I ran into an old friend the other day who recently joined the ranks of The Blended Family and while standing there, with my step daughter at my side, I asked him, "so how is it for you? Being in a blended family and all..."
He said it was great and went on to explain how great it all was...
In my jaded mind, my thought was, 'yeah, just wait'.
Is that so awful of me?! If there is ANYone who can make a success of blending families, this man can. I applaud him for taking such good care of his own children and for going through all that he has and coming out the other end better for it.
After thinking about this friends experience, I began thinking about the last line of our first blog post that Deliah quoted. Even Jesus Christ had a step father. This is something that hit me as I sat in a Sunday School class with my new husband of one year (years ago) as we listened to our teacher, a lay member of the congregation, drone on about how lucky/blessed he was that he belonged to the elite club of "Traditional Mormon Unbroken Perfect Families". Okay, he didn't actually use those exact words, but he may as well have.
The more I sat and listened to him, the more I realized that I had been ever deceived growing up idealizing the "perfect family" and came to that realization more and more with every word out of that man's mouth.
And as I listened to this very educated man teach what was supposed to be a very simple lesson about families, I realized with great force that even Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the World, the Greatest of us all, had a step father.
And I told the teacher so!
Think about it, Jesus belonged to a blended family. He had a step father and step siblings. When Jesus was found in the Temple teaching, Mary and Joseph asked him what was up (paraphrasing obviously) and he said "wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" The scriptures say that they, Mary and Joseph understood him not. That's probably a good thing, because I know a lot of step fathers who may have been hurt thinking that they were having the REAL father thrown in their face...
...and I realize that I just took you to church.
Anyway, I think it's safe to say generally speaking that when getting married to our sweetheart we would have never thought that one day we would find ourselves on the single side of divorce, or when kneeling over the alter in the most sacred place on earth would have ever thought that their spouse would become abusive or unfaithful. Who as newlyweds would have thought that one day after 32 years of marriage their wife who was the healthiest person they knew would die of cancer and eventually re-marry only to find themselves in a blended family situation?
Thankfully, the D word isn't the dirty word that it once was in my mind. Divorce can be a sweet release. But that doesn't mean that everything after that will be sweet. The other D word can be softened by finding a loving mate to live out the rest of your years with.
WOW, this post wasn't meant to sound so morose. So let me get back on track here. Not belonging to the Perfect Mormon Family does not mean you are broken or bad in any way. It helps ME to remember that even the Savior himself belonged to a step family.
How do we make the best of our new situation? I suppose it's by strapping on those same love blinders and by building trust with the new people in our lives little by little.
After all the many pains and struggles that blending a family can bring, seeing my friend succeed gave me new hope. This is not a Star Wars reference, haha, but I could totally go there if you want.
We know that it's not the trial we face, but HOW we face the trial. We can take it in stride like my friend or be miserable and end up a(nother) statistic.
We got this.
After all, we all belong to one big blended family and there is no such thing as a perfect