Many older women experience grief when they lose the ability to have children. They sometimes wonder what their purpose is now that their “nests” are empty. An empty nest doesn’t have to equal an empty heart. You can still worship and serve God after childbearing years. God may have saved His best plans for this time, as some Biblical women teach us.
Elizabeth was the wife of Zechariah, a respected Levite priest. In ancient Israel, she should’ve been one of the most respected women of her community. Yet she had no children. Her barrenness left her feeling the “reproach” of contemporaries, who may have thought she was cursed. It was not until old age that she gave birth to John the Baptist.
You may not bear a child in your old age, but take heart if you feel your age is a “curse,” like Elizabeth did. Ask God if there is someone He wants you to mentor, or a younger woman whose family you can serve. Over time, your heart will feel full again.
If anyone had a reason to be bitter, it was Naomi. She had a husband and grown sons, but lost them to famine. She’d lived in Moab for several years, probably decades, and was cut off from family and friends. There was no reason for God to keep using her. Yet she is the one who helped Ruth get to know Boaz. Her grandson Obed became grandfather to King David and a great-great-great grandparent to Jesus.
Naomi’s story proves God calls on older people often, especially when it comes to nurturing grandchildren. Think of grandchildren as a special blessing. Share negative emotions when you need to, but share wisdom and hope with your family too. Encourage younger family members in their endeavors and pray for them.