So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:23-24 (ESV)
I often write about raising my four boys without their father.
Sometimes their episodes of grief shake me to the core, and I wonder how I’ll parent them through it, only to find I don’t need to know how—God walks me through the “how” every time.
Sometimes I want to hug every young widowed mother struggling to see hope in her children’s lives, and remind her of the power in letting God set her vision for her children’s future.
I write a lot about my boys because they are my purpose for now. I’m it for them—no other parent except their Heavenly Father. It’s up to me and Him to show them who their real Father is—God.
Occasionally I’ll write about my two children from Tom’s first marriage. Raising them in our home was one of the biggest honors in my life.
What a different grief journey it has been as their stepmother. These two live in other states, and emotional separations that often come with blended families add to our spotty connections.
As a grieving, healing mother of a passel of boys, I chose to hone in on the ones still there in my home while waiting for my older stepson and stepdaughter to heal over unresolved loyalties that often happen with children who endure their parents’ divorce.
This week, as I write, that healing is happening.
Tom’s six children reunited for the first time since they were small.
My older daughter (I recently decided to drop the step reference—after all, as children who grew up in my home, they are considered whole parts, not just step parts, of our family) asked me to bring us all together. This was a huge breakthrough for her, as she had been on an emotional roller coaster of love for me and anger over her losses.
You are not going to believe how that came about. Had you spoken with me years ago you would have found me wondering if we could ever restore any connection between our once-blended family. We didn’t have to. God did it. Unable to find answers for her anger and pain, she finally turned to a local church and began her walk with Christ.
And one place He led her was to bring back the family of her youth.
Now today we gather in a cute cabin on the teeny little resort island of Put-in-Bay in the middle of Lake Erie.
Can you imagine the joy this brings me? To see Tom’s six kids reunited? God redeems everything, if you let Him.
I watch them frolic—like Tom did. They are so alike! My grown son from Tom’s first marriage looks exactly like Tom, and very much like my youngest. He and my college-aged son share their father’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for software development. They spent an evening collaborating on ideas for their next projects.
We gathered at an island resort restaurant, watching their Cleveland team in the playoffs—my daughter laughing with my middle two sons. She has their same lips—the full round lips of their father. She also has their free spirit—that relaxed nature and quick wit.
With God’s love, blended families can keep blending, even when unexpected loss had once separated. Healing does happen.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 not to allow the grudges between brothers go unresolved while you go offer gifts at His alter. Sometimes you go about life handling just what’s on your plate because it’s all you can do. For years, I lived out my purpose in raising my four boys obediently, knowing that there were two more children who needed to be reconciled to these brothers.
Thank you, Jesus, for bringing our family full circle, and together. May You bring that joy and connection to the young widowed mother reading this and to her children, whether just her own or from blended situations. And may your love grow in my own six children and spread to my older children’s mother as she and her two children draw closer to each other and to You. Amen.
Kit Hinkle is an author and speaker. She was one of the original writers of A Widow’s Might in 2008, and after four years with that ministry, expanded it and founded A New Season Ministries, Inc. Once the ministry became established, she turned the leadership over, yet continues to contribute articles while she focuses on her finest career as a home school mother to four teen boys–one of them launched in college. She has lived through corporate careers as a chemical engineer and a management consultant, but now enjoys walks on the beach with her chocolate lab. She loves to sit with another who is walking through her tough road and show that woman Christ. It’s an honor to participate in His kingdom.
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Check out more posts by this author at- Kit Hinkle.
You might also like these posts by our team:
Triggers (Part Two)
He Calls Me His Own (an article about step-parenting and grief)