The topic of divorce came up at a recent retreat with middle school girls, and I heard one of the most beautiful yet heart-wrenching stories I have ever heard.
Becca shared how hard it had been to hear and watch her parents fighting so often when she was younger. She used to listen through her bedroom door at nighttime as her parents screamed at each other. Despite the fear and sadness it brought on, she still was curious about what was happening and was also worried about her mom’s safety. The arguments and fights had been occurring ever since she could remember.
One year at Christmas when she was around 7 years old, she decided she needed to do something to stop the war. So Becca grabbed a pen and some paper and wrote 2 love letters to her parents: one was written to her mom as though it was from her dad, and one was to her dad as though written by her mom. She poured her heart and soul into these notes in hopes that it would cause them to fall back in love. She put them in envelopes and then placed them into their mailbox. With great anticipation she waited to see if it would work.
I wish I could give you a happy, Hallmark card kind of ending; that Becca’s parents reunited and hugged her through tears and promises of better things to come. Unfortunately, neither parent remarked about her letters, and despite the holiday season, nothing changed. Within a few months her parents separated and then a year later were divorced. And despite the distance from each other, the fighting continues to this day.
But what a testament to the incredible level of love and compassion from this remarkable girl! She loved her parents so much, and she had such a strong vision of what kind of family she wanted to grow up in. It took such courage and creative thinking for her to come up with such a beautiful gift.
During this holiday season, give your children the gift of a peaceful, loving home. Every child needs it and warrants it. Don’t let girls like Becca suffer alone. And if you see a child who seems lonely or discouraged, give them the love and compassion they so richly deserve.