Sailing the Seas of Step-parenting

My life changed in that moment, when a big-eyed, dark-haired boy wobbled into my life and captured my heart forever

Matthew was like any toddler— rambunctious, curious, and so adorable. At the tender age of one and a half years old, he had no idea what the future held.

He was unaware his time would be divided between mom and dad, and that holidays would mean bouncing from family to family. He was unaware mom and dad would never be a “normal” family and that I was going to become his “step-mom”.

Being a step-parent can be a daunting task. Raising a step-child takes some serious navigation. The waters can be uncertain as you find yourself in the vessel as co-captain some days, while other days you find yourself watching from the shore.

I watched my husband, during the first few years of our relationship, navigate these uncharted waters of parenthood.

I wish I could say I fully embraced this new situation with open arms, but to be honest, it wasn’t always easy.

I constantly battled with the same questions in my mind:

“What if I love him and he doesn’t love me back?”

“What if he hates me?”

“What if he thinks I’m the reason his ‘family’ is not together?”

These thoughts put a buoy around my heart and at times, kept my love at bay.

As my husband and I ventured into this new territory together, there was a lot of discovery along the way. As Matthew grew, his curiosity did too.

Questions arose as he noticed something was different about our family compared to others. He went through various waves of emotions as his mind tried to comprehend the complexity of this situation. Most days he fully embraced me, but there were some days he did not.

All the while, the Lord was using his tiny little heart to transform mine.

The Lord has been navigating my ship through the seas of step-parenting and with every tumultuous wave comes a subtle lull. The buoys have been tossed aside and love has come flooding into my heart. Through Matthew, the Lord is showing me how to love in new and beautiful ways. He’s teaching me how to be vulnerable, affectionate, and love without restraint.

Being a step-child myself, I know the confusion that comes along with it. I understand the extra love and attention Matthew needs and I’m constantly striving to be the best step-parent I can be. The more I pour into him, the more my heart is filled. 

The Lord brought this child into my life, knowing I needed him more than he needed me. (Tweet this)

I may not have carried him in my womb, but I carry him in my heart.


Heavenly Father, thank you for the beautiful gift of children. Whether they are born from our womb or born into our heart, you have given them to us to love and nurture and guide. I pray for those who are navigating the seas of step-parenting, may you give them guidance and wisdom in the decisions they make. Thank you for entrusting us with these precious lives. Lord, give us patience to endure when the waters get rough, and help us enjoy the journey that you set before us. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

God bless. 

Anita Marie

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