By Rachel Friel
Dear Mom and Dad,
I thank my heavenly Father for both of you each day. You have always loved and supported me to the fullest. Sometimes I don’t think you realize how much I love you because I don’t show you. Being a teenager is so demanding; I’m still in search of who I really am. I’m writing this letter to express in writing what I just can’t seem to tell you in verbal words.
Please always be honest with me. I can handle this. Mom, I know you are sick and are trying to hide your hurt and fear from me. Please let me go with you to your chemotherapy treatments, to your doctor appointments. Open up to me and tell me what exactly is going on—if the cancer is spreading or the good and scary news the doctors tell you. This is a time our relationship can blossom. Let me be there for you. Please stop acting as if everything is normal in our life because it’s not. You are facing a battle—an unfair, ruthless battle. Please take my hand and let me help you fight instead of pushing me away in protection.
Your persistence to spend time with me means more than you know. I may act like I don’t want to play Uno or Cranium, but I like that you are wanting to spend time with me. Thank you for making special shopping dates with me, Mom. Thank you, Dad, for making time for daddy-daughter dates, showing me how my future man should treasure me in the same way.
Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to talk and need my space. When I’ve had a bad day, I’m sorry for the way I may be short or find solace in my room. Please don’t think it’s you. Just tell me you love me, you are praying for me, and you are there if I need to talk. Some days this is all I need.
Just be there for me. Please. Even when I don’t play in my basketball game, you are there in the stands, cheering my team on. You are at every tennis match, every dance recital, every chorus concert. Your presence means more than you could ever know. I’m not the broken-spirited friend on my team whose heart secretly cries when her parents do not come. Your presence shows me love and acceptance.
Let me make mistakes and learn from them. Dad, I know you are protective and want the best for me. But when you deny me the opportunity to go on a date with a guy of my choosing, this leads me to lie to you about my whereabouts. On this date I realized the mistake I was making when his motives became clear. How did you see what I didn’t? I need you to trust me. Let me make mistakes and learn from them. My broken heart led me to trust you more.
My actions may not show it, but I am so thankful for you and the small things you do for me. I do not realize what a huge task it is to manage a home, cook a dinner, constantly do laundry, balance a checkbook, or live on a budget. Thank you for taking such good care of me with the matters I do not understand.
Don’t give up on me. I am facing a battle that is bigger than me right now. I am facing an eating disorder which is controlling my thoughts and the way I treat my body. You see the battle and are trying to fight alongside me. I know I yell at you, push you away, and become defensive when you try to talk to me. The more I physically run the more I feel as if I am running farther away from you and from God. However, I can’t stop. I am being controlled by something larger than I. Keep praying, keep talking to me, keep telling me you believe in me to overcome this. The day you took me stomping to a Christian counselor became a day of change. That same day you gave me Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore. You helped me get out of the pit and gave me a new song to sing (Psalm 40). Thank you for allowing God to use you to bring me out of the darkness into his marvelous light.
You are molding me each day with your love, your encouragement, your support. Whatever life brings, I am so thankful my heart can rest assured you are there with open arms.
Your teenage daughter,
* Rachel Friel compiled this letter from actual journal entries she wrote as a teen. Rachel is a freelance writer from Winston Salem, North Carolina.