Blessings in your Blending: From Prison to Freedom
By: Kristie Carpenter
The Blended Family Mom
Are you in prison? Does it feel like you have lost freedoms? Do you feel like you want to escape?
Being in a blended family can certainly feel like a prison. I remember days and days of hiding out in my bedroom, I didn’t want to talk to my stepkids so I created my own prison. I felt trapped in my own home. If I walked out of my bedroom, then I was opening myself up to feelings of inadequacy – not wanted – barely tolerated.
The Bible tells us many stories of people imprisoned. Paul was thrown into prison numerous times. I can’t imagine the stench, the dirtiness, coldness – darkness. And yet -- we have 12 books of the Bible that grew out of his imprisonment. He didn’t allow the doom and gloom of his situation to overtake his ability and desire to seek God and continue to look for ways to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob, and hated by his brothers, was sold into slavery. Imprisonment. Through the years, though, Joseph didn’t allow the doom and gloom of his situation to overtake him. Joseph became overseer of all the king of Egypt’s kingdom. At the appointed time, Joseph was strategic in providing for his family and saving them from famine. The family was restored. Forgiveness was extended. The reunion was sweet.
Stretch a bit with me now -- I’m actually going to use Jesus as an example of being imprisoned. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords left His heavenly throne to come to this earth as a human – with all the human struggles, trials, and temptations. The confinement of skin and bone, time and place. And yet, this bodily imprisonment gave us the greatest gift of all – eternal life with the Father – forgiveness of sin – freedom from our earthly imprisonment.
I’m not a story in the Bible, but let me share with you that in my stepfamily imprisonment, a story was born. Through that imprisonment, a journal started. From the journal, came a book, social media, then a radio segment and then a second book. From imprisonment to a ministry -- freedom.
Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
I don’t know what your prison looks like. You may have created it yourself – as I did -- or it may be you are trapped in your family situation and dynamics. Whatever the bars on your prison cell may look like, your story isn’t finished.
God takes our imprisonment and does something with it. He brings about words to encourage, and teach us about Jesus, and bring us closer to Him. He takes us out of slavery and uses us to save a family – through restoration and forgiveness. God uses us in the confinement of our situations.
God even uses us to create new ministry opportunities – just like mine – to reach out to you. Maybe it’s time to rethink your prison. Maybe it’s time to throw open those doors and see what God is doing through you!
Blessings in your Blending!