[Guest Post by Jeanne Cesena. I’ve known Jeanne now for many years through our mentor Pam Farrel. She and her husband have an incredible ministry to step/blended families. If you are the person who thought you’d always marry a pastor–you have to read her article!]
In a Step Family, there is at least one spouse that has gone through a divorce.
It’s like throwing everyone in a microwave and turning it on high.
Divorce was a very hard season in my life. My ex husband and I were on staff at a church as worship leaders and youth pastors. My ex began to do drugs and sleep with women. Pastors told me stay with him, pray for him and he will change. We did not know that the Senior Pastor was also committing adultery with the secretary. The senior pastor ended up leaving his wife and five kids.
I stayed with my ex for five years and had two beautiful children.
I left the church after my ex was fired for drinking and drugs.
At the new church I started attending, a policeman heard my story and said if he went into my house and found cocaine I would lose my children. I told my husband that I was going to leave. He hit me and said he would kill me and take my children if I left.
I ended up in a battered women’s home.
My parents wired me money to move back home. I took what I could in trash bags for me and the children and quickly flew home to start my life over again. Through this entire time God was with me. He gave me Palms 91 to comfort me and protect me.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress my God in whom I trust (Palms 91:1-2).
I met my future husband at a business meeting.
I had been single for ten years and had gone through much healing from much pain. When my future husband came into my life, I did not think he was right for me.
I thought I would marry another pastor, after all that is all I knew.
God started to work in my heart to show me what His love was all about. I would see my future husband be kind and compassionate to others. He had healthy relationships. Because of all the abuse in my life I was uncomfortable at first. After one of our many dates and getting to know one another, he dropped me off, reached over and kissed me.
At that moment, I decided to stay. Our relationship became strong. After about a year of loving God and each other we got engaged and married within two years. We made a commitment to God and each other to not have sex until our wedding night. It was a wonderful thing to see my life becoming Romans 8:28, “all things work together for good.”
After our honeymoon we came home so much in love and ready to start our new lives together.
My husband was suddenly a new dad of a ten year old boy. They had many challenges but my husband was able to win our sons heart over in time. Our daughter was not as comfortable with the whole Dad situation. We went through many years of pain as our marriage progressed.
Living as a step family can be a hard situation.
There are so many dynamics that take place. Currently Jeanne and her husband help lead the Step Family Ministry, an Outreach Ministry at the Rock Church in San Diego, California. We meet with Step Family couples individually, in groups and we work with different churches. If you are interested in knowing more please visit Step Up 4 God.
[Photo: KREYC, Creative Commons]