30 Days to a Better Stepfamily – Day 11
My angry words fly like red-hot embers propelled from a slingshot, creating collateral damage for anyone in their path on their way toward my husband. I want him to take my side, to set the record straight and do it where I can have the satisfaction of hearing it done. He tries to wrap his arms around me but it feels more like a prison to me than a hug, and staying near me causes burns to his ears from the fiery embers hurled at him – and his heart.
Leaving the room, my anger is beginning to turn my reasoning of a grown woman, with documents on her wall that says she is intelligent, into a junior high teen that can say words just to be mean so she can have her way. I turn on the water for a shower, and step in so that I can cry without it looking like I’m trying to manipulate Doc with my tears. I do not want him to see me crying, I just want him to choose me as his wife over the children, over the ex, over the job; I want to feel like I’m number one in his life and not like just the second wife who never bore him children.
I step out of the shower, put on a robe and wrap my hair up in a towel.
When I was young, my sister and I would pretend that the towel was a crown, and we were princesses. Now I feel like hired help.
Sitting on the cold tiled floor of the bathroom, I think about all the things I want to take with me when I finally call it quits and move out; and the tears begin to fall again.
Reaching up, onto the sink’s edge, I pull down my Bible, open the onion skin pages and begin to read, 1 Samuel 1.
Elkanah had two wives, Penninnah who bore him children and Hannah whom he loved. And Hannah was tormented.
This is me, this is how I feel. Yet Hannah did not burn Elkanah to the ground with her words because of her life, she pours herself out to the Lord.
Now I am crying once again, not out of sorrow, but out of shame because of my outburst. Why do I let this get to me? Why can I not see myself as Joseph’s partner, why can I not act like Joseph’s partner instead of another junior high teen for him to deal with the emotional outbursts?
“Make me know Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths.” (Psalm 25:4 NASB)
I am a Bible Study teacher, I am supposed to be a godly role model, and I am on the bathroom floor with the door locked, not speaking to anyone because I am having a fit! A justified reason to be upset, yes, but I am not supposed to have a meltdown and take everyone with me! I need help, really; I need serious help. I need the Lord to show me His path because right now I am in lost in the woods and I am beginning to look more like a Step-monster, than a Stepmother with red eyes, big red nose and long stringy hair that needs to be dried before it sours in this towel!
I thumb through a few more pages in the Bible before I get up to dry my hair.
“For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:12 NASB)
My body comes to a stop. My mind cannot move from the words, and there is no doubt in my mind that the Lord has just spoken to me. And the space between the toilet and the wall has become Holy ground as God enters into this life I excel at tearing up.
“Father,” I pray, “teach me what I should say when I come out of this bathroom.”
I pull out the dryer and brush and begin styling my hair, and allowing the Lord to design the apology that I need to give to Doc as well as the children.
“Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.” (Proverbs 25:11-12 NASB)
He is my fine gold and I am the listening ear.
I walk to Doc’s study,
“Hey babe, I want to apologize…”
Though this story happened many years ago, we all have times of failing as a parent or spouse; of responding as a child when an adult is needed. Learning to give a true apology, admitting you have sinned and asking for forgiveness, is one of the greatest lessons you can teach your children – and it is one of the best gifts you can give your husband.