The Heartache of Blended Families

Updated: Jan 9

Before I had Gabriel (14 years ago) I heard the saying that having a child was like having your heart walking around outside of your body. I had no schema for that. I thought that was dumb. I had hundreds of kindergarten students for years and thought I loved them just like I would "my own." THEN, I got pregnant, experienced some health issue scares (his and mine) during the pregnancy, underwent a 30-hour labor, and when I finally held that little boy in my arms, I UNDERSTOOD!!!

Gabe was 2 days old in this picture!

Only God can know how much I love this child! You see, I KNEW I was pregnant with him in October of 2004 and he was SO wanted. And then, I started bleeding around Thanksgiving that year - and had a heartless OB/GYN say before the ultrasound, "Well, let's see if this baby has a heartbeat!" 🤬 But (obviously) he did! 🙌🏼 .

We thought all was well until February 2005. At a routine ultrasound, they discovered he had some markers for Down Syndrome. I refused the recommended amniocentesis due to the risk of miscarriage and was referred to a perinatologist for weekly ultrasounds. I worried and prayed for months. In late May, they said there was a 99% chance he would be "normal" - I still hate that they used that word - but, when he was born in July (10 days after my estimated due date), he was just perfect!

Fast forward a year from Gabe's birth and his dad and I were already separated. I am grateful for the wonderful friends and supportive family who surrounded me, but I mourned the loss of an "intact family." My parents have been happily married for over 55 years now and I simply did NOT want to be a divorced, single mom!

I've written before about the blessing of meeting and marrying my current husband and blending our families here.

Gabe is now 14 years old and spends every other weekend with his father and new step-mother and her daughter. They love him. He has fun there. He has his own room and a big backyard. He gets to be free from my "requirements" - since we homeschool I feel like I am always on him about this reading or that research or emptying the dishwasher or brushing the dog.

Anyhow, for some reason THIS weekend it just broke my heart having him leave us. I KNOW that he is loved there. I know that he is safe there. But I miss him. I want him with me. In reality, I only have him with me for 4 more years. His goal is to join the Air Force, OSI (Office of Special Investigations), and then retire from the AF before the age of 40 and join the FBI so he can have "two pays doing what he loves." He's a pretty cool kid if I say so myself! SO, he has his life planned out and I pray daily that he keeps God first and that he marries a godly woman and all of this is to say that I only have a short blip of time with him before he is gone and I. MISS. MY. SON. ALREADY.

While 18 years may SEEM long - it's a mere blip in the course of a lifetime.

Gabe and I are a lot alike. It's important to us for things to be "right" and when they are not, we do all we can to make them so! We have difficulty with change and so transitions are hard. We care deeply about the happiness of those around us. We don't like to make mistakes. We struggle with finishing projects and end up having dozens of things started and not a lot finished (I literally have 17 articles drafted and waiting for me to finish 🤦🏻‍♀️). And we have a hard time relaxing, letting go, and living in the moment. I'm having a really hard time this weekend.

Perhaps I am SUPPOSED to feel unsettled to remind me that this is NOT God's best for our lives.

NOT as a punishment - Jesus took our punishment -

BUT as a consequence of our sin!

Genesis 2:24 reads, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Matthew 19:6 reminds us, "So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” And that one flesh was not intended to separate until death do them part!

Proverbs 5:18 tells us to "...rejoice in the wife of your youth..." Yet, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th marriages are becoming the norm in our society. Jesus Himself says in Matthew 19:8, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so."

I didn't intend this article to turn into a warning - but I'm thinking maybe God did. LISTEN! If you're married right now and not happy, if you have kids and can't agree on parenting issues, if you feel like things would just be better if you divorced/separated/found someone else PLEASE HEAR THIS:

  • If you think you're not "happy" now, why do you think getting a divorce would make it so?

  • If you think you can't agree on parenting issues now, can you imagine how much more difficult it will be with two separate homes? With the possibility of step-parents and their own parenting ideas?

  • If you think things would be better with another partner, be reminded that where ever you go, there you are! The grass is not greener on the other side - it's greener where you water it!

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