Dream of a Family, long but please help, I am struggling...

Discussion in 'Family and Parenting' started by janelane56, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Let me start by saying, please, reserve your judgments as you read my story until I’m through. I know it may sound awful at times and believe me, tears have been shed because of the guilt of my feelings. They are nonetheless my feelings and I cannot escape them. So, I’m asking for help in dealing with them.

    I met my now husband and fell completely in love. He had just divorced a woman who made him extremely unhappy in every sense of the word. They had two children together. I knew the situation was complicated, but I thought I could handle it. I thought I was THE one who could handle it perhaps better than many others. I had A LOT of experience in child care and made it my career. I loved children and his children latched onto me immediately. I didn’t feel anything in particular toward them. I was very young. I was 23. Now looking back, I realize I knew nothing. I had no idea what I was getting into. I’m currently struggling with the fact that no one warned me how difficult a blended family could be, no one even mentioned that maybe I should think about this some more. I think people these days tend to assume they should mind their own business. But I think our friends and family, especially our parents, are supposed to be the ones to give advice, save us, give us another perspective. I didn’t get that and I’m really struggling with that. Maybe they thought I was already aware. Well I wasn’t.

    I decided to happily embrace the situation, complications and all, and marry him. I loved him very, very much and we were quite happy for a while. However, underneath the happiness I was always thinking a few things…

    First of all, I realized after some time I didn’t really love his children. Yes we got along but I didn’t LOVE them. I had been a full time nanny to a few girls and I loved THEM. I truly LOVED them. I desired to be around them and hold them, hug them, teach them. I didn’t/don’t feel that way about my step children. I don’t hate them but I don’t have the urge to cuddle them up. I pushed those feelings down and still am doing so. My husband knows how I feel though. I think there are a few reasons for this. First of all, my husband’s children are giant. I have never once, not ONCE, seen children this size. My husband’s son was 50 pounds at 2 years old. His daughter, I forget the past measurements I’ve taken over the years, but before she was 10 she was wearing WOMEN’S size 6 and wearing a WOMEN’s size 7 shoe. Insane, I know. It’s partially aesthetics that bother me, I will admit. It makes me feel shallow but it’s true. They’re just not nice to look at, and honestly they just look off. People thought the boy was a dwarf or had an issue because his head was so giant but yet his arms were short, and he looked a few years older than he was but was unable to do things appropriate for that age because he was younger. So it’s not just me! More importantly, it’s also just so very, very strange to want to go and snuggle a child who is actually bigger than you. Think about how that feels. Yes they are bigger than me. I am a petite woman, short and a size 2. As a joke I put on one of my step son’s shirts once, I think he was 4 or 5 at the time, and it fit me. He was wearing boys size 10 at the time. Can you imagine wanting to snuggle a 4 year old, who is still SO young mentally, and you wrap your arms around him only to have it feel like an adult? It’s just weird. It doesn’t feel nice. However the WORST part of it is that I wasn’t able to pick him up at two years old. Two years old! That’s still a baby. He wanted picked up when he was hurt, he wanted carried to bed. I couldn’t do that for him. It really put a strain on my bonding with him. The girl was already old enough to be mostly past this.

    I always felt like I didn’t belong. They were always hot when I was cold. They all have allergies, they all get tummy troubles from some of my favorite foods, they all drink tons of water and don’t understand how I’m not that thirsty, etc etc. They’re all pale and I’m more golden toned. I am a runner and they could barely run 20 feet without stopping. They are all muscle and brute and I’m slender and love to exercise. The girl is very much boy-like in behavior, and I lamented the fact that she wouldn’t let me braid her hair or paint her nails or any of the other girly things I so adored and enjoyed doing with my nannied children. They didn’t look like my children, so people often referred to me as their sister. Obviously this made me feel really low. I always felt like it was them “against” me though they were always loving and kind the children really saw me as a mother. I was grateful for that and tried to think of it whenever I felt negative. Yet I always felt like I had to prove myself to people. Prove that I was a grown up and deserved to be “mother” in the family unit when we went out. But I ignored these feelings and tried to remember that they loved me and I was fortunate and I shouldn’t worry about physical appearances and that everyone is different so it was okay that we liked different things.

    I’ve always wanted lots and lots of children. I love children. As I mentioned I made my career out of it. All my life I wanted to be a mother. I always particularly wanted a little girl. As the time came to start thinking about children with my husband, I buckled. I was terrified the child would be unattractive and large. I convinced myself that my genes would play a role and perhaps our children would be normal sized. His parents are normal and thin, even, and his sister has two beautiful normal children. Perhaps his ex wife who was also a large woman played a role in their genes and it would even out with me in the mix. I was still very worried when I became pregnant but again, pushed those feelings down deep and ignored the little voice in my head. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do right? You’re not supposed to care about looks. You’re not supposed to worry about your child being cute. You’re supposed to love unconditionally and love someone for who they are. So I pushed it away. I hoped desperately for a little girl, I will admit partially because I knew the chances of her looking like me were much greater. However I always wanted girls.

    Well, of course I found out it was a boy. It took me a while to get over that. I’m a girly girl and so wanted to have a girl to dote upon. Again I pushed away the feelings I had thought perhaps it would be fine. I fixed my thoughts on all the positives of having a boy. He was finally born via cesarean in November because he was too big! He was 10 pounds. No one could believe I had a 10 pound baby. I desperately wanted a natural birth. I had prepared for it for months, I couldn’t wait to experience what so many women before me had. I viewed it as a rite of passage. I feel like it was stolen from me because of the size of my son. I had to grieve for a long time over that. I’m still dealing with it.

    When my son was born, and I came home, I had the baby blues. I think every mother does, just to different degrees. I cried all day every day for about 2 weeks. However I wasn’t sure if my sorrow was hormonal or if it had some logical reason to it. I now know it was both. My baby was 10 pounds already and all that anyone could say was how big he was. No one said he was cute (he wasn’t very cute I think). I felt like the only mother in the world that didn’t think her baby was very cute. No one online would admit to it. It was just me. I was a horrible person. So I cried. I cried because I knew I was stuck now too. I couldn’t escape if I wanted to. I also cried because I knew he was going to get big fast and I was desperate to hang onto his smallness while I could. He only fit newborn clothes for a few days and then grew out of 0-3 in a week. I’ve raised babies from birth and they were so small and sweet for months. I wanted that. Was that so wrong? I think it’s only natural. He already looked 3 months when he was born and people had no problem telling me so. I holed myself up in my bedroom with him so I could absorb his smallness before it was too late. I ended up just crying while holding him every day. Also during that time I did fall in love with him. He was my small, sweet, innocent baby and when he cried, I cried, because I didn’t want him to ever feel bad in any way. I was really grateful that I fell in love with him. Thank you hormones! Now let me say, I’m not really a believer in God. I am more iffy on the subject. However, never have I been closer to believing than those first few weeks after my son was born. I was a super mama bear and I wanted to protect him so much that I prayed to God to keep him safe. I thanked God for giving me a son and was just overcome by the pure magic of growing and receiving a baby. Mamas, you know what I mean right? It’s hard to describe. I felt helpless, I felt at the mercy of something bigger than me. I was both profoundly happy and profoundly sad at the same time. It was the craziest two weeks of my life.

    The baby blues passed after a few weeks and the fog started to clear. My one solace was that my baby has my face. I hate to sound so shallow. But when I saw my features in his face, it brought me joy. Is that so wrong either? I also think that’s natural. The rest of him though, I did not find cute at all. He was extremely block headed, large, almost like a wrestler. Not attractive to me at all. I tried to focus on his beautiful eyes and tell myself he’d grow into his size, even though deep down I don’t think that’s true as his half brother never has and still looks like a wrestler type brute. You know those men who have no necks, are overweight, watch wrestling and live in trailer parks? I KNOW it sounds awful. Trust me I have nothing against living in a trailer park – I myself was rather poor growing up, I am not high and mighty by any means. I’m just trying to give an accurate description and that’s how I think of that “look” that my little bruiser has. It’s completely opposite of me – dark haired, golden skin, thin… it’s just hard to relate to. I think there’s something to be said of having children with someone who looks like you in some way. It’s only natural and how humans were long ago, right? I read about some study where little babies were given a choice of two snacks. The babies actually distrusted the ones that picked a different snack than they did. Interesting. But no no, we are not supposed to choose partners based on looks I was told. That is shallow. Find a partner with a good heart, etc, and don’t mind what he looks like.

    Well, I do find my husband’s face attractive. I knew obviously that he was a bigger guy, but there are PLENTY way bigger than he is. I’m not talking about fat here by the way I’m talking about just the frame of a person. It doesn’t make sense that I’ve never seen children as big as his, but I have seen lots of men bigger than him. I don’t get it. After my son was born, I was flooded with hormones and began to resent my husband when I looked at him. I finally saw details I never saw before – like the fact that he had a very short neck and big shoulders. Things that my baby had now that I didn’t like. How did I not realize just how big he was? I was blinded by love. But we were together for 5 years before my son was born. I should have known. So I came to the conclusion that my misery is my own fault and I’m stupid for having done what I did. I should have known more what I wanted. I was naive.

    To make it worse, it took me a while to let the step children into my heart after my son was born. I was EXTREMELY jealous of all the women out there who had a husband with no children. I cried hot tears over that. I didn’t KNOW that was something I wanted until my baby was born. Only mothers will understand this – I wanted to protect my baby, I didn’t want anyone to hold my baby, it was MY baby. I wanted to hold up in the corner with him like a mama cat. The kids were suddenly house guests. They were not my blood and I think my body recognized that. They were suddenly germy, extremely annoying, loud, and unwelcome. The kids wanted to see their sibling and I hated it. I let them of course and put on a good face. But oh how I counted down the minutes until they left. I wanted it to be the three of us. I wanted to pretend our family was just us. I was so jealous that my husband had already done this baby stuff and this wasn’t new or special to him at all. He assured me it was special – because I was more of a mother than his ex ever was and it made him glad to see it. I breastfed and she didn’t, I was affectionate and she wasn’t, etc… but it still stung every time I had to think of it. I didn’t anticipate that at all. I feel better about that now in general, but in my heart of hearts I will always wish that it was just us. It’s my fault. But I didn’t know I wanted that so much…

    So now here we are, my son has doubled his birth weight in 2.5 months. Babies are supposed to double their weight by 6 months. Yes that’s right, he is 20 pounds at 2.5 months. It’s absolutely INSANE. It’s BEYOND off the charts. He wears some 6 months, some 9-12. I have a very hard time carrying him the amount that he needs carried. He’s still a newborn and looks like a developmentally delayed 9 month old as he can’t sit up yet or anything. Someone said he must have a medical problem to make him so big. Another said he must have breathing problems, apnea, because of his size. Someone had a 6 month old that was 27 pounds and she said that was off the charts. You can see how incredibly rare it is for children to be this size. He’s already so long that I can’t sit with him without his feet touching the couch while his head is next to mine and he seems to be uncomfortable. I won’t be able to baby him like a mother should. He’ll crush me when he tries to crawl into my lap when he’s 4. I’m so depressed about this. I am used to my little girls who I love dearly, who speak sweetly and asked to get picked up, they are light as a feather and wrap their legs around me and wrap their arms around my neck… that is how it’s supposed to be. My step son was too thick to wrap his legs around me at 2… I’ve never known children like them.

    Is God trying to teach me a lesson? I feel like everything in my life is second-hand. It’s become such a pattern that I can’t believe it’s coincidence. But what does it mean? A second-hand husband. I got a child but not the kind I wanted. We bought a house that has a MILLION problems and is a big source of stress for us, meanwhile my very lucky sister in law gets everything she wants and just moved into a brand new beautiful home with her two beautiful children. I have so many examples… I’ll get something or something will happen in my life, and it ends up just being the half-assed version of what I’ve always dreamt of. Why? Now, this is how I deal with it. Of course I practice gratitude. I am SO grateful my baby was born alive and healthy. I really hold onto that when I get down and it helps a little. He had a true knot in his cord and it’s amazing he didn’t die in the womb. I’m also grateful we have the medical interventions we do today as I would never have gotten him out naturally. We both would have died. But I hate that thought – it makes me feel like it’s not natural for me to have him. It makes sense. I won’t be able to lift him when he is two. That can’t be natural. That is what breaks my heart to pieces. He’ll need his mama and I can’t carry him around. How sad for him. I’ve cried many times saying I was sorry I made him. He’s going to have a hard time in life in many ways and it’s my fault. For example, my husband’s kids get teased. They were delayed in learning how to dress themselves because they couldn't reach their feet, they couldn't bend. They had a hard time on the playground because they couldn't swing their legs up to climb things because they were so thick. Shoes are almost impossible to find as they have “fat” feet up and down wise but short length wise. All of their pants need hemmed about 12 inches. They couldn't wipe themselves because they couldn't reach. The have poor fine motor control because of their wide stubby fingers. The list goes on and on. I’m so sorry, son :(

    I am grateful for the money we have, the food we have, the roof over our heads, the fact my son is healthy, I really do try to drill this into my head but it doesn't stop the negative thoughts from happening in the first place. It’s starting to eat away at me as I think these things EVERY SINGLE DAY. I don’t know how to overcome it. I don’t know if I ever will. This is my life now. Forever. I won’t ever leave my son though I honestly want to a lot. But the reality of it, of course I couldn't. I just have to deal with this for the rest of my life. Please help. I feel like I’m going crazy, but at the same time I have some very legitimate concerns. Every time I see a child now all I think of is how small and sweet they are. My husband’s kids stand out like a sore thumb amongst all the other children. I really do try hard EVERY DAY to be grateful. I try soooo hard. Why isn't it enough?

    I don’t think it’s that unfair for me to want normal things. You never think about your child’s size right? You just assumed he’d be a normal human sized person. There are things that are a given like that that we just expect without even thinking about right? So I don’t think it’s unfair for me to want those things… So now I am thinking I won’t try to have any more children. I was given signs before that I ignored, and ended up with what the little voices told me would happen – a giant baby boy and STILL after all these years not loving my step children and STILL feeling like they all belong together and I don’t. It has happened. Just like I thought it would but hoped it wouldn't. So now I’m thinking – don’t be naive! If you have any more children it will be the same thing! Don’t kid yourself again. You know now. Don’t try to have that little girl you've dreamed of your whole life because you won’t get her. You’ll get a boy-ish, large girl who looks nothing like you and wants nothing to do with dresses and is BIGGER than you, your own DAUGHTER, is bigger than you at age 9. I’m thinking I’d rather just have my son, and put all my efforts into him and love him, because trying to have more will only further disappoint me. This is really sad to me as I've always thought the more children the better.

    I feel like my dream was stolen from me before I fully realized what my dream was. I just didn’t think about those details like the size of them because who does that? You just imagine your children being cute and normal. And you think step children won’t make a big difference, when you’re 23 you think that. Well it does.

    Lastly, let me make it clear that I still very much love my husband. It's the joy he brings me that gets me through the tough times. He knows I struggle with these things, though I've never told him I've thought about running away or some of those especially dark thoughts. He makes life worth living.
  2. #2 KingJ, Feb 3, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
    Hi and welcome to the site.

    Your post is long and sounds brutally honest :giggle: (y).

    Logical advice would be (as I am sure you already know): Stop complaining there are millions worse off then you. You made your bed, sleep in it. Treat your stepchildren and child well, there is a thing called karma.

    Christian advice: You thought about God when the baby came. Think more on God. Try and look at your life from His perspective. Try and consider what His will is for your life. Ask yourself if you even care about that? You are so focused on the here and now. Why does the fact that you will die at 70 and cease to exist or not be ready for judgment day not bother you more then the looks of your kids? What of your kids becoming drug dealers, murderers, thieves? Looks are perhaps the last thing you should be worrying about. You said it yourself, it is very shallow.

    You asked if God is trying to teach you a lesson. I want to propose that God will / is using every circumstance that comes your way to try and reach you. Rev 3:20 says He is standing at the door to your heart and knocking.

    What you are doing is living for yourself. Count all the ''I''s in your post. Scripture warns us clearly that if we try find our life we will lose it Matt 16:25. But if we lose it for Him, we will find it.

    When you are living for God Matt 16:24. You will see your stepchildren, child and husband through God's eyes. You won't stay married to your husband because of the joy he brings. You will stay married because you know God hates divorce + you can see the depth of intent he sunk to when he first committed his body, soul and life to you for better or worse. Every child is a beautiful creation. There is NO such thing as an ugly baby.

    Only the steps of the righteous are lead by the Lord Psalm 37:23. Put God first and your life will change. You will be overwhelmed with joy for your husband, child and stepchildren that God has entrusted you with to care for and look after. You are able to influence all their lives for the better. Life is terrible for everyone. Whether good looking, ugly, smart, dumb, rich or poor.....if our father is the devil...our father is the devil. Our self confidence is low, we are envious of all, we never have peace. Discern more / look beyond your nose and grasp that we all have one of two masters. Either we living for ourselves (devil) or submitting to God (Jesus).

    Jesus told us to love even our enemies Matt 5:44. God loves the ugliest, dumbest, most evil person in the universe on a scale you cannot imagine. What if you were that child /stepchild?. You need to go and spoil your child and all your stepchildren right now!

    I am praying that God uses your predicament to open your eyes to the truth and that you may soften your heart to Him / follow Psalm 51:17. I pray that you learn to rely on His strength, receive His peace that surpasses all understanding and start to see all people and your own precious life through His eyes.
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  3. Hi Jane, welcome to the forum.
    I've read your post and I think that I understand your feelings. Have you ever tried to talk with a psychologist?
    autumn oddity likes this.

  4. Hi there. No I haven't, but I've looked into counseling around here. As far as I can tell it says each session can cost $100-200! Crazy. I just can't do that. I would like to talk to someone though.
  5. Thank you for your insight.

    Yes, I know and am trying every day to only worry about the more important things. I've said out loud many times to my husband that my job is to raise him to be a good man and it's about him now, not me. I know. I try so hard to remember that when I get down. I am always excited and hopeful for my son's future, I know he'll be a good man and that's what matters. Some days those thoughts mask the others I have and the day is easy. Then other days it doesn't touch the bad thoughts and I struggle to let them go. Especially when he's been fussy all day and I'm trying to soothe him but I can barely carry him anymore. He's so heavy... I think my back will break. My hips and the outsides of my knees hurt too from carrying him in his sling. Again, the looks isn't a big deal though it is there I will freely admit, but it's really the fact that I feel unlucky/punished/tested somehow with an enormous child because I can't hold him properly... that's the big thing. That's what REALLY gets me down. I feel like crying when I think him about him being 2 and I can't rush to pick him up when he gets hurt... my husband says I need to get resourceful and find some way to make it work, like become a crazy athlete and be super strong, or construct some sort of system where I only carry him on my back, and when he needs hurt we sit on the floor together for cuddles instead of standing. Those thoughts make me happy. My husband is really great. We also talk about how it'll be cute that he can pick me up when he's grown :)

    I really like the part you said about seeing them through God's eyes. That helps actually.

    Do you (or anyone) suggest I hug on and force myself to "spoil" the step children? I want to want to. It's easy with my own baby. But not with my step children especially the son, as he is... a really unique and odd child that can get on the most patient person's nerves ;) and he doesn't like to be touched which is my main way of expressing affection. I read to him, play with him, go on walks with him etc. but will it ever feel not forced? He just isn't all that pleasant to be around. I'm not the only one either, so I know I'm not being hard on him. I do it anyway for him because I know it's more important than how I feel about it. I suppose that's all I can do? Eventually I'll see him differently hopefully.
  6. Oh and it also helped to realize that yes everyone's life is terrible in some way so... you HAVE to think about what's good.
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  7. Oh, that's really crazy! My only idea is to go to some church and find anybody there who you could talk with.

    Sometimes I look on my life and things in my life as something that was entrusted by God to my care. I've dreamed about a different life than I have (of course, I am young and things can change quickly) and it's easy to ask questions like "have I done something wrong to deserve this?", especially when close people around me have "normal" life without any special effort. But when I look at it as a life and time entrusted by God and I look on myself as a administrator of these things that is supposed to do the best, it's calming. That means that I am not supposed to do more than my best. Mistakes or wrong feelings are allowed. God is here to love me.
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  9. Jane, I can tell that you really poured out your whole heart on this post. First, I think all of us grow up with some near-perfect dream of our future. Second, it's time to put that dream away. You made choices that you thought you could handle, and that changed everything. Your life took a detour...but just because it doesn't look like your dream, doesn't mean that it can't be a great life! God weaves people and events into our lives for reasons, and most we won't know till much later. Be aware of this, and realize that your step children and your own child had no say in their physical make up. And...I'd get to know God well, because only He can help you understand fully, your role in these children's lives, and give you the strength you need to press on.
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  10. Wow, thank you, that helps so much. Yes perhaps I was entrusted with these things for a reason... I like that perspective. Yes you seem to understand the feeling of everyone around you having a "normal" life with no special effort. Exactly!!!! Thank you for replying with care and empathy. Your post has really helped.
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  11. Thank you. Yes it was therapeutic just to write it out even. I've thought on what to say for weeks now. Your reply was really helpful as well, I do try to think about how this has a reason that I might not know until much later in life, if ever. Thank you!
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  12. Jane you write from the heart.
    I like Cinderella's reply, commit your ways unto the Lord.
    If you can find strengths in the children and help them excel, invest in them and it will return to you.
    Melizza, Cturtle and janelane56 says Amen and like this.
  13. I agree, truly written from the heart. :love:
  14. I know this is late and you have already received some great advice! My first two children were in the 90th percentile for height and weight for the first couple of years. They never wore 0 - 3 month clothes, and by the time there were one years old they were in 24 months - 2t. My third was in the 35th percentile. And remember that he does have your dna in him as well so he will change in many ways in the years to come.
    I went through some difficulties when they were little, especially when my daughter was born (she is the oldest, and now 24) because even though the doctor said she was a she....i was still praying for a boy. When she was a toddler she did not want to be held and i didn't know how to handle that. And in all honesty i really did not know how to relate to her.
    I think that in a lot of ways i pushed her to her dad so she could be a daddy's girl. (Big mistake!) Because it just hurt or squelched my love or showing her affection.

    So keep you chin up and keep thanking God for such a blessing. As far as your step children....ask God to show you how to love them and be friends with them. God has lots of love in store for them and you can be one of the ones to bring out the best in them.

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  15. Hey, my son too! He was 10 pounds when he was born, and never wore newborn diapers or clothes . . .
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  16. I'm not trying to be rude when I say this but I didn't even want to read the rest of your post because I was so shocked and ill by the way you talked about your step kids and son. I'm a mother, a mother of a daughter 12 that's overweight and tall, a son that's tall and slender and currently pregnant. I love my children no matter what their size is, looks etc. My daughter has learning problems and my son has adhd. A mother has unconditional love size, looks, etc doesn't matter at all. I really think you should seek counseling.
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  17. I was a bit shocked too... I also think its probably still baby blues.
  18. Hello Jane,
    I have to say I loved your honesty. Even though it was brutal. I've heard of many woman having these types of feelings before towards their husbands and even their own children.And I agree with cinderella8. Who knows what larger plan God will have for you in those children's lives. As you said yourself your husband has told you you show them more love then their own mother. To me that's incredibly sad to think of. It could explain why the children aren't cuddly. Cause they don't know what that is.But i have to say it brings me joy to know that you recognize your feelings.I think that it would be scarier to have those feelings and not feel guilty in any way. Just think you have the opportunity to show them what a motherly love is! The only thing I could say that would help is look to know God more thru prayer, reading His word.. It's amazing the way He changes our outlook on life. I will definitely keep you in my prayers God Bless.
  19. God so loved the world.
    That means big,little and everything inbetween. If you will make the choice to honestly seek God and learn of His love and spend personal intimate time with Him you will learn how to love all people as He does.

    That actually is what we all are to do.
    It will change your life.

    We can look for reasons and labels to pin on the issue and even spend mega bucks on people who claim they know what is best and know nothing of the inner issue deep within.

    We can humble ourselves and go to the Father knowing He can fix us where we are broken. However we must leave our reasoning and nail it to the cross for if our reasoning were any help or truth to the mater at hand, well we would not feel as we do or have issues to struggle with that slowly are destroying the life with in us.

    God our Abba Daddy is the only hope of true help or deliverance in these kind of situations.

    Why is it we tend to go there last and spend years dealing with suffering instead of getting healed healthy and whole from the get go?

    It is always going to be our choice
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  20. Father,

    I uplift this sister here into your arms of Love. I pray that you've continued to show Jane how to love her step children and son through your eyes. Even though this post is from last year, I pray that you continue to show Jane how blessed she is with being able to care and nurture children. I also pray for a stronger relationship with You and that she will be encouraged to seek You and Your ways.

    In Jesus Name. Amen.
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