Africa homecoming

My oldest daughter just returned home after spending eight months in Mozambique, Africa on a long-term missions opportunity. We’re excited to have her back and I couldn’t help but celebrate our stepfamily journey as I saw her reunite with her sister and stepsister at the airport.

(Jamie is in the middle, stepsister on left, sister on right).

Jamie and her stepsister, Adrianne, had little love or even like for each other during Jamie’s teen years. It was difficult to even have them in the same room together for long.

Thankfully, today, that relationship is different. The girls have grown up and matured. They accept each other’s differences and love each other despite their imperfections. They may not get along perfectly, but they seek to have a good relationship with one another.

Without the struggles of yesteryears, I wouldn’t appreciate the relationship today. I’ll be forever thankful for the growth in their relationship.

Our stepfamily journey, however, is far from perfect. But today I choose to celebrate the highs of our journey instead of dwelling on the lows.

Expect a revolving door of lows and highs on your stepfamily journey. But don’t stop persevering through the challenges. Some day you will look back and celebrate the growth in your relationships.

Here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote on perseverance as a stepparent, published in Lifeway’s Parenting Teens. For the complete article and other great reading, pick up a copy of the publication here.

“Perseverance is a foreign word in too many homes. [As a stepparent] without a firm commitment to trudge through the challenges that come your way, you won’t make it. It’s tough. Very few stepfamilies escape what stepfamily authority Ron Deal calls the ‘wilderness wanderings.’ The wanderings will look and feel differently for every stepfamily, but just as the Israelites wandered aimlessly through the wilderness for 40 years, you will endure days, and possibly years, of hardship and suffering in your stepfamily.

If you don’t determine ahead of time that you will persevere when it gets tough, you will turn back. You won’t find the blessings that accompany your journey in the end. Stepfamily statistics confirm that.”

Will you share some highs or lows of your stepparenting journey? How are you celebrating them?

 

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