by Renee Scott 

Seventeen years ago when my husband asked me to marry him, I can’t say that my mother-in-law was extremely happy and joyful.  Let’s be honest, I was taking “away” the son she poured her life into.  He was her only child.  Adopted at the tender age of seven months old, he consumed her life.  After his parents divorced early in his life, she worked three jobs to maintain the lifestyle he was accustomed to.  She couldn’t always attend his games or travel to school events but he was her pride and joy.

I didn’t understand it then because only my filtered wisdom mattered. When we married, I felt she didn’t like me much.  I had no insight to understand differently. My parents were ecstatic, so why wasn’t she?

My thoughts and opinions strained my relationship with her for years.  I was cordial and gracious but I know in my heart it could have been a much deeper relationship if I had just opened myself up more.  Now that I’m the mother of a four year old son, it creates an awareness I never had before.  There are times when loving my son takes my breath away.  With every kiss and every hug, he draws me into his heart.  Loving him is intoxicating and beyond words.  My son has my heart.  I realize that if my mother-in-law shared similar emotions about Alton, no wonder it was hard for her to release him.

I’ve now moved into another season in my relationship with her.  I no longer feel tension and stress when we are together.  Being able to see the situation through her eyes brings compassion and understanding.  A few years ago she was diagnosed with dementia.  There are days when her memory is great and then there are days when it takes time for her just to remember our names.  I’m so happy that I made peace within about our relationship, especially before her diagnosis.  I wouldn’t be able to care for her in the way that I do if my past feelings were still there.  I try and treat each moment with her as if it were my last.  As her disease progresses, I know that only God knows when he will transition her with him.  Until then, I will continue to love her in such a special way.  If it weren’t for her and Alton’s dad, there would be no him.  No us.  Thank God for a change of heart. 

1 Corinthians 13 shares the true meaning of love.

We would love to hear about an in-law relationship that’s been restored in your life.  Grab a cup of coffee and leave a comment below! 

Renee ScottRenee Scott is co-founder of the popular blog,, where she shares encouragement and inspiration to men and women all over the world.  She’s been a member of Grace Family Church for four years. She loves to run and recently completed her first half marathon. She is a wife of over 14 years and mother of two children.

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  1. Beautiful story, Renee. I agree that becoming a mother can really change our hearts and make us more compassionate, less judgmental, and bridge any gaps between us and the other “mother figures” in our lives. I thank the Lord for His perfect love and strive to love others as He does. I don’t always succeed, but stories like yours inspire me to keep trying!

  2. Renee,

    Thank you for sharing your testimony it really bring hope to my relationship with my mother-in-law. In my case I have not had the same results as yours. However I pray for my mother-in-law everyday. In God time and will I will have the opportunity to have a great relationship with her.
    God bless you!!

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