I have spent the last 35 years in a blended family.
When my mom and stepdad married, I gained two stepsisters. And I had one full brother. I kid you not, when my mom and stepdad married, they had four teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18.
It’s a wonder their marriage survived the first year, let alone the 34 years that have since followed.
And to my parents credit, they do contend that those first 4-5 years were no picnic. Launching four kids into adulthood came with…shall we say…some challenges. We’ve been family for so long that it’s difficult for me to imagine what life would have been like had I not been in a blended family.
And when I married my husband, I already had a child from a previous marriage. So even though my current husband didn’t bring any kids to the marriage, when he became my husband, he simultaneously became a stepfather to my almost 5-year-old son.
Families find their footing in a variety of scenarios, and therein they learn to love and disagree and blend and grow together and apart and together again—rarely in a linear non-messy sort of way.
But most find their footing nonetheless.
Blended families have some unique challenges for sure, but also many of the very same opportunities as families that are not blended. Opportunities to grow in grace, trust and forgiveness. Opportunities to laugh and learn. Opportunities to express and receive love.
Whether you grew up in a blended family, became part of one later in life or helped create one by way of saying vows to someone you love, the reality is that blended families make up a large part of the population. Who among us doesn’t know a blended family or are part of one? I gather not too many hands would go up in response to that question.
Today I want to share with you such a beautiful blog post written by an acquaintance of mine, Stephanie, who recently remarried after her first husband tragically died. Together, she and her new husband are figuring out “life in the merge lane.”
Props to her for using such a remarkably accurate analogy of the merge lane. I absolutely love that analogy, Stephanie.
And even though the post is geared toward blended families, I truly believe there are lessons in it for everyone. Be encouraged, my friends.
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