When Love Grows

Months before Mike and I were to be married, something disastrous started to happen. Something so horrific, I thought we were going to split. I told him, this was going to end us, and we sought help quick!

Our kids, who had once got along just fine, started to turn on each other. It was not pretty. I told Mike, if anything was going to destroy our marriage, it was going to be the kids.

I started taking inventory of my friends. Who has a large, blended family? I wanted a mentor. I wanted us to have someone who’s been through it all and has come out on the other side. Someone we could look up to and be inspired by. Someone who has beat the odds!

Nothing. Not one friend. No one even had a small blended family to look up too.

I needed someone to teach me how to become a united front with my husband and not fall into my kids manipulation as they pulled on my heart strings. And someone for Mike too! He was being pulled in the opposite direction by his kids as well. The kids were tearing us apart.

I needed someone to teach me to love these new little guys, unconditionally. You don’t just get married and wha la! These new kids are my offspring. I was very fond of them but these were the kids that were fighting with my kids and making them unhappy…which makes me, very unhappy. And Mike was just as miserable.

The stress level was ridiculous. And we weren’t even married yet!

We had no mentors, and we had statistics stacked up against us. We had to be crazy to go down this path. We needed help. We needed God.

The most explosive relationship was between Tunes and Smart. Tunes is seven years older than Smart. These two were so bad we made a rule that they couldn’t be alone in the same room together.

But in all honesty, Smart got his feelings hurt by Tunes. It’s why he would lash out. He wanted to look up to Tunes, but Tunes was too easily annoyed. When Tunes would snap, it hurt Smart. So, hurt people hurt. He wanted to hurt back.

They have spent the last three years avoiding each other.

Last week I got a call from Tunes letting me know he was going to walk to the gas station to get a soda. That’s fine. Not a big deal. No a big deal until I got home and asked where Smart was.

I’m not going to lie. When I was informed that Smart walked with Tunes I had a small heart attack. Nothing good could come of this, I’m sure!

You know what happened? Nothing. Nothing happened. Ok, we’ll maybe not nothing. They started to talk. They talked about video games. Huh, imagine that.

I can’t tell you what a huge day this was for me. For my family. My big ol’, large, blended, whole family.

Mike and I work so hard to hold us together. There are so many forces that are trying to tear us apart, outside as well as inside.

Mike and I receive subtle messages every day that we’re screwing this up. That we are doing it wrong. That no one is happy. But when something like this happens we see a glimmer of hope.

We have faith. Sometimes for just one second. Maybe our prayers are working. Maybe, just maybe everything will work out just fine.

In the midst of all the drama, all the heartache, all the conflict, something changes. Something goes right. And it makes me so happy! It makes everything so worth it.

There is love here in this house. Sometimes it’s hard to see. Sometimes it looks like quite the opposite. But last week my sons walked to get a soda together. And last night Tunes looked over Smarts shoulder to take a look at the problem he was having with his homework.

That’s all Jesus right there. Right there in my kitchen, I saw Jesus. It was beautiful. He gives me hope. He builds my faith. He grows…love.

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