Alliance: Month One

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A month ago today I married my best friend. We’ve lived happily ever after. Wedded bliss. Cake by the Ocean. The End.

Except not.

This has been one of the hardest months of my life.  I was tempted not to write about it, but it may serve someone else to hear this story.

For the past 8 years I’ve known Darlene and her kids and I’ve been fun Uncle Lennox to these children for most of that time. We’ve done museums and beach trips and movie nights and board games and, for crying out loud, they’ve painted my nails and put makeup on my face! We’ve been in each others’ lives for so long I think I expected a seamless transition.

This transition has been anything but smooth. Now I’m not just fun Uncle, but a voice saying chores must be done and rules must be followed and consequences will apply and suddenly I’ve become persona non grata with these lovely kids. I’m confident we will find our way to a mutual respect and collaborative alliance, but that has not happened in these 31 days.

From each kid, at separate times, and at the top of their lungs, I have been told “I hate you! I don’t want you here! You don’t belong here! You ruined my life!”

It hurt! It hurts terribly. I’ve loved these kids for almost a decade. I call them my son and my daughter. Did I just get discarded because you don’t want to wash a dish? Wow, is that the value of this relationship to you? And then here come the manipulative questions of the enemy: Who do you think you are? What makes you think you belong here? Why don’t you go back to the easier path?

I say this for the benefit of the newly married step-dad who has had a similar experience. No, you’re not crazy, this happens.

Time for some good news. My wife has been a champion, always had my back, never wavered. Together we have welcomed help from professionals, from church, and from community. She has spoken over me the prophetic words that we’ve received from God. She has covered me in prayer. We have grown so much closer than we ever were before. Our connection is deeper than ever and our bond tighter than I realized possible. Our routine takes us to God and to each other every single morning.

Where is the goodness of God in this story? Let me show you! Day 18 “we” (pronounced: Lennox) had a melt-down at 3:37 pm, but had to leave at 4:30 to keep an appointment we had made a week earlier. The appointment? To receive prayer from a couple we respect highly, who have also walked the path of blending families.

So we got filled up from them with not only the advice of experienced parents, but they also spoke to the insecurities that surfaced in me. They counteracted and removed the falsehood “Who do you think you are? You can’t do this!”

The lie was exposed and dismissed within 90 minutes after it had been stirred up in my mind and before it had time to sink into my heart and insinuate into some corner where it could breed and fester unchallenged in the dark.

They prayed over me the truth of who I am, a Tarzan swinging from vine to vine, letting go of one vine before catching sight of the other, relying on the sheer confidence that it WILL be there! Bless God– He is faithful!!

They gave us pages and pages of encouragement and truth, and we had to interrupt them in order to get to our next appointment, which was the arrival of a team from Coast Hills Community Church to pray a blessing over our home. Turns out the pastors of Open Door Community Church, Jim and Penny, also showed up, bringing along two friends of theirs who were visiting from California. This convergence of three different worship communities proceeded to fill us up another 2 hours.

So yes, there was the hurt that exposed a lie in me, followed by 4 hours of truth poured on top of the wound, and all of that encouragement already on the calendar at least a week prior to the hurtful exchange. There is the goodness of God. There is His glory. He knew ahead of time we would need that power boost at that moment.

That was just one day of these 31. I can go on and on about how good this month has been, because in spite of this being the most challenging month I’ve ever lived, it’s also the most blessed and highly favored month I’ve ever lived. On all fronts, in family, in ministry, in business we are seeing the goodness of God in manifest ways.

I cannot wait to see what happens in month two!!!