_Daughter like Esther.
It’s not the way it’s supposed to be.
With a toddler around we often see very simple disappointments turn into catastrophic disasters. This morning, Hadleigh requested her favorite lately- waffle towers with whip cream.
As Jerry was constructing the magic, he did what we always do. Nothing was different. Waffle in the toaster. Waffle comes out of the toaster. Cut the waffle into strips. Stack the sticks like a Lincoln log fire…. Add whip cream dollops. Not rocket science.
But today. As Jerry brought his beautiful creation (including a circle of mandarin oranges around the tower might I add) she lost it. Hadleigh feels all her emotions in very big ways. I am sure those of you with toddlers feel the same way. Hearts are broken and tears flow at the smallest of “disasters”.
When she finally composed herself she mustered out the words “It’s not the way it’s supposed to be.”
Oh how my own soul felt this. I wrote down the situation immediately so I could remind myself to do a post on this subject. So here we are.
These words have lept off my lips and heart several times. Actually, it is the only thing that makes sense to me when I apply it to my parents divorce back when I was 5.
My Mom and biological Father were married for 11 years. I was born in year 6 of the 11. My brother was born in the first year. So while I have heard bits of pieces of the 11 years, I only have the smallest remnant of the recollection of a 5 year old. Actually, I have little memories at all and the ones that I do have don’t make a whole lot of sense or they just hurt. So while I know some of what the marriage was like based on conversations, my firsthand experience or memory is brief.
After the divorce, my Mom met my Step Dad and married him shortly after. She said that she knew God told her that he was the one she was supposed to marry and that was that. And if there is anything about my Mom that I trust- it is what God tells her. She is so much of the reason why I am the way that I am. But I will leave that for another post.
So here is the strange place where my heart wrestles. Had my step dad not entered into our (my brother and I) lives, my story would be so drastically different. While it is impossible to give the full narrative if my parents had not divorced, no one would be able to convince me that I would have been better off if they remained married.
So here is where this all gets so raw. I meant it when I said it before- I am not holding things back. I am processing out loud (or on paper) in hopes that someone, somewhere can hear the words and either know that they aren’t alone or perhaps they can be encouraged to persevere or take a risk in a relationship.
My step dad entered our lives and has not only said repeatedly that we are his kids but also he showed us this by his actions. He treated us as any other parents would as he raised us with my Mom. Not once did he ever say that we were not his responsibility or that he didn’t love us. He made choices throughout my childhood and into adulthood that my biological father did not make. I am forever grateful. As I aged and knew of, heard and saw other step-parents and step-children make other choices- I realized that I never had to wonder what it would be like to have a Dad. I had one. I know that this is why I ignored much of my biological father’s existence because I didn’t feel a void. I had a Dad.
Recently I had a moment of truth during a conversation with my Step Dad. It was a good one. One that needed to be had and I now treasure it. I was worried as my relationship with my biological father progressed in whatever way that it did, that it would make my step dad feel less than or replaced or anything less than what he should have felt for choosing to love us all these years. So as I started to cry (wonder where Hadleigh gets it from), my Step Dad said all I needed to hear. He supported this journey I was embarking on. He said that he was my Dad but also that my biological Father is also my Dad. He said that my Biological Father needed me and that he was proud of me for what I was choosing to do.
That conversation made all the difference to me.
So backtracking to how this all started… It’s not the way it should be.
Since Genesis, this world is not the way it should be. God intended this world to be entirely different. So, that means that there are things (many things) in this world that aren’t the way it should be.
This statement is how I felt about the divorce. Although I know that my story is probably better and safer by the way that it turned out, I believe that God did not design us to be anything but in unity with him and each other.
But there is hope. So I know that my story is not all that unique. There are divorced families all over. But I cling to the day when all will be as it should.
The other night at our small group Bible study, a friend said that she heard a simple quote that can really be applied here.
“Perhaps, today”. Friends, we do not know when the world will become as it should be. But it will. And I don’t know about you, but I know that we can bring little bits of how it should be by choosing love instead of hate. Instead of ignoring people and past relationships, we can forgive and reconcile with them.
So let’s not waste time. Let’s make today a “Perhaps, today” day.
Praying for you all.
_Daughter like Esther.