Empty Nest

When Greater Glories Shine Brighter Than the High-Noon Sun

A steady week of rain and clouds has evaporated—so my daughter and I take to the hare-lip of a beach which offers us cool reprieve, where the only hard choice is deciding which of twenty-six flavors of soft-serve to taste.

Bianca and I collapse onto the sand and awaken our palates to White Chocolate and Pistachio delight. She’s a week shy of beginning a paid internship in the heart of New York City and I’m fraught with silly ‘what-ifs for her safety.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Toa Heftiba

Seagulls glide across the surf as we walk over shells which clink and clatter under our feet.

Just a few weeks ago, my raven-haired beauty fluttered across the Rhode Island Convention Center stage to grab hold of a college degree she’s invested countless of hours into. I’m sure I clapped loudest as my unrelenting grin almost froze my cheekbones in place. Yeah, I was that proud.

“I’m considering San Francisco, Mom. My friends are landing jobs there.”

She lifts her face to the sun not realizing her words have unnerved me. Why does she want to go so far away?

“There’s earthquakes in California,” I tell her.

“But God’s there too, Mom.”

I don’t like that she’s right.

Her newfound dreams and plans reach higher than unruly summer weeds.

“You can’t keep me in an incubator. I’m not a newly-hatched egg.” She’s all of five feet and ninety-eight pounds. She’s too determined to understand she’s still my little bird.

We train in to New York City the next evening. Bryant Park teems with folk who’ve flocked together to shimmy and shake to mambo, disco, and old-time swing. We become vibrant-colored spinning tops, our feet, riding on the rhythms of percussion and trumpet horns.


The sun casts the street grid golden, framing my daughter’s face like a holy epiphany. In an instant, God convinces me—I see her with newfound eyes.

She’s a twenty-two-year-old woman longing to realize dreams of her own.

The band performs its final set and we collapse our weary bones into plastic lounge chairs. Underneath the canopy of trees fireflies perform a luminescent dance of their own.

We take in the night, knowing it’ll be one of our brightest memories.

Early the next morning, I make the half-mile trek to Gulf Beach on my own. I watch as a lone, sinewy fisherman baits his pole with tackle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Derek Liang

I stride the ledge where sand meets surf to surrender my daughter’s future and protection to God. Because providence alone will determine her path. This young lady is a beautiful bird, eager for flight.

I know if I don’t anchor deeply into the heart of God, her soon-to-be empty bedroom will feel like a hole to the heart.

What if the nudge of loneliness kneading my soul is an opportune moment of sorts? A chance to re-discover a new path, even as I walk through the beginnings of mid-life?

God’s voice is gentle as wind, “You shall no longer be termed Forsake, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, (Isaiah 62:4, ESV).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

And What if Greater Glories Exist for Me Just the Same?

So I’ll relish the days of summer with my daughter now…

because our joy-filled moments will evaporate faster than saltwater on skin.



  • Mary
    1 year ago

    Jessica, as one who has been where you’re at some time ago, may I just confirm to you that you are correct in your discernment?
    God always has new things for us and they are more than we could ever imagine.
    He does indeed take us from faith to faith, strength to strength, glory to glory.
    There are always greater things in store for us, as the best is always yet to come.
    He who has called us is faithful.
    God bless you as you go through farewelling your daughter from her childhood home.
    God is with her, also.
    We can utterly trust Him.

    • Jessica
      1 year ago

      Your words mean so much, Mary. This season of my life is challenging. Waiting on Our King.

  • Maria
    1 year ago

    A very inspiring story you have with your daughter.
    Kind of jealous because I don’ t know what is really the plan of God for me. Have been through a lot of ordeals like I retired early from a very good job due to health problem, my son did not pass a subject so was not able to finish his course (actually a second course his dad wanted for him), another son without a job yet and financial problems.
    I keep on praying but I don’t know if God hears me.
    Thanks for you help in advance.

    • Jessica
      1 year ago

      Maria, it hurts when our dreams slip through our hands. I’m covering your future, your young men and husband. God always hears. Never give up hope. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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