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Finding A New Life When The Old One Changes

Finding A New Life When The Old One Changes -christyfitzwater.com

“Give me the keys!” he said in a rush.

“Why?” I asked.

“Caleb left his tassels at home,” he said. This was an hour and a half before graduation, and there was no way we were lettin’ that kid cross the stage without his magna cum laude tassel. (See how I slipped in that bold-faced bragging?)

So the rest of us found our seats in the auditorium, while Matt raced home for tassels.

After graduation, we did a car shuffle. Matt gave me the keys to my mom’s car and sent us girls to the far east parking lot where he had left it.

“No problem,” mom said. “As long as one of us knows which way is east.”

I live here, so I took the lead. “This way,” I said. We walked and walked and walked. No car. Finally we hit the end of the far east parking lot and headed back. We came across the guys -the guys who were incredulous that we had gone that far west.

Scrubb was quite right in saying that Jill (I don’t know about girls in general) didn’t think much about points of the compass. Otherwise she would have known, when the sun began getting in her eyes, that she was travelling pretty nearly due west.  (C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair)

It was an amplification of the whole weekend, with my baby graduating Saturday and turning 18 on Sunday. I woke up and was done raising two kids, and it felt like losing your bearings in a parking lot, when just a few minutes ago you thought you knew for sure where you were going.

Now what? I asked the Lord yesterday morning.

And I knew immediately what the answer was: Keep living on purpose, for the kingdom. That’s a fixed direction.

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  (Deuteronomy 6:5)

I went downstairs and sat myself down in the same corner of the couch that is older than my firstborn. Coffee in hand. Blanket. Bible. This is what I’ll be doing as an empty nester, even as my mom and wife routine takes a new shape. Here you’ll find me, enjoying the Lord. Asking him what he wants me to do today.

Loving God is the greatest commandment, and it’s the direction toward which we can point our hearts when everything west seems east.


  1. Anita Canales says:

    Thank you, I had two graduates this year, one from college and my youngest from high school. It was quite emotional for me, a mixture of joy, relief and sadness. Although I work as para educator in PreK4 during the school year and many years of volunteering as a parent, I know that I still have gifts to share and there is a sense of purpose on this new road.

    1. It is emotionally exhausting. My oldest graduates from college this December, so you and I are really on the same road. Hugs to you. And yes, we still have so much purpose -just need to get through two or three boxes of Kleenex first.

  2. Alisha Linn says:

    Congrats, Christy, for raising two fine human beings. New chapters in our lives are always a bit scary but exciting! I, for one, will continue to be encouraged by your writings. Keep in that direction and you can’t go wrong! Hugs to you!

  3. Cheryl Loy says:

    Thank you for this! My oldest just graduated! Even with 2 younger ones here, things are always changing… I just love it, the list of stuff may change but the question never does…

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