Happy New Year!!!
The series on from Broken to Blended continues through the month of January.
There will also be additional blog topics throughout the week that I hope will stimulate conversation, inspire hope, and get us thinking about “life things” a lithe deeper. Those blog posts will be for anyone and everyone. Those will begin to be sent out next week. I am very excited about where the Lord is leading me to share with you the grace and mercy along with some strong convictions He has laid upon my heart and to hear from you guys as well.
The last Broken to Blended post left off with Perseverance. So, that is where we pick back up today.
Perseverance through prayer
Let’s get one point out there and in the open right off the bat….being in a blended family is NOT easy. It’s not easy for the biological parent, the step parent, or the kids. Let’s not forget
all the “relatives in between”. They have plenty of opinions, issues and concerns of their own. There are so many dynamics that go on and people involved (don’t forget about the “ex” and possibly their new family, ex-in-laws, etc) that sometimes it can be plain out overwhelming!!
The point of this series is not to put a “face” on blended families and make anyone think that there is a magical formula for instant or automatic success. Moving from Broken to Blended does not happen overnight. It is however meant to encourage you that success and redemption CAN happen….
The key to moving from Broken to Blended above everything is TIME…and PERSEVERANCE.
Time…I know, not what you wanted to hear. We are just that kind of society where we want 12 steps to a blended family” or “3 steps to success”. It’s why the self-help aisle isn’t just one aisle at the bookstore. Most of us just want a plan or steps to follow…..
And we want the end result to be what the book or speaker promised. To be perfectly honest with you (fyi my Word For The Year is Authentic, so let me practice that now)… I used to be THAT therapist. The one who WANTED to give the steps or the plan for people to follow. That’s what most of my clients wanted and I wanted to deliver.
Until.. I experienced what it was like myself to walk in their shoes…..the Blended Family shoes.
Somewhere in the middle of my blended family experience I stopped and realized “wait a second!! These steps aren’t working….This plan doesn’t fit my scenario, this family, or these personalities!!”.
So out the window went the steps and the plans and the false idea of a magic wand that would make my family have smooth sailing.All my education, seminars attended, the books I had read, and CEU’s I had taken as a professional didn’t seem to be hitting the mark for success either.
It was then I realized that walking this path myself I could combine some of the “knowledge” I had in my profession about communication, stages of development, etc….but that would only get me so far. I had to incorporate something else.
This is when I decided to look at it from a strategic point of view. Not following certain steps or plans….but what strategies could I put in place that would help foster the aroma of a home that I spoke about in my first post.
Strategy number one that I put in place was TIME.
I knew this was going to take time. As much as I wanted everyone to gel well and just LOVE this new family…. Especially the kids…. Well that was not realistic.
They didn’t “fall in love” with their stepdad, I did…and his kids didn’t “fall in love with me”…he did. So I needed to lighten up, not make a catastrophe over every disagreement or unhappy feeling someone had and just give and accept the grace of time.
Which led me to my main strategy, Perseverance. I wasn’t going to give up….on anyone in this home. Not my husband, not my kids, not his kids, not our families….not even on myself. I knew my perseverance and fight had to start in one important place.
It’s one of the things I loved about the movie War Room. Yes it was about a woman fighting to SAVE her marriage from divorce….but the overall theme was about fighting to save anything in your prayer closet…your personal War Room.
That is exactly what I began to do. I made note cards with each family member’s name on it. I listed specific areas I wanted to pray for them on for their individual lives and then specifics related to areas I noticed were not going so well in our home. These things ranged from pride, selfishness, anger, disappointment, intolerance…..basically, all heart issues!! I prayed for their hearts….and I had a notecard on myself praying the same way for me.
For this to work, for God to be glorified in this”to-be Redemptive family”, I had to include Him in a daily conversation about it.
I wanted my heart to be pure…my sins to be revealed to me. Anything I was doing to hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in this new family I wanted to be made aware of and ask God to take those areas away from me and “create in me a clean heart Oh Lord”.
I wanted…..no I needed…those things to also occur for my spouse as well. Sure I could “teach” him the knowledge I had as a therapist when working with families, communication, empathy, etc…. but for hearts to change…for both of us not to just SAY it was our goal to be a Redemptive family…but to really look at what that means and what would God ask of us to make that a reality was going to need to happen.
So how was THAT going to happen???
It wasn’t my place to be my husband’s “holy spirit” and convict him of this or that…..so I knew I had to take it to God. And in taking it to God, I had to trust Him with His timing, not mine. Can I just tell you….that is a really, really hard thing to do.
And don’t think for a minute I executed all of this perfectly. Nope… I for certain slipped up many times and found myself having one of those “hey babe, can we sit down and talk”conversations where I did exactly what I knew was NOT my job. Of course I did this in the name of (rationalization is the name of this game) “wanting to just point out a few things for you to think about”. I just picture God up there shaking His head saying, “well so much for “my will to be done….looks like you want to be the one to control this ship”. And of course…I did not control the ship well at all. All it did was frustrate me.
Repenting of these types of “rationalizing behaviors” is a very humbling experience.
So after several slip ups and failed attempts to “convict” people myself….l retreated back to my original strategy which was to have perseverance in prayer. Not perseverance in nagging.
Proverbs 27:15 A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof on a rainy day
Proverbs 21:9 It is better to live on the corner of a roof than in the house shared with a nagging wife.
Proverbs 21:19 It is better to live alone in the DESERT than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
Wow…those are some pretty serious, severe examples. God must have known how annoying and counterproductive a nagging wife can be.
I can honestly say, fighting for my family through the perseverance of prayer has brought me to a whole new level in my walk with the Lord. Lessons on faith, timing, grace and compassion are being taught to me daily. They don’t always FEEL so good….but the sanctification process that I am going through while persevering is amazing. I can’t say enough about grace….receiving it, giving it…..it changes your perspective on everything!
So I challenge AND encourage you….
Give it a try. Create your own War Room. Fight for your family. Understand that it takes Time. Plan your own strategies asking for discernment from God.
This one I CAN guarantee you success on….your relationship with Him will deepen and you will experience His presence in more ways than you have ever known when you…
PERSEVERE THROUGH PRAYER
Until His trumpet sounds,