A year ago, I would not have told you the road you are about to embark on would be dark and scary. I would have happily told you that all things can be overcome with love and lots of it. I wouldn’t have told you that your life really will be like the wicked stepmom fairy tale you read about. I would have told you that all the story books had it wrong. Little did I know a year ago, how drastically different my life would be. What I will tell you before you get to the end of the story, is there is light at the end of the tunnel. The scary part, you have to find it and turn it on yourself. You however, are not alone no matter how alone you feel.
Kendall and I started dating officially in October 2012. He flat out told me I was his girlfriend and who was I to argue. We talked about everything we could think of that had gone wrong in our previous relationships. The stage was set for an instant family, or so we thought. While dating, I would drive 1.000 miles in a weekend to come spend time with them about every other weekend. Before I left each time, I would leave the kids a special note. One time in particular, Hunter thought I didn’t leave him one because he had been at a friend’s house. His dad texted me saying he was frantic and upset. Just tell him go look on his pillow I told him. I hid it in plain sight. I knew at that moment that Hunter was already mine.
When Kendall told Tanner that I was moving to Saint Francis, the malarkey started to hit the fan. Anything and everything I did stepped on his toes. I accidentally let two cuss words slip out because I was mad while we were shooting, suddenly I wasn’t a good enough Christian role model. Never mind, he had posted “FO Lisa” on twitter. His behavior was excused because he was a child of divorce. I wish I would have known about Greg Laurie and his message of just get over your dysfunctional family, because everyone has one. Amen and Hallelujah! (That’s for your Garrett) Anything that he did not like about me, he took to his dad in a secret conversation. He thought because he was his dad’s son, that he outranked me and tried to pull the‘I am more important than you’ card more than once. The Bible tells a husband, that his wife comes before the children. A goodman, will live by that and include his partner in everything. No secrets.
Add in Garrett to the mix, who was torn between two women. It was easier to be mad at me than feel guilty for having feelings for me. So he tried everything he knew to push my buttons, sadly, I let him. Then Kendall would be upset with me, because I was having such a hard time with him. He didn’t realize how hard moving into a house he created with another woman, with children he created with another woman was on me. There wasn’t much in the house that made me feel a part of it. I had two kids who loved me, and two who wanted nothing to do with me.
Garrett and my daughter Joani, wished on a star the first weekend they met that their parents would get married to each other. They had such a good time with each other, which was until we got married. Without warning, a switch was flipped and they could not get along for anything. There was a huge jealousy fight between them. If one was in my lap the other was glaring and the minute they got up the other was in their place. This went on, until Joani went for the summer with her dad.
Garrett decided he wanted to spend a lot of time with his mom in the truck over the summer. For a time, our relationship declined even more. When he was home, he brought a huge attitude. About this time, I began searching for some light in my dark tunnel. I felt all alone, and everyone was mad at me because I was the adult. I read every blog and message board I could. One lady, who I wish I could give credit by name, had a quote at the end of her post. It was along the lines if she would have realized just being her husband’s wife was so peaceful she would have done it much sooner. My switch flipped on. There was freeing truth in those words.
Nothing but extreme joy comes to me, when I think about only being my husband’s wife. My focus is being the best wife to him that I can. Once I started focusing only on that and nothing more, things started changing. Sure I take care of my stepkidsjust as I would my biological kids, and get on to them just the same too. The pressure of being some perfect replacement mold is broken though. I go at every single situation out of love for my husband first and foremost. You know that Gandhi quote about you must be the change you want to see in the world, I took that to heart. I can’t change their behavior or attitudes, but I can control how I react or respond. It starts with you. I can tell you that things have gone full circle. From Like, to hate, to resentment, to like, and to love. I know that in each of my kids hearts I have a special place that no one else can fill, just like I can fill no one else’s place. I am me, I am theirs but most of all I’m his!
So a year later I will tell you, there are dark moments and you wonder what on earth you did. There are moments you feel like the evil stepmother in so many fairytales. There are times you are hated and resented. Turn your light on and shine bright and be a beacon for your family. You are not a role; you are a person plain and simple. Be special to you first, and show everyone around you just how special you really are. This too shall pass.