Have you ever heard a story that broke your heart?  Maybe it was a personal story about someone in your family, or maybe you read a heartbreaking story on Facebook and it brought you to tears.  I recently encountered a story that absolutely broke my heart and still causes me to be near tears every time I think about it.  As a teacher, I have a unique insight into the lives of the next generation.  I get to experience personal successes with them but many times I experience struggles with them. The story I’m about to share involves a struggle.


A student recently asked if they could share with me an English paper she had written.  I began to read the paper which started with the following line: “An open letter to the parent who chose drugs over me.”  I immediately knew this was more than heartbreaking, this was shocking.  Her paper went on to describe her mother who developed a drug addiction and how that addiction began to destroy her, her family and my student.  As her addiction began to control her, she began to lose love for her child, divorced her father and began to “date” random men.  She bounced from one abusive relationship to another, and my student unfortunately witnessed her mom using and being abused by her boyfriends.  One of her last sentences stated: “I haven’t seen you since July 2015, and I’m ok with that.”

I told you this story was heartbreaking!

The student concluded her paper with stating she would never become like her mother and how grateful she was for her father, who provided her with a stable home.  As I finished reading the paper I had to fight back tears and provide some feedback to her.  I told her I was proud she had committed to be positive and not follow in the footsteps of her mother.


Since that time, I’ve had that story and all the details in my mind and I can’t help but think the opening line to the paper was the most powerful: “An open letter to the parent who chose drugs over me.”  How sad is it that a 16-year-old understood that her mother made a powerful choice to choose drugs over her?  Yes - she was an addict and probably had many reasons/issues that drove her to that addiction, but ultimately this student believed her mother made a choice in choosing drugs over her. I realized though God has chosen us, and nothing can sway or pull Him away from the love He has for us.  He sacrificed His Son to save and love us! While people in this world will let us down or choose other less important things over loving us, God is incapable of not loving us.  From the opening to the closing chapters of the Bible we find God constantly pursuing a relationship with us, never letting our circumstances or sin keep him from loving us.  As John told us in chapter 3 versus 16 of his gospel, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.”


So while her story was powerful, God’s love is more powerful!  While tragedy is powerful, God’s love is more powerful!  While pain is powerful, God’s love is more powerful!  While loneliness, rejection or abandonment is powerful, God’s love is more powerful! My hope is that when we encounter situations such as these, either personally or through a story, we remember and encourage others with God’s love. Perhaps a new way to understand scripture is this: “An open letter to the people whom I choose to love.”