Back-to-school time means school clothes shopping. I’ve enjoyed the outing since my stepson was in elementary school, and now that he’s older, it’s become an “us” thing (my husband happily avoids a Saturday at the packed department store). This year, however, was different. When I approached my 16-year-old about driving us to the mall for the first time, he hesitantly told me that he preferred to go shopping by himself.
I was hurt. I didn’t understand. My stepson would rather go clothes shopping by himself, than go with me. My mind quickly raced to my his recent weekend with his mom, and the concert he went to with his dad. My stepson and I weren’t really that close these days. Suddenly I felt out of place in my own home, like a third wheel, hardly like a parent at all. Then I heard Him: Whose voice will you listen to?
We all have a choice: will we listen to the truth that God has spoken over us, or the lies the Enemy whispers to us? Just as we remind ourselves of God’s character in hard times, so too we need to remind ourselves of who He says we are when our hearts are troubled.
Stepmoms, God speaks such wonderful things over our lives! He calls us His daughters, justified and redeemed (Romans 3:24), strong and dignified (Proverbs 31:25), bold and confident (Ephesians 3:12), raised up (Colossians 3:1) and beloved (Colossians 3:12). But did you know that when we get caught up in our circumstances, and lose our focus on Him, the Enemy can try to feed us lies about who we are and what we are called to do?
[They] must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. – 2 Timothy 2:25-26
The Enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), and it can be so, so easy to let his lies fester and become a root of bitterness or a stumbling block in our marriages and families. When your heart is troubled, take your hurt to God. Take a hard look at what you believe about yourself and see if it lines up with the Word. God is love, and He loves you. Listen to His voice.
It can be hard, rooting out the lies of the enemy. It can take time, and it can hurt. When I realized I was believing a lie – that my stepson didn’t love me as much, that I wasn’t a parent (a mom!) in his life – I took a step back and allowed God to speak truth over me and my identity. A few hours later, as my stepson headed out the door for the mall, I took a deep breath and said to him, “Can’t wait to see the clothes you pick out!” I was rewarded with a big, goofy grin: a salve to this momma’s heart.