Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Little Encouragement Here?

So I had a meltdown the other night. It just all came rushing out. I've tried to be strong not let it get to me but I couldn't hold it together for one more second. It all started with a call to my mom about my frustrations with some family members. I'm talking about the non-supportive family members who don't encourage us in our journey as a blended family. Now I know they love us and want the best for us. But there's no "we're so proud of how you're parenting" or "we're proud of the way you've turned this situation around" or "we're so glad that you've stepped up and taken responsibility". Nothing. Not once. I can't even begin to tell you how much that hurts both my husband and I. Maybe they are proud of the way we've worked to make this situation work for us. But we'll never know how they truly feel if they don't tell us. I've tried to just block those feelings out and not think about how we've been hurt. But it's always there. I started thinking of how hard this whole stepmom life has really been throughout the years and the sacrifices I've made and why they don't seem to get that.

But I know those frustrations are doing me no good. I always want to know why. Why don't they support or encourage us? But I don't know if I'll ever know the answer to that so if I continue to dwell on these feelings, I'll be eaten up with bitterness and anger. I have to turn that over to the Lord EVERYDAY. I don't want this to create bitterness in my heart or make me resentful. It's incredibly hard to give up that anger and frustration each day. I want to scream and yell and shout it from the rooftops! "Don't you get it!? Don't you see what we've done for this child? Don't you see we've made the right decisions in this situation? Don't you see that we're trying our very best to be the Godly parents that this child needs and deserves?" But I can't. I can't control their thoughts or actions anymore than I can control the weather. I can only focus on the positive things I CAN do:
  • I can only PRAY for them. I think that is the hardest part. In fact, when you're angry, it's extremely hard to pray with sincerity. We first have to ask forgiveness of our anger because "a man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires" ...yes we all know that. Easier said than done.
  • I must ask God to help me FORGIVE them. Another truly difficult thing to do. As my grandmother says, "You can't truly forgive someone unless you can honestly say that you wish them well"
  • I have to LOVE them despite the actions and beliefs they may display towards us. I should demonstrate Christ-like attitudes and love them just as I love Christ.
  • I must TRUST in the Lord to take control of the situation. I have to ultimately trust that God can and will change their hearts if He so desires.
  • Last, I have to GIVE IT TO GOD. I am a selfish, sinful human and I have to "cast my cares upon the Lord" and leave them there!
If you have people who support and encourage you in your journey as a stepmom, be sure to thank them! Let them know how much you appreciate their support and what their encouragement means to you. Thank God for putting them in your life!

If you are dealing with unsupportive family or friends in your unique situation, I hope you will be encouraged by this post. If you have done all you can to make the situation with your stepkid(s) or ex-spouse work, God applauds you! If you are making the tough decisions that no one seems to notice, God is smiling down on you! Remember that our Father is the ONLY one we should be seeking approval from! He knows our hearts. He knows our desires. We just have to trust that He sees what we're doing and you can rest knowing that He will bless us when we make those tough decisions and sacrifices. Maybe not with earthly possessions or wealth, but He will give us joy in our journey... and that surpasses anything this world has to offer. May you be blessed today with all-surpassing joy as you seek to be the stepmom that God desires you to be.


macocha said...

I think one thing to understand in all of this, is that unless they too have been placed in this position - no one completely, 100%, understands the emotions you face daily. Even if you do get along with the bm - it is still a very emotionally charged environment. I never, ever understood anything about what I experience now prior to dating dh. Never. I was completely ignorant! So realizing that will help you figure within yourself what YOU need to do in order to either let it roll over you or detach from their opinions, comments, etc.

Anonymous said...

I love you blog and I just want to thank you for the blog. I ran across it today and I am new to being a step mom. Don't deal with the ex-drama, since she passed away, but this is so much encouragement as being a step mom in any situation is tough no matter what. Your blog has brought me encouragement and such peace.