“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 HCSB
“This wasn’t the life I envisioned for you.”
My well-meaning mother spoke those words to me at the beginning of my relationship with Steve. Her words stung, but she wasn’t saying them to hurt me. She loves me very much, and I really believe she would give years off her own life to spare me the hard and cruel lessons the world can teach.
I was raised to love Jesus and pray. I was raised to remain a virgin until my wedding night. I was raised to do the speed limit, to eat my vegetables, and to get a good education.
I was not raised, at least in my Mother’s opinion at the time, to fall in love with a man who had a three-year-old and an emotionally unstable ex-wife.
My Mom’s soft green eyes looked at me with worry and sadness as she wrung her hands and listened to my latest woes and drama. The blissful beginning that most dating couples face was soon replaced with a stressed out boyfriend, a little boy who missed his dad, and an ex whose disturbingly long phone rants would carry on during (and well past) dinner. Sometimes the only reassurance Mom could give me was a sincere but troubled, “Honey, all I can do is pray for you.”
Little did I know at the time that Jesus was guiding me through one of the darkest valleys of my life and he was raising me up in His OWN way.
Fast forward quite a storied, beautiful and sometimes difficult 17 years. My Mom’s frequent and intentional prayers are felt like warm rays of light all around me. Steve and I are at a good place, a joyful place. My Mom and Dad quickly saw the measure of the man who became my God-fearing and magnificent husband. My Mom now says, “I can’t imagine life without Steve and Keegan. My sweet Lynnette, you are blessed beyond measure.”
Sometimes our limited minds cannot understand the struggle God has purposely planted in our lives. My friend, there is beauty in the struggle. There’s also unexpected elation, gained wisdom, and grace. We can’t comprehend with our human eyes the perfectly designed tapestry of life Jesus has planned for us.
What our loving and great-intentioned family and friends want for us might not align with what GOD wants for us.
Step-moms and step-dads, you will get a bevy of advice during this journey, some good and some not at all. Ask for a discerning heart as you wade through the muck of good intentions. Ask the Lord for wisdom and listen closely as He directs your footsteps. He won’t lead you astray. Your life belongs to Him, and HE envisions for you to be a beautiful story of His mercy and love.
Pray With Me:
“You hear my cries for help, Lord! You ease my despair. Sometimes I get really stubborn and fiercely independent in my thinking. I start out doing things my way, forgetting to relinquish the control to your able Hands. Reel me in today, Lord. You love my strong spirit but you WANT me to depend on you. You are CAPABLE of handling all of this I’m going through for good. I hand it all over to you, and I TRUST you.”