My stepson and stepdaugther lost their mother more than five years ago after a difficult battle with colon cancer. My stepson was 15 years old at the time and had gone to live with his mom (out of state from us)while she was sick. My stepdaughter was 20 years old and had lived with her for several years.
Following her death, we anticipated moving my stepson, Payton, back to live with us. But he had different ideas. He liked the freedom and lack of accountability he had at his stepdad’s house. He didn’t want to change schools and resisted every suggestion we made of moving him.
Finally, we gave in and allowed Payton to stay for a few months to grieve with his sister, half-brother and stepdad. What we didn’t anticipate, however, was his anger and resentment toward us when we continued to mention the move. We had no idea that his stepdad was plotting to seek legal custody to change his living arrangements permanently.
When the sheriff arrived at our door with custody papers, we were devastated. Why would God allow this process to happen? Why does his stepdad want custody when Payton’s biological father is willing and capable of taking care of him? Isn’t is obvious that our home is more stable and secure than the environment Payton is living in?
We firmly believed Payton should have come to live with us immediately following his mother’s funeral. But after fervent prayer, we chose not to fight the custody battle and allowed Payton to stay at his stepdad’s. It was one of the hardest choices we’ve made concerning our children. We believed God was in control, but didn’t understand the happenings.
Nine months after his mother’s death, Payton called his dad to say there was trouble. His stepdad was heavily involved in drugs and he and his sister were currently staying at another relative’s home. It was obvious that Payton was scared and unsure of what to do next. My husband gave him no choice at that point other than to come live with us. Payton willingly surrendered and moved in the following week.
The timing of Payton’s move was different than what we wanted. But by trusting God’s plan, the transition was smooth and uneventful. Payton was thankful to be at our home after several tumultuous months at his stepdad’s.
God’s plan is often hard to understand and His timing difficult to manage. But when we choose to plow ahead with our own plans, in our time frame, disaster ensues. There is no better plan than to wait on God’s.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Are you trusting God’s timing in your stepfamily circumstances, even when it doesn’t make sense?
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