I was on the phone this week with stepfamily author, Ron Deal. We were chatting about his upcoming move to assume a new position with FamilyLife as the Director of Blended Families Ministries. (Read press release here). I could hear his excitement of continuing his ministy with stepfamilies in a larger fashion through such a great organization.
But I could also hear his grief when he mentioned the upcoming anniversary of the loss of their son, Connor. Connor was 12 years old when he came down with a rare illness that took his life within two weeks of its onset. He was the middle child of three boys and his family will never be the same. It’s a parents worst nightmare that leaves unfathomable pain in its wake.
Although the loss of a child may be the greatest loss anyone could experience, each member of a stepfamily has experienced loss too. Through death or divorce, relationships end and pain remains. But through healthy stepfamily relationships, family members can begin to heal and find joy in life again.
Although it may take longer than we desire, beautiful relationships can form if we don’t give up. And our family becomes something to celebrate, even if it’s imperfect.
So as you celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas this week-end, I encourage you to celebrate the beauty of family also. Although your stepfamily relationships may not be where you wish they were, celebrate the progress you’ve made. Commit to stronger relationships through intentional effort as you look toward a new year.
Life is short. We don’t know what’s around the corner that could alter our family dynamics forever. But we do know what our relationships look like today and can choose to celebrate the beauty of our family.
How will you celebrate the unique beauty of your stepfamily as you celebrate the holidays?