We used to always meet around this time of year. Braving storms, icy roads, to exchange Justus. I didn’t know the years would go so fast. He is twenty now. I can’t believe I’ve been a parent for over 20 years. In the beginning it was rough like your first try at riding a bike. All the pain and challenge that go with those skinned up knees and a tear stained face of determination. I was thrown into my adult life. As a young college student through running start I had fears of parting with my son. I took the courses offered at night so I could be with him. Then gradually with the help of family we began to brave making our way in the world.
Her carefully chosen snacks, packed bags with clean clothes returned gave me peace and comfort knowing he was loved. In between visits her cards and care packages were well selected and brightened his world. The sharing of your child is huge. Jared my husband at age 20 made an equal commitment to love a little boy as his own. And if Justus could have two young college age men to father him, than he could have two (one barely 19 , that was me) and the other just in her twenties call him son. He would be blessed.
For a long while, I just wanted to be perfect. The perfect mom, to prove all the haters wrong. Yes, I had too much to prove. By having Justus at 17 I had made a huge mountain of challenge for my role as mom.
I recall the first time I dropped him off after our parenting plan was set in motion. He was 2 1/2. Justus wouldn’t let go of my arms and neck. I tearfully handed my greatest love over to his dad. Jared,my fiancé took me to fly a kite at Alki beach in Seattle. His arms around my waste and that kite in the wind I began to learn to trust God. To really at the core trust God.
We would trust Him, and then gradually over time one another. Conversations of honesty, prayers offered, God’s grace present we would all raise our son. I wasn’t perfect. Grace gave me more than I deserved. God’s plan is good.
And now today I would like to introduce you to Kasey Bivens. A thoughtful talented photographer and gracious mother of three, Justus, Kristen, and Jeffery (aka Bubba).
In her words, “But His plan was not just for my relationship with Justus but with you, as well. A blessing to have a mother embrace me and trust me with her most beloved, just as Christ loves each one of us as His own and gives us to each other to care for. I have seen very few people do this in blended families but those who do carry the same precious faith we do.”
We recently decided to collaborate our story, here for you. Kasey has a creative ability behind the lens to capture and tell stories. How would we chose the right photographs? And then early on a December morning she messaged and I knew we had found just the right ones.
“Woke up at 2:00am after a dream about Thanksgiving and the three photographs I posted this morning were from abundant grace that filled my head with ideas.
The used paint brushes represent your watercolors and the use of their bristles to show love through emotion in portraits. Almost like you painted with tears. Years ago you sent me a watercolor you did saying that it reminded you of Kristin and that was in the dream.
The candle representing light for photographs represents the necessary light even in the dark to capture a moment in time that produces memory as if you could taste, touch, smell, feel or hear what is happening. My hand cups the light to show its warmth without burning us, as life can. The bible is the collaboration. The union, the connection.”
If you are struggling in your blended family, know today that God is with you. He guides us past the fear and imperfections into grace, and grace is grand. As you travel and share your child with others recall how God gave His. The Father trusted the glory of heaven, Jesus Emmanuel into the hands of humanity.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.” John 1:14, 16 NIV
To connect with Kasey or just to see more of her work. Follow me on over to her website.
She has a wonder quality about her. God chose well, and I am grateful for our collaborative story.