i am ‘The Stepchild’

This posting is a departure of sorts from my usual posts, but I felt compelled to post it. And so, out of obedience and with great compassion and sensitivity I offer this poem (below) written several years ago.

For years I struggled to put into words my life as a child, teen, and into my 20’s. And I needed to put words to it. We cannot move into the next chapter of our lives without closing the previous chapter. To do so without a healthy completeness leaves a gap. It’s like leaving blank pages that must be written for the story to really continue. This poem helped.

The poem (below) was written in my 30’s and brought me a step closer to healing and wholeness. Now years later, with a grateful heart, I reread these words and find them much, much less true of my identity today. There are still days when they flare up. But, it has been a long, hard, beautiful road and my identity is much healed. My core identity is no longer “the stepchild”. I now see myself much closer to “the beloved son” as I move closer and closer to allowing myself to be Fathered by God [Link]. Funny thing is, my circumstances haven’t fully changed. My place in my earthly family is still has its tangles. What has changed is my heart.

So, why share this poem? I’m not trying to “dredge up the past” or add more drama to our lives. Instead, my hope is that these simple thoughts might dislodge anything inside that may be standing in the way of your life of Freedom and healing. Maybe a poem or thought or journal entry could help you move closer to the freedom and life you seek. Read on and invite God to heal, again.


i am
THE STEPCHILD

By
Mark Wager

I am never first –– I am second

I am the stepchild

I am an after-thought –– I am inconvenient

I am the stepchild

I am jealous –– I am at fault

I am the stepchild

I am alone –– I am outcast

I am the stepchild

I am unseen –– I am without voice

I am the stepchild

I am the pleaser –– I am without self

I am the stepchild

I am without comfort –– I am sad, still

I am the stepchild

It is unfair –– No… I am mistaken

I am the stepchild

I’m not like my brother –– I am worth less

I am the stepchild

I am not loved –– I am tolerated

I am the stepchild

I’m not included –– I am sent away

I am the stepchild

I hide –– no one seeks

I am the stepchild

I lash out –– I am crushed

I am the stepchild

I am damaged –– I’m supposed to be over it

I am the stepchild

I try –– I never win

I ask –– I am denied

I cry out –– I am excused

I want to be loved –– I am exhausted

I am the stepchild

. . .

.

I am leaving –– they are glad

I am the stepchild

I am forgotten –– I am the stepchild

Will I ever forget I am the stepchild?


A PRAYER: Jesus, you know the hurt I’m feeling (or have felt). You know all that’s past. Bring me to a place of freedom, to a state of mind and heart that allows me to live free of the negative effects of my past and present. Turn the ugly and stained into understanding and compassion and grace and mercy (Isa 61: 1-3).

For those who have hurt me, help me to know how to forgive. I want to, I just don’t know how to fully let go. And most importantly, father me. Be my true Father. Show me what it means to really be loved, cherished, valued, heard, cared about, listened to, remembered, included, and celebrated.

To read this list almost feels unobtainable. But you said you will do far more than I could ever hope or imagine (Eph 3:20). Help me believe. I will walk with You.  Amen

 

Did this stir anything in you? What would a response look like?  Would it be helpful to take a moment to privately journal your thoughts?  

I hope and pray you, too, are closer and closer to freedom every day.

Mark

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