We have 5 children, one each from our first marriages and then our 3 youngest together. Our two oldest are only 3 months apart in age, just 3 and almost 3 when we married, nearly 31 years ago.
Blending a family is no joke, but when you are 25 years old, still swimming in brokenness and ignorance of who Our Pappa God is, then even your best efforts mostly end up a pile of mess. We did family counseling, family get-aways, and took every opportunity to become a loving family. I longed for our sons to feel safe and loved without condition. In some ways, we succeeded, but in so many more, we failed miserably. I’m sure so many blended parents can relate to this.
We were each overly protective of our bio-sons and had damaged relationships with their other parents. Some of our family members on both sides were less than supportive. We came from different ethnic backgrounds, different religious backgrounds and got married after only dating for 5 months! I don’t think we could’ve set the scene for massive failure much more if we tried.
I’d like to say, “Here we are, still standing,” but that wouldn’t be the whole truth. Those two sweeties, who are older than we were when we started this crazy journey, are now estranged from us. For more years than I can fathom, at times, they have chosen to have nothing to do with us. It is painful. As time passes, I admit, my hope diminishes that we will ever reconcile. I sometimes imagine calling my firstborn and saying, “Don’t you remember who I am? How I have always loved you so completely and without condition? Why was it so easy to just cut me out of your life over such pettiness?” But, he has repeatedly made it clear that he wants no contact from me and tbh, I mostly feel at peace that we are, each of us, right where we need to be right in this season.
I read something by Beth Moore today in CHASING VINES that gave me such comfort, because there are still moments that creep up now and then, when I feel like after all I poured into my son, to have him turn on me so completely, it was a waste of my life because the fruit of that seems so rotten now. I’m going to pull a few sentences out from her book to share with you, after my disclaimer.
*Please no judgement here. I am being honest about the really dark and difficult days of this brokenness as a mama.
“Why, Lord? Why did this turn out the way it did?
He knows. He tells those who listen….
The vinedresser does a curious thing with the rotten fruit. He turns it back into the soil and then, underground, by some spectacular organic miracle of nature, it fertilizes a future harvest.” – Beth Moore, CHASING VINES
I think many of us have experienced deep disappointment(s) in an area of our lives that was significant. Then we wonder why and feel discouraged that it was all for naught, when, in fact, it wasn’t. It never is, because when we choose to walk through that difficult season with Our Pappa, learning from the mistakes we’ve made, then the next season is full of sweeter fruit.
I poured everything I was able to into all of my children. They were my life’s work and joy. I messed up plenty out of my own brokenness, like every other human being that walks this earth. I’ve spent the past several years asking My Pappa God to show me the places I’ve needed healing and where I’ve needed to help others heal from my sins. I pray my firstborn is growing with Our Pappa God, as well. I pray that one day we will find reconciliation and grace for one another because I believe it is His will.
Tomorrow will be hard in some ways. I think of him every day, but he is the one that made me a mama, so this one is one of the harder days. He will probably send me a text that hurts more than blesses (again) that says, “Happy Mother’s Day” and I will wish that he didn’t because years of texts that seem to check the box more than have true sentiment, are a reminder of how little I seem to mean to him anymore.
Tomorrow will also be lovely because my three youngest children and my husband of 31 years are still standing, sometimes limping, but always striving to grow together. They love me and will celebrate me, flaws and all. I am blessed beyond measure, but on my road to being whole I must honor that part of me that grieves the loss of another year with the boy who made me a mama.