This morning as I was packaging up Teen MOPS brochures to send to organizations connected with Teen moms, I came across this post on my friend Margaret’s Pearl Girls blog. It was such a reminder of the importance of working with teens and being a voice in their lives.
Love for my Unlovable Teen by Lisa Cherry
October 22, 2002 had progressed like most any other for our model Christian family. We were close, hard-working, tight knit, fun, and stable. As the mom of my larger-than-average brood of nine, I felt my life was exciting, fulfilling, and grand. That is why what happened to us was such a shock.
An $800 cell phone bill had brought our day to a screeching halt. As the phone numbers were identified with a middle-aged man from our church, the possibility of a billing error was considered. We launched a family investigation.
Kalyn entered our bedroom hesitantly. She sat in the green rocker at the end of our bed, and at first denied any role in the calls. But something did not feel right. Dad pressed his questions just a little harder. A look came over her face that I did not recognize. With cold, distant eyes she broke her stiff silence. “I made the calls. It was all my fault.”
So began our family’s multi-year nightmare. Kalyn journeyed through the aftermath of what we were to later discover was teenage sexual abuse. She had become a statistic—one of the one in four girls sexually abused by age 18. Denial, rebellion, depression, suicide threats, cutting and eating disorders filled her teenage life. As her mother, I travelled the sea of anger, hurt, despair, fear, and torment. My beautiful, fulfilling life was transformed into what seemed like scenes from a bad B-rated movie. Never were we more tempted to give up and give in!