Familiar, but different….
At a church family meal this evening an older couple asked Paul and I how long we had been married. 4 months. They had been married 49 years. It feels weird to be considered a “newly wed” at this point in my life. Both Paul and I have plenty of marriage “experience” but yet it’s only been 4 months. We are in the category the books call “blended”. A place neither of us ever expected to be, but are so thankful to be here.
The dust is beginning to settle, life is starting to take on a familiar rhythm, and our house is starting to feel like home. If you asked me today, or yesterday, or any day in the last 4 months, how I feel, I would tell you “happy”, so happy. The blended family (as I’m sure many of you know/experience) is one of intention and grace…lots of grace. You pretty much can’t wing anything. Paul and I talked about this to the nth degree in the months before we were married, and we still do. There are the feelings of 7 people to consider. Did I mention grace?
In a blended family there is the past to remember and a future to anticipate. There are old traditions to hold on to and new ones to make. There are “old” family members and “new” family members. There is the “old” parenting, and the “new” parenting. There are the “old” marriage habits and the “new” marriage habits. I think this is where the blending part comes in :-). Did you ever stop to realize that most of the families of the Old Testament were blended families – albeit blended families of a different color (i.e., they resulted from multiple marriages instead of death or divorce)? Blended families were very common in biblical times and are even more so now. To make it work you have to love on purpose, be kind on purpose, give grace on purpose.
It will be almost 4 years in March since I became a widow. Going back to the beginning of this blog and rereading those first months and years has given me a perspective of God’s continuing faithfulness in my life. Isn’t it somewhere in Romans where it says we can glory in our sufferings because they produce perseverance, endurance, character and Hope? It is in the midst of these sufferings that our deepest needs are met (at the cross), and He is glorified. “He will NEVER let the righteous be shaken” isn’t that so encouraging???
Neither Paul nor I know what the future holds. That belongs to the Lord (yes, I have to remind myself of this daily). It would be easy to live in fear of what could happen. Choosing to trust the One who has faithfully carried me thus far is a gift from the One who carries me.
So life is familiar, but different. Thankful for the familiar…it was missed. Thankful for the different to always point me to Him and cause me to Trust.
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
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