Jon and I renewed a friendship from high school after his marriage ended and I was doing life as a single mom. We fell in love fast saying, ‘I love you’ after being around each other just a few times. We instantly felt hope and connectedness and knew this would be forever. We believed that together we would have a second chance at love, marriage and family.
As we entered into the dangerously steep statistics of a blended family, it was a rocky start. Add a special needs child, a progressive disease, and the brokenness of two people and the odds were stacked against us.
We struggled in the first few years trying to figure out discipline. Specifically, how to coparent. How do you let the bio parent manage their own child while also creating space for the stepparent to be heard? We struggled with how to communicate with ex’s, not running to our bio kids when we were in a fight, and further, not getting defensive about our bio children.
We struggled with my son Jack’s behavior, his autism, and how to manage it; with my health issues, meeting each other needs, how to communicate and how to be kind. The list and arguments seemed endless. The aftermath of our previous marriages and relationships would often supersede the hope we once held.
We allowed Satan to speak to us many times, telling us we weren’t worth fighting for, telling us we couldn’t do it. Nothing is perfect, many of those struggles are still struggles, but after 6 years I feel a sense of strength and wisdom that I didn’t have before. I know, we are worth the fight.
The only thing that has and does continue to ground me is God. Through the years there were times that I felt hurt and alone and I questioned Him. Where are You? What I couldn’t see then and clearly see now is that God doesn’t work on my timeline or at my desired pace. I can see actual evidence of growth that is a result of prayer and God’s divine intervention.
Jon and I have learned to listen to one another, compromise, change, and adapt. My personal struggles have lead to life changes. These changes have lead to identifying unmet expectations, listening to Jon, and not planning my defensive strategy to an argument. I am respectful and feel safe to communicate my feelings and thoughts.
We have made mistakes and certainly don’t have it figured out, but I fully believe we are fighting the good fight, together, and we continue to make the daily choice to say yes to one another.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.