Step-Family Pain, Grace, and Forgiveness

Blending step-families doesn’t seem to ever get “easier,” but it also doesn’t seem to ever stay the same.

If you’ve been reading my articles or watching my Live Mini-Trainings on Facebook or YouTube, you know a bit about what my family has experienced in the past 14+ years.

Here’s a brief recap: My son’s dad and I divorced when he was just one year old. Two years later, I met and married my current husband when my son was 3, his son was 4, and his daughter was 5 (see our adorable wedding photo from September 2008?!).

We had equal joint physical and legal custody of his two children with his ex-wife for the first five years of our marriage, then she moved across the country with her new husband and baby. After many battles, broken dreams, emotional breakdowns, financial stress, and heartache, it ended up that his daughter moved with her mom and his son stayed with us.

Fast forward six years and we now are raising – and homeschooling – our two boys and get to visit with his daughter a couple times a year. I am so thankful to be able to say that our relationship with my husband’s ex-wife has grown so much closer recently! I genuinely care about her and believe she cares for me as well. Also, my ex-husband recently married a wonderful woman who has two kids of her own. Our family is a glorious mess of blending step-families! I praise God for this family of which He’s allowed me to be a part. IN SPITE OF my sin, wounds, or limitations, He still loves me and lavishes me with grace and I am so grateful!

I have so much for which to be thankful:

  • The fully complete and totally undeserved love, forgiveness, and salvation from my Savior Jesus Christ.
  • A supportive, loving, God-fearing husband who provides for, leads, and loves us. (And who still makes my heart skip beats after almost 13 years!)
  • Two kind-hearted, thoughtful, hard-working sons who love me and teach me just as much about life and love as I teach them about reading, writing, and arithmetic on a daily basis.
  • An affable relationship with my ex-husband and my husband’s ex-wife and the peace of knowing that they each love and respect all of our children and their family relationships.

SO…what do I do about the ungrateful, discontented, sad, lonely, out-of-sorts feelings that tend to plague me in seasons? Of course, I lay them at God’s feet, praying fervently for Him to make all things right for His glory and my good. But, sometimes I find myself sneaking over to that pile of worries and picking them back up again. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Can you relate to this?

Do YOU find it difficult to focus on the blessings which abound in your life and easier to mourn the losses? If so, you may be (as I was) struggling with FORGIVENESS.

When I found myself feeling angry and bitter over other people’s choices, I thought of Romans 12:18 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Some synonyms for PEACEABLY include: Affably, Agreeably, Amiably, Amicably, Cheerfully, Graciously, Happily, and of course, “Shalom”

Inspired by God, Paul tells us “So far as it depends on you, live in peaceably with all” reminding me that I have no control over what others do! I ONLY have control over MY responses to them.

Now, of course we are going to feel angry sometimes – and that is OK in the case of righteous anger. After all, Matthew tells us in chapter 21 that Jesus Himself turned over the money changers tables in His Father’s House. He, Who never sinned, had a righteous anger. Therefore, I know that it is ALSO all right for ME to feel angry when something is wrong or hurtful!

But, what I DO about that righteous anger afterward (forgive OR let it stew and grow bitter) is my choice!

And I choose – for my children, for my husband, for my own health – to forgive…and forgive…and forgive! It’s a process, you know. It’s not “one and done.”

Thank You, God that You continue to forgive my sins, that You toss them as far away as the east is from the west and that YOU forgive completely, totally, and finally. Please, help me become more like You, Jesus! Amen.

Connect Point Moms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you’re in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them! For quick, helpful parenting videos, find “Kate Connects” on YouTube or join the Connect Point Moms Facebook group to find encouraging supportive moms struggling through it all together!

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