I’m recovering from the stomach virus -bleh- and I can tell you that for the last two days, I’ve simply survived!
You know the feeling, right? You can barely lift your head off the pillow and wonder if your stomach will ever feel normal again.
Thankfully, today I’m better! I’m beginning to think I can thrive again as a person! But for awhile, I questioned if I would ever feel good again.
Sometimes those same feelings invade us as a stepparent. Days are just plain hard. The pain of rejection or hurt from being misunderstood creeps in and swallows up our ability to thrive. Tears flow freely because we’ve been down this road before and begin to wonder if things will ever get easier. We tell our friend, “I’m barely surviving on this stepparenting journey.”
Don’t lost hope. We all have those days. But you don’t have to stay stuck there. Realize that God can use your pain to teach you and mature you. Character is birthed out of pain.
And then you will find a way to thrive again.
In his book, “The In-Between,” Jeff Goins quotes a difficult stepfamily story:
“Eighteen years ago my daughter revealed that her stepdad was sexually abusing her. In all the fallout afterward, I waited, prayed, and worked toward healing. Three years passed before the sun began to shine again on our lives, and many more years passed before complete healing happened for all family members. In the waiting, I grew closer to God and stronger in my faith. I learned to ask God, “What do You have for me to learn from this situation?” rather than demanding, “Why did You let this happen?”
There was a period of surviving before this family could thrive again. But instead of wasting her pain, this mother grew closer to God and stronger in her faith. She made every effort to learn the lesson God wanted to teach her during that difficult period.
We don’t get to thrive every day on our stepparenting journey. Sometimes there are lessons to be learned along the way. Sometimes others in our stepfamily have lessons to be learned before we can thrive again. But there’s always hope for a new tomorrow if we don’t give up.
Success is only found after a period of struggle in almost every endeavor. But the pain of surviving gives us gratitude for the days of thriving. Without the storms, we would never see the rainbows.
If you’re simply surviving today, keep pressing forward toward thriving again. You’ll find the rainbow when it’s time.
Are you in a season of thriving or surviving? Will you share it with us?
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
Pic by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee,