One of the hardest moments of my stepmother walk was sitting in a mediation room with my husband where we were awaiting a day filled with negotiation with his ex-wife. We had been waiting and preparing for this day for over four months. We had spent countless hours putting all the necessary documents and evidence together, writing out objectives, and most importantly we had been preparing with prayer together. We knew we were in for a battle, and we were ready to go through it hand in hand. This was not our first mediation with his ex-wife and so we felt prepared for what was to come. However, when the mediator came in the room she very abruptly and coldly stated I would not be allowed to stay with my husband. . Although everyone assured my husband and I that this was completely normal, we just weren’t ready for it. While we were adjusting to the idea, the mediator looked at me dead in the eye and said, “You’re a stepmother and I know that’s an important role, but…”
Don’t you just hate big buts? The adversary loves them because it can breed so much insecurity. But you’re not the parent, you are not the decision maker, you are not needed here. But you’re husband has a past and you’re not allowed to be a part of it. All my insecurities just flooded to my face and I forced myself to hold back the tears. I could tell my husband wanted to scream, but he maintained his cool and asked if there was any other way, but the mediator would not budge. As I left the room, I felt numb and confused and so I began to do the only thing I could do. I began to pray for my husband to have strength and courage. We are one flesh and one spirit, and even though I could not be in the room with him, I had to place him in the hands of the Father and let Him carry my love while I prayed and interceded for him. As I interceded I could feel a peace sweep over me and even had enough strength and courage to tell his ex-wife, “Good morning,” when she walked by me to get a cup of coffee out of the break room.
Although this intercession brought me peace, the tears were still about to flow. It is hard being a stepmom even if you have a great relationship with the children. My kids love me, but in this moment in time, I was not seen as anyone special or anyone of value. But what about the instincts I have with my stepsons? When I am out shopping, I’m always looking for clothes that might fit them. I know their favorite brands, their sizes, their likes and dislikes, their personalities, their hopes and fears, but today that doesn’t matter. Today I am just the woman their father is married to. What do we do with these emotions? How do you tell the world that you are so much more than the second wife? How do you tell a mediator that although this mother loves her children, you love them too? How do you tell them – you don’t.
The lesson I walked away with was this, as a stepmom, it is essential that you find your identity in Christ alone. If I look for my identity in my relationship with my husband or even in my stepchildren, I will be disappointed everytime. Someone will come along and say, “You’re really not needed here.” I’m reminded of a passage in Mark 4 when Jesus calms the storm. If you recall, there was a great storm, and where was Jesus? Asleep. The disciples woke him and asked him, “Don’t you care if we drown?” And as verse 39 says, “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still.’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” As stepmoms we face a lot of storms that attack our heart and I know for me I want to wake up Jesus and say, “Hey! Don’t you care that I might drown under the pressure of all of this??” But in reality and in the deepest part of my heart I know and understand that he is the one that calms the storm.
Although this mediation day was one for the history books, the storm that my husband and I faced cannot compare to the peace that passes all understanding. When I was finally able to be with my husband again, we spontaneously sang some worship songs together. Through the storm, we praised His Holy name. Keep pressing into the Lord despite all circumstances – He is in control.
In the morning when I rise – Give me Jesus
And when I am alone – Give me Jesus
You can have all this world – Give me Jesus