  I had more time to listen.  I began to have thoughts and words swirl through my mind and the gentle nudging . . . you should write this down.

I spent a good bit of time trying to determine if it was God speaking to me, if He was the one putting the ideas into my head.

Finally, with the encouragement of some friends at church and after reading Holley Gerth’s book, You are Made For a God Sized Dream, I acted on that gentle nudging and started writing.

…to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

That may not seem like such a bold thing to some but it is for this classic introvert.  I joined a local Christian Writer’s club where I met other writers.  The monthly meetings where we shared and critiqued each other’s work encouraged me.  I also went to my first Writer’s Conference, not knowing a soul but leaving with new friends and a zeal for this new journey.

I often struggle with self-doubt.  Who do I think I am, trying to write?  Who would even want to read what I have to say?  The truth is, if God is inspiring me to write down words then I need to be bold enough to do it.

How about you?  Is there something that has been nudging at your soul?  Be bold and respond to the call.

Meet Kim Wilbanks

Kim is a wife and mother of two adult children who left the nest and landed in different states.  Her blog Kim Wilbanks – Feathering My Empty Nest focuses on the ups and downs of adjusting to that empty nest.  Her “baby”, a faithful corgi named Higgins helps.  Kim is involved in her local church as a MOPS Mentor Mom and a student of Precepts Bible Studies.  She also enjoys traveling with her husband.  Connect with Kim on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Today I am linking up with Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup

  • What a great reminder that God is in control and all we need to do is obey! I know what God is telling me to do lately, but I’m dragging my feet. Thanks for the encouragement today! Visiting from Kelly’s #raraLinkup

  • Great word!!! I, too, am an empty nester and a Floridian. My boys decided to go to Baylor University in Texas……over 1000 miles away! I tell my friends it is terrible and wonderful at the same time. Terrible because I miss them like crazy, but wonderful because they are in the center of God’s will! Thanks, Kim!

  • Oh I needed these words today. I took my baby to get her driver’s license yesterday. I am filled with an overwhelming sadness and at the same time pride and joy for my baby girl. Thankful for the reminder that God has a plan for this mama as my role changes. God bless you! Thank you for being bold!

  • I know this story well! I lived it some time ago. Our son and then our daughter went to a lovely college out of state not quite 200 miles away. It was hard to see them leave, but I, too, looked forward to them coming home afterward. Our son moved even farther (500 miles), married, and has been living there with two of our grandchildren for more than 25 years. A few years later our daughter took a job more than 350 miles away, married a college sweetheart, and still lives there with four of our grandchildren. (We do a lot of driving to visit them.) I now laughingly tell people that we encouraged our children to follow their dreams and they did!! I loved being a mom and had never seen this coming and I still wish there were closer, but the Lord has given me other places for the nurturing within me and opened new possibilities for me that included starting to write just over a year ago. Thanks for this well-done post!

    • Now my children are older and leaving home, it makes me think about my own leaving for college (150 miles), and then for work (same kind of distance) and then when we moved with my husband’s job (3,000 miles). That was hard on myself and my mother. Thanks for your comment, Pam.

  • I am so right there with you on this. My only child went to college 11 hours away. Like Pam and Rachel, I’ve often thought of what I did — college was just a few hours away, then I moved 1000 miles away, then literally across the world. Now I’m back to 1000 and it feels “close.” We joke that since our daughter is an only child, we will just follow her wherever she goes. It may or may not be a joke. 😉 But the beauty of it all is how God is pouring other opportunities into my life. The nest may be empty, but we don’t have to be, right?

    • Right, Wendy. I once heard Patsy Clairmont at Women of Faith call the “empty nest” the “promised land”. She was being funny but there is truth in that there are many opportunities. We just need to be bold.

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