As I listen to the thunder and rain tonight while I take a breather from a long day, I can’t help but reflect on how much has changed since I first stepped into the role of being a stepmom. My husband and I have been married just shy of three years, but I have been involved in the kids lives for almost six. I can remember some of the early rocky roads. I used to tell my husband how I felt like such an outsider because I wasn’t part of any memories or big firsts with the kids. He used to laugh a little and say “give it time…” It’s been quite some time now, and I can honestly say we’re finally all starting to fit in this beautifully imperfect family. I certainly do have my own family memories now – first days of middle school, high school, hang gliding, learners permits and just today my oldest stepson got his driver’s license!! I also have funny inside jokes now with the boys. For example, today, I passed by an old movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in the store that we watched with the kids awhile ago. As soon as I saw it I started laughing remembering how my youngest stepson was trying earnestly to remember the title one night and blurted out “you know the movie – one jumped over the cookie jar!” When I heard that little voice in my mind (which has since turned into a man’s voice), I just smiled to myself standing in the aisle of Big Lots and thought about how far we’ve come.
In the early days as a stepmom I was longing for a sense of belonging and acceptance. Once that was established and trusted, I began inserting some of my interests and passions into the lives and hearts of my stepchildren. I took them on volunteer service projects, checked up on their homework, helped with writing assignments all the while thinking if I could see some glimpse of “me” in them I would be satisfied. Next, I found myself wanting to be involved in their lives spiritually and teach them some of the values I had when I was growing up. It seems with every stage of growth within my wonderful little stepfamily I’m always looking for what could be improved and never fully taking time to stop and see the growth that’s happened all around me. When I saw the movie title today I thought, “Remember when all you wanted and thought you needed were memories…aren’t you glad there’s more?”
Today I find myself thinking if there were no conflict between households or struggles financially, then I would truly feel like a success as a stepmother and a true partner for my husband. Ring the buzzer! agh – wrong answer! How often do we miss the forest for the trees in our lives because we are stubbornly wanting God to do something different than what He’s doing? I consistently fail to grasp that the Lord is sovereign and knows, not only what I need, but what every member of my family needs. His wants and desires for me are beyond my capacity for understanding, and, somehow, His plan for each person in my family is better than anything I could have imagined on my own. At some point ladies we have to concede to the fact that God is not just on our side, but instead through His grace and benevolence He is “for” each person we come into contact with and loves them unconditionally.
28 And we know that [a]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
If God is for us – who is against us? The answer to that question is not an ex-wife or stepkids or any other person for that matter. The adversary, Satan, will continually try to undermine your role in your family and try to pit individuals against each other to create chaos. Through prayer and petition, satan is the one to wage war against – not the people who frustrate you. The Lord is always working things for His good. So keep your eyes and your heart open. You will see the progress in time. You will find what you are looking for if you fix your eyes on Christ and look for Him in each and every situation.