“Pray for her.”
God whispered these words into my heart and an image of my adult stepdaughter Josie came to mind.
It’s been 6 quiet years since our last set of texts with nothing in between except tidbits of information filtered through various extended family members.
One might think it odd that God would bring Josie to mind since there really isn’t much of a relationship to speak of. As far as I knew, she was happy with her life, her husband and children and wanted for nothing. Certainly, as it pertains to me as a stepmom, I got the message loud and clear when she stopped responding. It was clear, she was an adult now with her own family and based on her lack of response to my efforts, I surmised the last thing she wanted was a stepmom.
But I know God. When He brings someone to mind, it’s for a reason. Sometimes God brings a person to mind with a nudge to take action, either through a phone call, text or dinner. Other times, like this one, the only nudge I got from the Lord was to pray and so I did. Here’s what I came up with during that time, I pray it will encourage you like it did me to never give and to always follow the leading of the Lord.
As a mom this is a no-brainer, but when you’re a stepmom and your family story looks like its been scripted for a a Lifetime movie, exhaustion forces you into survival mode and prayer is gone faster than you can change channels.
Which is why God’s whisper was a wonderful prompt and one that gave me hope that I could finally do something. For far too long, I’d felt helpless, unable to shore up the damage being done with every tug-of-war battle that eventually pulled my family apart. This wasn’t the way I envisioned our family. I never wanted anger, tears or heartbreak. In fact, when Josie came into my life I saw happily-ever-afters, BBQ’s and sunsets. I still wanted that for us.
So for the rest of the morning the Lord and I walked through His word, digging up passages and defining areas for growth and for task. He showed me a multitude of ways I could stand in the gap for my stepdaughter, lifting her in prayer. He also reminded me that prayer doesn’t mean I need to be involved in her life on a day-to-day basis. Instead, God wanted my obedience to do the behind the scenes work He’d set before me, and to trust Him. He wasn’t promising me the Hallmark version of my life. He was offering me healing by way of praying for Josie.
What about you? How can you begin to pray for your stepdaughter today? If you don’t know, ask God. He’ll bring to mind areas of her life that need your prayers. Maybe she’s having a tough time at school or starting a new job. Or maybe she’s a new mom and struggling to balance work and home life.
Whatever God brings to mind, pray for her in those areas. Also, if you’d like to take your prayers one step farther, one of my all time favorite authors is Elizabeth George and she’s written a great book called, “A Mom After God’s Own Heart” that will lend plenty of tools and topics to prayerfully consider for your stepdaughter.
1 Chronicles 16:11 “Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His presence continually!”
Oh, this is a hard one for me. You too? I think as women we tend to hold onto memories, hurts, bitterness and unforgiveness, rehashing them over and over in our minds until we’re frothy with anger and ready to lash out in pain.
Ladies, if our families are to be restored we must first look to ourselves, admit what we’re holding onto and seek God’s forgiveness. He doesn’t want us to wallow in ugly memories. He wants us to be healed. But to do that, we must first acknowledge our need of the Lord.
James 4:10 invites us to, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.” Can you imagine what it would look like to view your family through the lens of love and not worry that they’ll be caked with pain?
What a promise of hope!
Let us be stepmoms who ask for forgiveness and then eagerly offer it to those around us.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
The biblical meaning for restoration is to receive back more than what has been lost to the degree that the new is better than the original condition.
Don’t you love that?
When we think of something being restored, like an old dresser, we think of taking it back to its original state. God takes restoration one step further and promises to make it better than the way it started out!
What a promise!
In order to move forward in our relationships we need to be healed of the pain that has destroyed us and our families. God can restore our relationships; not back to the way they started but in a richer, sweeter more precious way than we can ever imagine.
I think back to when I was a young woman, newly married, no kids, when Josie came into my life, and oh my! Even my best efforts don’t seem worth much in light of the damage that’s been done. I need restoration! I need God to make me better than I was if I’m going to be a blessing to my stepdaughter. Lord, please hear my prayer and please restore me to a new improved step mom!
If that’s your prayer too, be encouraged dear friend. We serve a mighty, loving God who is in the business of restoration. Just look at His gift to us through His precious Son Jesus Christ. He gave us His Son, would He not want restoration and healing for your family? Of course He does! God is a God of restoration and right relationships.
Lamentations 3:33-34 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.”
Set Aside Expectations
I don’t know about you but this is a hard one for me because at the root of it all, I want everything to work out perfectly. However, as our family is living on the flip side of 3 decades of brokenness, you will see that all of our expectations and best efforts have failed. Why? Because we tried making those expectations work without ever seeking God. We thought we were doing the right thing, but with every failure, came more pain until all we were doing was reacting in a knee-jerk response to the previous heartbreak.
But wait! I believe God is doing a mighty work in our lives which will require us to lay our expectations at the feet of Jesus.
Let us trust God that He has brought our stepdaughters to mind for His reasons, not ours. Our job is to seek Him in every step He leads us in/through. While we walk with Him through this restoration let us ask Him to heal our brokenness, our need to be right, or acknowledged. Let us lay down our hurts, dreams and disappointments so that God can do a mighty work in us!
Trust the Lord for He is good and He does good.
James 3:17 “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
Pray For Healing
I know I started with prayer so I’d like to end with prayer.
It goes without saying that healing is needed. Without it old wounds are reopened, new hurts are added and relationships are permanently destroyed.
Maybe your family looks like it can’t be salvaged. So does mine.
All is not lost! God is in the business of resurrecting the dead, the broken and hurting. He is into turning lives around so that His love is revealed to a waiting world.
Be encouraged my friend, I know it’s not easy being a stepmom. But I believe, even in our mistakes and our weaknesses, God can take hurt, broken stepmoms and turn us into mighty prayer warriors for our stepdaughters and our families. I believe with God we can be healed and families restored.
Will you commit to start today? Can you find it in yourself to spend time with the Lord and ask Him what His will is for you, your stepdaughter and your family? I pray you God will draw you closer to Himself and bless your requests that all that has been destroyed will be restored. I trust that He will give you the opportunity to start again, walk with Him, trusting in Him for every detail in your relationship between you, your stepdaughter and every single person involved. He is a mighty God and can do miraculous things!
Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. 7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.”
Standing in the gap with you.
2 thoughts on “Praying For My Stepdaughter”
I read and I believe God will help me with my stepdaughter . I really carry some hard feeling toward her as well as she to me. I lost my daughter that I had with her dad 12 years ago. We also, have a son together and I have a older daughter throw a previous relationship before I married my husband. My husband left his daughter when she was 3 years old I know they have resentment toward each other for many years. She also lost her mom and we all need to heal.
What a joy to receive your response. Please accept my apologies for such a late reply. I’ve been recovering from COVID and its been a long road.
I can hear the pain and struggle in your words regarding your children. First off, please accept my condolences on the loss of your daughter. I can’t imagine the devastating hurt you must feel and I pray God will meet you in that pain, each time your daughter comes to mind and brings you to a place of complete healing.
Thank you for sharing your heart about the challenges regarding your children including your stepdaughter. Boy oh boy, is it ever difficult to be a step mom, society teaches that stepmoms are the worst, they even create horrible movies about step moms. God honors your heart in this situation. You chose to be in this family, to embrace an extended family regardless of the behavior of the children. And I believe that because you wanted to be a part of your step-daughters life, and despite the painful emotions currently attached to the situation, God can heal everyone involved. He is in the business of restoring families, including yours and mine.
The first step is yours to take in prayer. Ask God to change you, to grow you in the likeness of His Son Jesus so that you will reflect that love to your husband and each child. And pray for healing and complete restoration.
I can’t say when it will happen, truth be told, we’re still waiting. My step-daughter is 31 with her own family now and we haven’t seen her or the kids in 7 years, but, I have faith in Christ to keep His promises; Philippians 1:6; “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Carletta, hang onto the word of God and know He is working behind the scenes for you and your family.
In the meantime, I’ll join you in prayer over your family.
Feel free to keep in touch and let me know how things are going.
Blessings to you and your family,