Tonight, I need to unload thoughts and feelings that have bombarded me. I never thought you’d be more difficult to parent as you got older and now that you’re out of school, it’s worse. Not because you’re a bad kid or making bad decision, but because it’s hard to watch you in pain.
I’ve watched as you transitioned from HS to the real world. I’m proud how hard you work, that you have a job you enjoy, and that you take it seriously. Work is a constant, especially for future fathers. Your job. . . your duty. . . is to take care of your family and that takes never-ending work.
I’ve watched as your heart was broken by the girl you loved. I wish I had some magic potion. . . an elixir you could take to remove the void you feel. You saw a future with her, perhaps even talked about a future together and. . . just like that, she’s gone. Your reaction to this heartbreak is difficult to watch because I know there is NOTHING I can do to fill that void. That’s hard.
I’ve come to believe that the Lord puts people in your life at different times and in different places to help you grow. You WILL grow from this. You’ll be stronger. Your heartbreak is not foreign to me. I’ve told you the story of my HS girlfriend and how crushing it felt when she “dumped” me. We dated two years and I loved her, so when I received the news I was devastated. It took me time to get past the initial hurt and I kept myself busy with work, but — for a time — there was a void that I wasn’t sure could be filled. I tell you this for one reason — I get it — I’ve been there. The void can — and will — be filled and you’ll feel happy again.
That said, as I look back on that difficult time here are my thoughts. I thank the Lord He put her in my life during those formative years. She was instrumental in getting me into the mission field and, for that, I will be forever grateful. She encouraged me to go, assured me it was necessary to spend those two years away. Frankly, absent her influence I’m not sure I would’ve gone. That’s why I say that the Lord puts people in our lives for a reason. For me, she was the person that nudged me over the edge, that convinced me a mission was necessary. At 45, I don’t know what became of her or how her life turned out, but I’ll be forever grateful I served that two years in North Carolina.
Similarly, your friends are there for you. I was the first of my friends to go into the Field, so I don’t know what it was like to see your friends leave, but rest assured they have always supported and loved you. Perhaps when you are in my proverbial shoes, you’ll be in a similar position deciding how best to help a teenage son in pain. Just remember the Lord loves you and knows what’s best for you. Your future is bright and its time you realize that.
That “void” . . . it goes away. You’ll meet other girls, date others, and you’ll be fine. Look at me, I met your mom, fell in love and the rest is. . . . well, its history. I wouldn’t change anything, I fell hard for your mom when I met her and all these years later, she’s not only the love of my life, but she’s my best friend and confidant. Things will work out for you too.
It’s hard, I know, but the pain will pass, you’ll recover, you’ll move on. You have great friends and family that love you and want what’s best. You may not understand what’s happening to you now — or why — but as distance sets between you and this situation, you’ll understand.
These words offer little to no comfort to you now, but understand – at least – that your mom and I have both been where you are now and if you ever need someone to talk to we’re here.
Keep your chin up. Smile as often as you can. Laugh. Work hard. Stay busy. Serve others. Meet new people and start to enjoy this exciting time in your life.
I love you, Buddy!