Time, honestly, is an amazing thing. We have accomplished a lot in another year of marriage. It is hard enough learning and understanding one person, but with a blended family comes even greater issues–and greater blessings–that I never considered until I married my husband. I never thought, as I grew up dreaming of my future marriage and children, that I would end up being in a blended family and I would be a step-mother–Disney scarred me as a child–but I am truly honored to be. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it has been the most rewarding, too.
I have no children of my own yet so I knew little about raising a child when I married and I felt overwhelmed. If I could go back, I would tell myself to be patient, not expect so much right away, and to just let some things go! No one raises children the same and there isn’t a “wrong” or “right” way–unless you are doing something obviously dangerous or stupid. My husband and I have had to come to an understanding here and, frankly, it wasn’t easy.
Joining a blended family–especially as with no children of your own–is like throwing someone who doesn’t really know how to swim into a large body of water–a lot of fighting, lot of just treading water, and a feeling of “pride” when you survive. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one compromising. I am blessed and my husband has been willing to see things from my point of view as well. We are a team and that is a must in any marriage, blended or not.
We started dating in 2012 and I thought we knew each other so well before the “I dos”. It’s funny how much you continue to learn about one another over the years and how much that deep love can grow. I love my husband, therefore, I love my step-son. If you are a step-parent, see your step-child through the eyes of Grace and let the Lord place His love in your heart. It isn’t natural to love someone’s child as your own, it is a choice and, once you are able to do so, it is the most amazing and freeing experience. It isn’t easy and it can’t be forced, but I have never seen love as a feeling, but an action. Once I acted on that love, it grew and I am so thankful for the bonds in my family.
There are trials in life, but we don’t stop living. There are trials in marriage so we need to keep on loving. Marriage isn’t easy and blended families are even more difficult, but it is always worth the outcome. Never give up on your precious family. There have been many tears over the past two years as I tried desperately to fight my way through the waters, but every moment has been worth it because I have grown as a person and I know the Lord is making me into the wife and mother that He wants me to be.
You have to have a support system and someone you can trust, you can’t keep things bottled up. I joined groups and message boards for support; it was so comforting to see that other people were struggling like I was and it helped me through the dark times. It was a blessing to see other step-mother’s share advice and how they had made their families work. Don’t struggle in the storm alone! At the very least, spend time in prayer and let the Lord show you the truth.
Thank you to my wonderful husband, Justin! You have been patient, loving, and understanding. I appreciate your guidance and I look forward to this beautiful new year together! I know the Lord has many amazing journeys for us. Happy Anniversary!
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.