So tonight I was putting my youngest stepson to bed. He is three years old, and as usual, missing his mom. I didn’t think it was unusual at all when he asked if we could record a message for her. I pulled out my phone, and he left the sweetest message for his mom. I messaged it to her and she quickly sent one back. He was so happy listening to the playback, and was saying “I love you” in response to the audio even though she can’t hear him. It was then that he turned serious and said these words: “I love Mommy. Bunny, I need to tell you something. I never really loved you because Mommy is the best.”
I didn’t know what to do. My heart was instantly shattered, and I’m still sitting there on his floor typing a message back to her to share how much he loves her. He didn’t say it maliciously; the funny thing is that he spoke from his heart very honestly and sincerely. He had no idea that he hurt my feelings and I know that he didn’t intend to. When I later asked him why he said that, he told me because it was in his head. I think really it was something in his heart, something that has been bothering him that he didn’t know how to put into words. I guess tonight he figured out how.
My feelings are hurt yes, but he is also a child stuck in the constant battle of wanting his mom but never having enough time with her. He spends more time with my husband and I, and it breaks my heart to know that. I’m sure that he wants to be loyal to her, and save all of his love for her. This makes sense, it truly does. I just wish this was easier somehow and my feelings didn’t matter.
I love my stepchildren without holding back because that is my nature. Still, it is much harder to not hold back when situations like this come up. It’s usually the oldest one that I’m concerned with, the 14-year-old who doesn’t want to get close to another woman. I guess I thought I had more time with the younger one. I realize now that I was wrong.
Jesus, please be with me, I pray for the strength to endure this heartache from the children I love, the ones that will always love someone else more. Lord, allow me to be selfless in my love for them, and allow me to consistently and faithfully love them even if they never love me back. You are my example, you are my guide, and in you I will overcome the doubts that plague my heart. Through you, I will learn to stop searching for acceptance in every action and every word, but come to rest in the love you have for me. Lord, I ask these things not for myself, but so that my love is an example of patience and everlasting love that I can instill in these lives I’ve been given to minister to. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.