Dear Jillian

Note: This is a follow up post to what Jillian wrote on Father's Day. To read that post click here

Jillian tried to convince herself that everything would be ok. She squeezed her eyes and wrapped her arms around her middle hoping her stomach wouldn’t lurch out of her body.  Her thoughts raced as she wondered where her homework had disappeared. She pleaded with God, please let me find my homework. Don’t let Daddy find that letter. I can’t take no more of his beatings.
 

Kicking at the dirt, Jillian bit her lip to fight back the tears.  What was I thinking writing a Father’s Day letter to God? Obviously God knows how terrible I am- no sense in letting the whole 4th grade class find out. I’m such an idiot! I can’t let anybody find out about Daddy.
 

The minutes of her lunch break dwindled as did the air in her lungs. Needing distance from the noise of her classmates Jillian chose to sit at a picnic bench far from everyone. Anna, a 10th grader who often shared a seat with her on the bus, walked over and dropped the crumpled paper and an envelope in her lap. Jillian lowered her eyes and felt the burn of shame crawl up her neck.

Anna reached into her bag and tossed a roll of lifesavers to Jillian “It’s ok, I got your back girl! See ya on the ride home.”

Trembling, Jillian opened the envelope and began to read the note.  
                                                                                                                                 

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Dear Jillian,  

As I was walking off the bus I noticed your homework assignment on the floor. I picked it up and read your letter. You’re not alone. My dad isn’t winning any father-of-the-year award either. Your dad sounds like a clone of mine. Anyhow, I remember the dread I felt when Miss Boykin gave my 4th grade class that same assignment.
 

Like you, I sometimes feel angry at God. I think that’s ok. If God is who everyone says he is then surely he understands. Do you remember last year when Sam was killed in the accident? We sat on the curb and cried as our hearts broke into pieces. The worst was hearing Sam’s mother cry in utter despair and knowing we couldn’t take the pain away. I believe that’s how God feels when he sees us get hurt.
 

I heard my Grandma once say, ‘just because you think something doesn’t make it true’. I believe that. My grandpa is color blind. He sees the red traffic light as green even when it’s clearly red! Luckily Grandpa has learned not to trust his eyes to decipher color. Sometimes pain and hurt do the same thing—makes you blind to the truth. You think you’re bad, ugly, stupid, and deserve to be punished. None of those belief you hold are true! You don’t deserve the hurt and pain your dad unleashes on you. You are smart, beautiful, and brave. You are a survivor.
 

Hold tight to the hope that better things are coming. With help we can pick up the pieces of our lives and create a beautiful mosaic out of the brokenness.

As for today, I see a few good things:

1.       Miss. Boykin checked out at lunchtime after getting sick. She told the substitute she’d collect homework tomorrow. You have time to re-write your assignment if you want and nobody will ever know.

2.       You have me as a new friend!

3.       ‘Life savers’ they are delicious AND  they come into your life in all sorts of ways, shapes, flavors, and sizes—keep your eyes open for them.

I’ll save you a seat on the bus,
Anna