Mar 10, 2020 • Written by Natalie LeClair
Blended Families: A Teenage Perspective
As a ten-year-old, I was too young to understand the reasons for my parents' divorce, so it was a very confusing and complicated time for me.
Entering adolescence would have been hard enough already, but on top of that, due to the divorce I moved around a lot and my new family relationships were complicated. I struggled with insecurity, because I wrestled with where I had come from and where I was going.
There were times it seemed like the only perk to living with two separate families was getting twice the amount of gifts on birthdays and Christmas (what can I say, I was materialistic as a kid).
In a lot of ways, my parents' separation propelled me into a life I would have never lived otherwise. My family doubled in a matter of two years, and so did my capacity for love. Some of my new family relationships were hard but others were very affirming.
I continued my education at a new school where, six years later come May, I will be graduating in the top 10 of my class. Two out of my four closest friends are also kids in blended families, and we have supported each other in ways only the three of us could.
I was also grateful for the opportunity to be involved in a softball program throughout high school. This experience taught me to work hard, to value the success of my team over myself, and to be the best athlete, teammate, and person even if no one is watching.
On Wednesdays I am a part of a small group who have prayed with me through numerous trials. I have chosen to pursue a writing career at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul next fall and am thrilled to see how God is going to work in the next four years. All that being said, it's safe to say my past has turned out for the better, contrary to what I anticipated.
In all of this, I discovered a passion for a God who pursues me with infinite grace and gave up His life so that I could find mine.
I refuse to sugarcoat how family has impacted me, though. Despite the trials, I have come to deeply understand that my identity is not rooted in my parents' relationship history. Contrary to the belief that our family history dictates who we become, one of the most important things I have had to learn is that I am an individual worthy of an individual destiny.
Yes, I am my father and mother's daughter, and nothing will change that. Above all, however, I am a child of God. My identity is not in who my earthly parents have raised me to be, but rather in who my heavenly Father calls me to be because I have found a new life in His son Jesus. He died so that I might one day be adopted into His family, and that is a love that will never give up on me, regardless of my past, present, or future.