Not just any man signs up to become a stepdad. There’s always a story behind the story and that’s where the calling begins. Our world is filled with blended families and each one is so unique. The backdrop always stems from brokenness and doesn’t always end with happily ever after. I think its heroic for a man or woman to step in when its not what everyone else is doing.
That’s part of my story and its probably why I like it so much. When I think back to my first real date as a single mom, I have to laugh. I was A HOT MESS. Poor Eric. He just had no idea what he was getting into (or maybe he did). First off, I was a closet smoker. My life had been spiraling out of control and as much as I loved Jesus, I couldn’t cope on my own with where my life seemed to be headed. Basic lights were my best friend. So there we sat – outside on a beautiful night and I smoked one after another telling him “my messy story”. Here he was, a single man feeling called to be a worship leader, and me a CrAzY single mom in need of some real TLC.
I call him my hero because that’s still how I see him today, almost 9 years later.
He took one look at me and said, darlin’ you need to change your course. Well, it actually went a little bit more like this….
He waited a few coffee visits and then he let me know that if we were going to be “dating” then I needed to know that he doesn’t date smokers. Ha! That was all I needed to know in order for me to make a vow to quit. I wanted him and everything about him. Within a few weeks, he was mixing me worship cd’s to listen to and buying us books on how to blend a family. Talk about inspiring.
But where the rubber met the road was when we finally said ” I do” and we began to live as husband and wife with the added bonus of 3 sweet boys. Again, not just any man can step into this role. Its a calling. I firmly believe that God had begun working on Eric’s heart long before I entered his world. God was intertwining and connecting things within Eric’s life so that when the journey got tough, he had the strength to endure. Not only was God working on Eric’s life to prepare him for our journey, he was working on my heart and even the boys hearts too. God always goes before us to prepare the way.
Everyday Eric is reminded of the I life I had before he stepped in and everyday he is faced with a choice to fulfill his calling. When I think about the beautiful life that the Lord has given us, I am overwhelmed. There’s nothing that could ever come our way today that would shake my faith because I have tasted and seen redemption first hand. God makes beauty out of ashes. That’s who He is.