Monday, October 13, 2008

Chance Meeting or Divine Intervention?

So I ran into the parents of a guy I dated in high school last weekend. I was out shopping with some family and had to take my niece to the bathroom. Upon my return, I was pleasantly surprised to see them talking with my my mom. In any normal situation, this would probably be a little bit of an awkward exchange. But not with them. They were and still are such wonderful people. And excuse the phrase, but really salt of the earth.

So, here's a little background before I go any further. He lived with his dad and stepmom. And I remember that he called her mom which I always thought was so sweet. Every other friend I had with a stepmom either hated her or just didn't connect with her in any way. So it was apparent that they all really seemed to make their family "work". Now I'm not saying they didn't have ever have problems, I'm sure they did. Any blended family will undoubtedly have their share of problems. And I don't know what kind of relationship they had with his biological mom. But from what I observed, they truly tried to make things work.

I remember every time I went to their house, she would greet me with a hug and just ask all kinds of questions about how I was and what I had been up to. She had such a genuine heart and knew how to make someone feel loved and comfortable from the minute you walked through the door. I've always remembered how that made me feel and I still try to this day to take an active interest in getting to know people and not just give them a "How are ya today?" and call it a day.

All that to say, we started talking about what I was doing and I told her that I was now a stepmom and that it hasn't always been easy but that I knew God had everything under control. I told her that I remembered what a wonderful stepmom she was and how I knew how much her stepson adored her. I told her of this blog that I started to help encourage other stepmoms who may be going through the same things that I've gone through. And just like I remember, they were both very supportive and encouraging. Although it was a relatively short visit, it was a truly meaningful one.

It was only a day or so later that I really grasped the importance of this "chance meeting". God had given me an incredible example of the role He knew I would eventually take on more than 10 years later! I had always known what an amazing and caring woman she was. But it was only now that I began to realize that this was truly someone who was clearly put in my life to be a role model! I began to thank God for bringing her into my life, for being an encouragement and for always painting the picture of a loving and kind-hearted stepmom. I know she must have endured tough times and dealt with pain and frustration as every stepmom does. But she persevered and made it through.

From the moment I knew I was going to be a stepmom, I wanted to do everything right. I wanted to deal with any situation with love and kindness. It hasn't always been easy to keep these emotions in the forefront of your mind and heart when dealing the the struggles of being a stepmom. But just like this incredible woman, I will still try, I will not give up. I will trust that God will always carry me. I'm so thankful that He revealed this to me over the last week. I don't deserve His love or His hope, but He continues to give it in spite of my sin.

God puts people in your life for reasons you may not be aware of now. Ask Him to begin to reveal those reasons to you. Ask Him to help you learn from the wonderful stepmoms who have been there, dealt with the pain, lived with the struggles and wanted to throw in the towel at one point or another. May we be encouraged by your stories, your lessons, and most of all, your love. If you are reading this, I just have to say again - thank YOU! You've been a light in my journey although I didn't fully recognize it until now!

I forgot to get your email but please email me so we can stay in touch!


macocha said...

I am glad you were able to have the "chance" encounter to help you on your path. I have no experience with step other than what I have gone through - so I learn step by step or through others.

Anonymous said...

When my father married for a second time, I briefly had a lovely Stepmom. I adored her. I lived with them short term. She made me feel loved, special, and accepted into the family. I never felt like an outsider, nor did I struggle to fit in. I was blessed to have her wonderful example to follow, when many, many years later, I married for a second time, and became a custodial Stepmom.

I definitely model myself a lot after my Stepmom, and my Mother. Both women respected one another, and I was never pitted against either side, or harrassed or guilted for loving both of my Mom's. I was free to call both of them Mom, and free to have a loving relationship with both of them.

Truly with all of the horror stories I read, I had no idea at the time, just how lucky I was.

All of that to say, thanks for sharing your experience. It reminded me of mine, and it reminded me how much impact a person setting a good example can make, in another person's life.


thestepmomlife said...

I'm so glad this has been an encouragement! It's rare to hear of an experience like you had with both your stepmom and mom never making it awkward for you or making you feel guilty. I know you are truly thankful for that and I'm sure that made it less tramatic emotionally speaking for you growing up as well.

Thanks for reading and I pray that you will be encouraged each day with any challenge you may face.