For many the students here at FIS, there is loss so often that it is nearly unbelievable and incredibly heartbreaking. It is somewhat understandable how these types of losses could cause someone to lose hope. I’m not sure how many of us would hold up under all of the sorrow that these teens have already experienced in life. So far this year I have counseled students who have lost friends, siblings, parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents due to suicide or violent crime or even natural death. Many are almost devoid of any emotion at this point. There has been so much hurt so often that it is just easier not to feel anything at all. Death and abandonment are a daily occurrence.
A Facebook status I read today sums it up well: “I always expect the worst at the back of my mind.” They’re almost afraid to feel like life could get better because with each day comes the potential for additional loss.
I have been talking with some staff about it this week. This sense of loss begins when many of them are much younger. As small children they need to learn to cope with parents who leave the family or are not prepared to be a parent or are even lost to the family due to a drug or alcohol addiction or a prison sentence. A lot of them are raised by grandparents or other friends or family members because of absent or non-functioning parents. Many of the kids are forced into parenting roles because adults have not been able to provide the care needed for the family. This sense of abandonment is great and they seek to fill that emptiness with sex or drugs or alcohol in order to blunt the pain. And so the cycle repeats itself and they become the parent that can’t function because that’s how everyone around them has dealt with the pain in their lives.
I know that many of the behaviors that I see are in reaction to hearts that are hurting. It is a crying out to be loved and cared for. It is lashing out against a life that has been cruel and insensitive. I can only continue to share the comfort I myself find in seeking after God. I believe that He will continue to love me and protect me and provide opportunities for me to show His love to those who have never known the Father’s love. And I believe the promise of scripture in Revelation 21:4 that says “He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain.” He will comfort in a way that no man or substance or human relationship ever will be able to.