We never thought we’d be empty nesters when our youngest son was just sixteen. He’d always been independent and mature, but sixteen?
Born and raised in Florida, he’d been surrounded by a tight network of friends that he’d known his whole life. He’d have been content to stay there until he graduated from the University of Florida, where all his friends planned to attend.
Hubby and I had other plans. Longing to escape the extreme humidity and high temps, we prayed for jobs in cooler climates. God told us no…for twenty years.
I guess our son never expected God would finally say yes. But He did.
Uprooting our son mid-year in tenth grade wasn’t ideal, and the NC county we were moving to didn’t offer the International Baccalaureate program. He would have lost credits by transferring, so we arranged for him to stay and finish the school year with relatives.
He spent the following summer in North Carolina with us, but he was miserable. So he moved back to Florida. Without telling us. This mother’s heart shattered into a million pieces. But that wasn’t the worst of it. We learned that we could drag him back, but nothing could prevent him from leaving again.
“You’re a terrible mother.” The enemy’s lies slithered in. Just like Eve, I pointed the finger of blame at my husband, but he spent long hours working. I blamed God. Why wait until our son was so ensconced in high school, when friendships were so important to him, to move us? I stopped writing, eating, sleeping.
God heard my cry and answered with a sweet husband who recognized we needed help and a Christian counselor who asked some tough questions. Why not let him stay? Give up our son? How could I possibly do that? What would it do to your relationship if you forced him to come back? I couldn’t fathom the answer to that one. After a few sessions and much prayer, God’s gentle whispers finally seeped into my broken spirit.
If it weren’t for my husband and this Christian counselor, who asked the tough questions and helped us see that our relationship was worth the distance and the cost, our family might have disintegrated.
Hubby and I adjusted to the empty bedroom, the vacant chair at dinner, and the steady stream of cash to Florida. We counted the days until the occasional long weekend visits and holiday breaks. For his senior year, we rented an apartment, and I split my time between both places.
It was all worth it. Especially that moment when he walked across the stage of the Kenan Stadium at the University of North Carolina to accept his diploma. Yes, you read that right. He graduated from the University of North Carolina! God definitely has a sense of humor, doesn’t He?
What about you?
What tough questions have you faced during a particularly difficult time?
Deputy City Manager Burk Harmon has always been the strong one for his family, but recently those responsibilities have dwindled. When Lacie Heatherton, Assistant Director for Parks and Recreation, ropes him into a city-sponsored trip to the mountains with fifty seniors, Burk has two things on his mind: considering a possible promotion and wooing Lacie past friendship and into a future. Lacie has emotional scars and a thirteen-year-old daughter to remind her that men can be cruel and unforgiving. Can Burk convince Lacie to relax her “no dating” policy or will he surrender his dreams of family and love?
After a successful auditing career, Dora Hiers left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son no longer wanted her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing Heart Racing, God-Gracing romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and her local chapter, Carolina Romance Writers.
Dora and her real life hero make their home in North Carolina. When she takes a break from cranking out stories, she enjoys reading, family gatherings, and mountain cabin getaways. She despises traffic, bad coffee, technological meltdowns, and a sad ending to a book. Her books always end with a happily-ever-after!