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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)

TITLE: The Precipice
By Pamela Kliewer


I stand on a precipice not liking what I see. The wind whips my long skirt around my ankles and I lose my balance… I am falling, fast. Branches protruding from trees tear at my arms, snag my skirt. I’m screaming but there is no one to hear. I land with a thud on the hard ground below.

I awake with a jerk.


My heart pounds hard within my chest, my body drenched in sweat.

I sit up, trying to calm down.

I grab for my robe lying beside the bed, stand up slowly so as not to disturb my husband, resting so peacefully. He’s not been sleeping well lately, so I really don’t want to wake him.

As I pull my robe on, I make my way to Rebekah’s room – the room I have turned into a ‘retreat room’ for myself.

I pull open the blind so I can see the night sky from the window, then lower myself into the rocker, swiveling it so I can look out. I gaze out… seeing thousands of stars twinkling gracefully from their homes. My heart rate slows as I marvel at God’s creation.

I open the box near the rocker that has my journal in it, pull it and a pen out and begin writing.

God, that was some dream! Standing on that precipice and seeing… nothing. Nothing but a black hole.

God, when Rebekah was a baby I never imagined what it would be like to someday give her wings and let her fly. I didn’t think of one day having an empty nest. All I saw was a cherished baby who needed my care, dependent on me for her every need.

As the years went by, she needed me less and less. She learned more each day to do things for herself, as it should be. Still, I didn’t look ahead to the nest being empty. It never really crossed my mind. Sure, I had to let go, a lot. But with her still living at home longer than most kids her age, well, it didn’t sink in that she would fly the coop some day.

Now at twenty-three she has. She’s moving on with her college career and I know she’ll be home on breaks, but still… the pain is there, because nothing will ever be the same again. But, God, in a way I’m enjoying this time… discovering again, who I am…and the heart connection will always be there.

The pain at times, though, is so severe. It takes my breath away, as I shed tears of sorrow. This empty nest…

Psalm 91:4

This often happens when I’m pouring my heart out to God so I’m not surprised.

I grab my Bible out of the same box and flip the pages open to Psalm 91, loving the way the pages rustle in the quietness of the night.

I read:

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take
His truth shall be your shield and

I jot the verse down in my journal and continue writing.

God, wow. I hear what you’re saying. Rebekah is in YOUR nest. She always has been. So, while I may have an empty nest, you don’t. Thank you Abba. I praise your name. You are covering her with your feathers. You have her under the protection of your mighty wings. I pray Lord that she will seek the refuge of your wings and allow your truth to be her shield and buckler. Guard her heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I thank you that you will never let her go.

I close my journal and Bible and lay them back in the box. I make my way back to bed, tears flowing down my cheeks in thanksgiving to the God who knows and sees all and who has me, my husband and daughter in the refuge of His wings, if we will let ourselves rest there.

As I crawl back into bed, my husband mumbles, “Are you okay?”

“Yes dear, everything’s fine.”

His breath becomes even again as I snuggle into him and fall peacefully back asleep, knowing that our daughter is right where she needs to be – safe in the refuge of Her heavenly Father’s wings.


Scripture taken from NKJV

Author’s note – based on what was shown to me during a quiet time as I read Psalm 91.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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Member Comments
Member Date
Allen Stark09/17/09
I find it interesting how we all deal with this topic in reality. Nice job of dealing with the matter of letting go and letting God.
Preacher Johnson09/17/09
A good reminder that we bring up our children to do the one thing we don’t want them to do: leave.
Patricia Turner09/18/09
I like your title as well as the story. When the kids leave it is a little like standing on a precipice. You did a good job with the topic.
c clemons09/19/09
Very good job.
Lisa Johnson09/21/09
I enjoyed reading this entry...I like the way your MC made the daughter's room a haven for getting closer to God...I liked the way the scripture reference was worked into the story. It had a very devotional feel.
Charla Diehl 09/21/09
Thanks for sharing your quiet time with us readers. I agree with Lisa--this felt like a devotional reading when it concluded. Good job.
Shilo Goodson09/22/09
This story flowed really beautifully and seemed so true to life. I enjoyed reading it.
Beth LaBuff 09/22/09
I loved your message of comfort to every parent who has seen their child(ren) grow up and leave home. I agree, this is a beautiful devotion as well as a comforting story.
Bryan Ridenour09/23/09
Great devotional thought and a reminder that we are safely tucked away in God's nest. Good job!
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/23/09
I liked the encouragement in your entry for anyone who's "letting go" of a son or daughter. Very well done.
Betty Castleberry09/23/09
Such a true and simple message, but one I need to be reminded of. When I read your MC's revelation regarding the scripture, I said aloud, "Oh *yeah*, she is in His nest. Well done.
Catrina Bradley 09/23/09
Nicely written. Great illustration of how God speaks to us through His Word. And I too love "the way the pages rustle in the quietness of the night." It's like a prelude to peace. :) Cat
Chely Roach09/23/09
This was so emotionally honest and real. Very well written. Excellent.
Lisa Johnson09/25/09
Congratulation on being Highly Commended for the week.
Beth LaBuff 09/25/09
Congratulations, Pamela, on receiving "highly commended" for this great piece.