I wish I could say that we have this perfect blended family with no hurts, bumps or bruises as we live our day to day lives. But that would be so far from the truth. As a matter of fact, as I sit here writing this blog post, I find myself overwhelmed with emotions about one of my children whom I haven’t heard from and who won’t respond to my messages.
I’m sure you’re thinking, wait a minute, how could the owner of a Blended Family organization whose mission is bringing unity into the family have a child that isn’t engaging them?
Did you do something wrong?
If you’re not asking that question right now, then no need for you to because I already have. I’ve already wrecked my brain about what I could have said, done, or not have said or done to get things to this point. I’ve already had the feeling (ten times over) that I am not qualified to talk about unity in blended families when mine feels divided right now.
I’ve already rehearsed all the reasons why I could use this story to remove myself from this mission. This was the very terror that led me to try to be intentional with my blended family, yet with all my efforts, I find myself right where I was trying to avoid being.
In a family that feels divided.
So what do I do? Every day I am fighting off lies, deception, and allegations about what is being said about me, my ministry and my family by others. The enemy is so good at creating speculations in our minds, and most people in my position would never admit that they have a strained relationship with a child because it’s embarrassing to the family dynamic. But more than I care about being embarrassed, I care about being free and helping others become free that may be sharing in this same struggle.
The truth is that many times children separated themselves from their parents because they have somehow, along the way, traded the truth about their parents love for them with a lie based on how their parent showed love to them.
They have misinterpreted rules, imperfections, and mistakes and internalized them as purposeful acts of hurt and pain. And because misery loves company, there’s always someone who is right there, cheering along their negative beliefs and mindsets to create more distance and deception in the relationship.
So our job then becomes to pray for them to become receptive to the truth and for us to have a greater understanding of the heart of God regarding our distant children. When God’s heart became the focus of my prayers, His answer was revealed with such clarity, and certainty.
Here is what he told me.
I understand how you feel more than anyone in this world.
I watch as my sons and daughters wake up each morning, never speak, never write a love note, never even acknowledge my presence. I share in your pain and understand all the questions that roam in your mind.
But I wait.
I wait until they remember who I am. When life gets challenging, I wait for them to call me because they know I will be there.
I never forget them.
Every day I smile as I remember how they sound when they laugh, cry, sneeze and snore. I remember the aroma that they carry and the tone of their voice. I never forget.
Even when it seems like they are nowhere in sight. That they will stay stuck in the lies that led them away, I prepare for when, not if, they return home.”
Your prodigal may be a stepchild that won’t accept you as the new husband or wife, or one that you have raised and now won’t talk much to you.
It may be a child that is so hurt by your new marriage that they only call you when they need something but won’t include you in their everyday life.
It may even be an 18-year old that decided to move and learn the hard lessons of life that you could have made easier for them.
As painful as it may be, we must still grab hold of hope. We have to remember that we can’t control the prodigals, all we can do is prepare for when they return home. The prodigal is always chasing a lie, hoping to find the truth and if we have done all we were able to do, then one day the truth will lead them back to us.