I have been a stepmom of two for almost ten years now – long enough to gain some perspective, sigh with relief that we haven’t killed each other yet…and realize what I was missing from the very beginning: Jesus.
You might think this sounds religious, or perhaps cliché, but let’s be frank: stepmom-hood is as real as the battle for marriage and family is going to get, and I needed a Savior. It took me a while to figure this out, of course. I tried the standard regiment of self-help books, support groups, and online discussion forums. There are many terrific resources available for stepmoms these days, but none of them have the power to heal, restore, and raise up like the Living Word. This blog is born out of relationship with Him: only Jesus is able to take my story of brokenness and shame, and turn it into a testimony and battle cry for His Kingdom.
If you’ve been a stepmom for any amount of time, I’m sure you’ve heard someone say that stepmoms aren’t really moms at all. There’s a good chance that one of your stepkids has shouted “You’re not my mom!” at an opportune moment (bedtime, chore time, or homework time – go figure). I have volleyed back and forth between the “I cook and clean and chauffeur as much as their mom does” camp to the “there’s a sacred bond between mom and child that can’t be broken” argument. The purpose of this blog isn’t to make a case for either side (put down the pitchforks, ladies), but rather to posit that we can all be moms in the Spirit.
The enemy is crafty, isn’t he? He lies to us, telling us that we’re not moms, and somehow, “less than” moms. We create names for ourselves – stepmom, bonus mom, even second mom – to ease the sting but these labels just cover up what God has to say about each of us, our identity in Him. We are women, and we are mothers. Although the Word touches on the biology of motherhood, it spends far more time on the responsibilities, namely, to teach, train and discipline children in the ways of the Lord. If we listen to the enemy, we are robbed of our effectiveness and make adversaries out of the very people who should be on our team: our husbands, stepkids, and their moms. Motherhood looks different for every mom, but the calling to fight for our kids in the Spirit (and the joy that overflows from it) is for us all.