I was thinking today how I have been a stepmom for nearly seven years. In some ways it has seemed that time has flown by and in other ways, it has been a slow meticulous process of blending our family. I have received so many blessings and moments filled with happy memories, sweet unexpected hugs, deep intimate connection with my husband, and wonderfully precious family time with our children.
However, I must admit that their have been times when I have also felt discouraged in this process. In one of my previous post for Family Fusion Community, I wrote “Stepmoms do not have an easy job. They are caught somewhere in the middle of all the emotion and tend to receive the brunt of negativity and spitefulness because they are not a biological parent. Often, they are a dumping ground for all the hurt, frustration, anger, confusion, and sadness that comes with divorce from all involved including the biological parents, children, and even extended families.” (You can read the entire post here: http://familyfusioncommunity.com/2014/01/30/the-other-mothers/)
Stepmoms can also feel invisible, as if no one sees them for who they really are. They feel unseen for their choice to love anyway, for their good intentions, and for their kind hearts. Or, their love and kindness is twisted and turned into negativity through bad mouthing or false accusations. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
During my prayer time several months ago, I came across a very important prominent family in the bible that was not only blended, but dysfunctional as well. I am talking about Abraham. A little background of this story, found in Genesis 16 and Genesis 21, is Sarah, because she had not become pregnant, gave her servant Hagar to her husband Abraham so that he might have children. Hagar became pregnant and gave birth to a son named Ishmael. Thirteen years later, Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac. So now if you haven’t caught on, this is a blended family (maybe not traditional) but blended just the same. I look at Hagar as like a stepmom because she has no legal rights and is completely at the mercy of Abraham and Sarah. And feeling so overwhelmed, Hagar runs away.
There are some verses that create a picture of this blended family, especially in chapter 21 where I found 3 very interesting facts. First, the two sons had conflict between each other. Second, there was conflict between the two moms, and third, the father was caught in the middle. And I will be writing on each of these. However, I am only focusing on Hagar’s story to say this directly to you, discouraged Stepmom. God hears you, He hears the deep cries of your heart and most importantly God sees you. You are not invisible.
Genesis 16:9-11; Genesis 16:13-14
“Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
11 The angel of the Lord also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has HEARD of your misery.
13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.”
What a beautiful picture of a God whose love is so compassionate that He would seek out a servant girl and let her know He hears her; He sees her and is going to bless her. She is so deeply moved that she gives God the name, “El Roi” which translates “The God Who sees me.” I encourage you dear Stepmom; the next time you are feeling discouraged, disheartened, and overlooked to call out the name of God. Because those verses have been such a comfort to me and during those times of discouragement I have prayed and called the name of God “El Roi” because I am not discounted. I am not invisible. I am loved. I am blessed. God hears. God lovingly and graciously sees me!
9 thoughts on “Dear Discouraged Stepmom”
I have also been a step mom for seven years now. Most recently my discouragement has hit it’s all time high. I had to make the difficult decision to say that for the safety of everyone else in our house it was best not to have one of my step children be present. Due to an incapable bio mom she my step daughter was placed into a foster situation until an evaluation is done where she will hopefully be placed in a residential treatment center. Ever the scapegoat I am torn with my own feelings of knowing I did what was right for my family and hearing I am the cause of her the misbehaviors and ability to respect authority. This article was uplifting!
Wow, Sara, thank you for sharing a bit of your story with me. I can only imagine after what you are going through how exhausted you must be…not just physically but in your heart and in your spirit. I am glad my words were, even if in some small way, an encouragement to you. When I was in an abusive relationship years ago, I felt and identified with Hagar and now I still do as a blendermom. Just the fact of knowing God truly sees you for who you are really does help and is reassuring. Keep me updated on how you are doing and thank you also for taking the time to comment.
Wonderful verses to remember and apply!! Thank you : )
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and let me know that you were encouraged!
Such a blessing to read!
Thanks so much for reading!!
I just ran across this blog tonight and the title really spoke to me. I am completely discouraged as a stepmom/wife of a stepdad. I love my step children but my husband’s guilt puts a wedge between us. He will not connect with my children, who live with us, and we have to be witness to his undying love and nurture to his children every other weekend. I just don’t know what to do. My heart is breaking every day. It’s been almost four years.
Thank you for sharing. I can just feel your discouragement that you must have in your heart. I’m sure after 4 years that there are times when you cringe knowing his weekend is coming and resentment is most likely building surrounding you & your children. This is a huge topic & you are not alone. It’s natural to lean in toward your biological children which is why stepfamilies take so much commitment & effort. I believe wholeheartedly that marriage whether 1st marriage or re-marriage, should come first under God and above the children. Not to minimize or lessen your love for them but BECAUSE of your love for them. They’ve already suffered through the pain of divorce/brokenness. They need that guiding example of what a loving healthy relationship can truly be as well as family stability whether it be most of the time or every other weekend. My husband and I talked out a lot of these topics before I agreed to marry him. I’m not saying that every so often we don’t show favoritism to our own but he and I both keep each other accountable. There are some things we have learned over the years that have helped that I would be glad to share with you and some resources that would help as well if you would like..feel free to connect with me through email: firstname.lastname@example.org But let me just say one thing to you that you may not realize. It’s no mistake you ran across my blog when you did. Your heart is searching and empty. And I truly believe God wants you to know He does see you. He really does love you and He really wants to bless you, your marriage, and your home. (Jeremiah 29:11)