Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rites of Passage

All is quiet this morning as I sit and drink my coffee, reflecting over the past eleven plus years. Life is slowing down somewhat compared to the fast paced life we led nearly eleven years ago when I was newly married and went from having one child to suddenly four. They ranged in age from 13, 9, 8, and 7 years of age. Life was crazy busy blending a family and running from activities, working a full time job, and everything else that goes with having a larger family.

In 1992, I suddenly became a single parent with a four year old son. My first husband decided that being married to me was not what he wanted. I was devastated. The next nine years were incredibly difficult, heartbreaking, empowering, challenging, and yet fulfilling. It was during these nine years that I truly came to understand the depth of Christ's love for me and to see His provision first hand in my life.

In 2000, I met my precious husband. Right from the beginning I knew that he was an answer to all those tear filled prayers for nearly ten years. I could see the hand of the Lord in bringing us together. After my painful divorce I knew that I never wanted to marry someone that had been divorced and had to share children with their former spouse. I had witnessed too many heartaches within our singles ministry at church where couples would be wounded and hurt by divorce only to meet and remarry too quickly. Later when they would divorce not only were they devastated but their children were scarred. I knew that I could not handle that back and forth nature of this life given how incredibly hard it had been for my son being gone every other weekend. I knew that this life was not what I wanted or what my heart could handle. I began to pray in earnest that if the Lord wanted me to remarry that he would bring to me a man that had either never been married or had been widowed with children that desperately wanted a mother's touch in their life. I knew that I would be content to be single the rest of my life if this was not in the Lord's plan for me. When I found out that the man I had just met was widowed with three small children I could see that the Lord was revealing His plan to me and for me to be patient to see His will fulfilled.

As I sit here this morning I marvel at how fast these years have passed! I am so thankful that these precious children that have become so much a part of me and my heart have turned into the most amazing young adults one could ever hope or pray for.

Our baby graduated a few short months ago from high school. I can't believe it! It has been quite exciting the past three years having three high school graduations one after another. I don't have to run all over town anymore taking one to this practice or church activity since they all drive now.

Blending a family is difficult and there are so many areas that can tear one apart. We made a covenant when we married and vowed to never contemplate divorce. We also decided to be completely debt free but our home. We worked very hard and through seasons of unemployment, working three jobs, cutting corners we succeeded in paying off our debt. We also decided that the word 'step' would not be used in our family. God had brought our family together and we would welcome whatever the children felt comfortable with and calling me Mom was one of the first things requested. We have never let them forget their precious Mom. We speak of her often and have numerous items of her's around, photo albums, and beautiful cross stitched pictures on our walls. Some days I feel so close to her and while I never knew her I have felt a camaraderie with her. I know it sounds strange but when there have been tough times I have prayed for guidance in how she would have handled a specific issue. I know the Lord has guided us along this path of raising her precious children. What a privilege it has been for me to step in the love, cherish, comfort, counsel, and guide her darling children.

As I survey my home from my dining room table, coffee cup in hand, I am filled with gratitude that I have been chosen to be this man's wife and these precious ones mom. It is one of the greatest gifts of my life. As they are now beginning to take flight from the nest I pray that I have been able to ease the hurt of losing a Mom so early in life. Thanks be to the One that has done exceedingly more than I could ask or hope for.

I think I am now ready to tackle this next phase in life....

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