This morning, I received a long, heartfelt e-mail from a hurting yet strong-in-Christ mother who's estranged from her two sons. With her permission, I'm sharing her letter in hopes that her testimony and prayer request will help someone who else finds this blog...
"My story is so much like yours except I have two teenaged boys. I’m sure my story is on the same lines as the majority of others in this situation. It was not my desire for them to live with their father; their father made it known that his children would not live in an apartment since he wanted the house. He threatened to take me to court over them, but I could not put them in the position of having to choose between two parents they love. Regardless of their ages (14 and 15), they would either have to verbally or write down who they wanted to live with in front of a judge so I left.
As you were active in Patrick's life, I, too, was active in both my children’s activities. My children will speak to me but only when they want me to buy them something. Or if I ask a question, I get a one word answer or a shoulder shrug. The oldest is the most voice-full and disrespectful; the younger is distant and silent. I’ve kept a journal of incidents between us, and I think how could we have gone from that to this? Their father has not encouraged them in anyway to spend time with me, and, of course, as in most divorces, talks negatively about the one who left. The negative talk doesn’t hurt anyone except the children, regardless of their age.
I have no clue when it comes to their school grades except from the school’s website. Not a clue about their football or baseball games or anything except what I find out on my own or through friends. There was one case when my youngest was playing basketball for a different church. It just so happened that one of my coworkers was talking about how he enjoyed watching my son and his athletic abilities. I had to act like I knew all about it; come to find out, I had missed over five games. So I got a schedule from the church he was playing with and went to the rest of his ballgames. However, his father would sit outside in his truck because I was there. Because of this, my son asked me not to attend any of his baseball games. Of course, I could go on and on with incidents like these.
However, I have learned that this storm in my life is a blessing in its own way. It has taken my children’s actions to bring me to my knees before the Lord. The Lord did give me a verse as a confirmation, Psalms 1:3.* So I’m asking for a prayer chain for children of all ages, not just mine, for healing hearts, reconciliation, to put positive influential Christians in their paths and for parents in our situation, to be praying warriors for our children. If two or more are in prayer before the Lord, imagine hundreds or thousands!"
*And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.