Excerpt from Stepparenting with Grace: Devotional for Blended Families

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Why are you so untrusting, Mom?” my sixteen-year-old son Nathan said with a furrowed brow. “I’m not worried about it.” He had let a friend borrow a much-needed soccer item but had little concern that his friend might not bring it to the game that night.

His words stung. Why was I so untrusting? Tears filled my eyes. I knew why. I had recently been deeply hurt by a friend. A gaping wound lay open. Paralyzed by fear, I didn’t know how to move forward in the relationship. I suddenly realized the effects.

Later that day, I sat quietly and asked God for an answer to my fear. The story of Joshua and Caleb in Numbers 13-14 came to mind. These two men, along with ten other Israelite leaders, were sent to explore the land of Canaan. For forty days, they wandered, examining the fruit, the towns, and the people who lived there. When they returned, they gave reports of a land that flowed with milk and honey. But some of the spies also spread fear as they spoke of large and powerful people living there.

The Israelites questioned whether to move into this land. They allowed fear to influence them. But Caleb responded, “Do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them” (Numbers 14:9b).

Caleb trusted the Lord. He made a choice that ultimately awarded him the Promised Land—a gift others didn’t get. But even more than that, Caleb received words of praise from the Lord: “But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it” (Numbers 14:24).

Did you catch that?

Caleb had a “different spirit.” I often consider what that means. Perhaps a person with a different spirit is one who forgives when deeply wounded. One who opens her heart again, although she doesn’t want to trust. One who allows the Lord to fill her mind with thanksgiving, even when those around her treat her badly.

As stepparents, we don’t always draw the fair stick. It’s easy to behave like the ten spies and allow fear to influence our behavior with those around us. But that sends us back to the wilderness! I want to live in the Promised Land as one who chooses to follow the Lord wholeheartedly: one who lives life with a different spirit. How about you?

 

Thought for the Day: When we follow the Lord wholeheartedly, trust overcomes fear.

Need additional encouragement for your stepmom role? Join us at our upcoming Sisterhood of Stepmoms event September 15th in Dallas.

Details and registration here: http://sisterhoodofstepmoms.com/upcoming-retreats/dallas-texas-2018/

 

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