I recently posted on Facebook every day for a couple of weeks some of the most heartbreaking letters that I’ve received from teen girls over the years.
Stories that ranged from
…a teen girl who discovered she was HIV positive at 16,
…another who found out she was infertile at 17,
…one who attempted suicide at 15,
…to yet another who had 25 sexual partners at 16.
And these were just four of many tearjerker letters I’ve received.
Some of the stories that students share with me are so tragic that even after reading their letters multiple times, I cry as if I’m hearing them for the first time.
Because the letters are written anonymously, I often worry about the students long after reading their letters.
Are they okay? Did they get the help they needed? Did my presentation make a difference?
When I posted the letters on Facebook last month, a number of people asked how I could handle hearing these stories and not be overwhelmed and discouraged.
I get that question a lot.
And my response is always the same,
“For every heartbreaking letter I receive, I probably receive at least 10 others that give me hope.“
Letters with comments like these:
“You were an answer to my prayers!”
“No one can ever give me a gift that can compare to the gift you have given me!!”
“You gave me so much hope.”
“Honestly, you saved my life.”
“I feel like you were sent from Heaven and set me free from a lot of bad things.”
“Thanks to you for making me feel value in myself, I have confronted my abuser. Keep doing what you are doing; you may save another victim like me. With love, abused no more.”
“I want you to never stop presenting to teens because what you say can’t be found anywhere else in this world.”
The Good News Outweighs the Bad
The above comments bring me to tears as well.
It gives me chills to know that my presentation could have this type of positive effect on teen girls’ lives.
And I’m humbled that God would use me to affirm the value that He’s placed in them.
Plus, I have another reason to be encouraged and so do you, Mom.
As bleak as things may look at times, the research shows that the percentage of teens having sex today is lower than it was 25 years ago.
The CDC conducts a Youth Risk Behavior Survey every two years and the latest data from the 2017 survey confirms it’s not all bad.
And that’s good news!
Be sure to share it with your daughter.
Because the one myth that I consistently have to bust for students is their belief that “everybody’s doing it.”
And chances are your daughter believes the same.
Now you have the “receipts” to prove it simply isn’t true.
Everybody’s NOT doing it!
What About Her Friends?
Having said that, your daughter might be in a situation like the young lady below who was the only one in her inner circle not having sex.
“The way you have explained things has let me see my faults in the way I have been living recently.
My two ‘closest’ friends are sexually active & have encouraged me to do as they do.
This talk has proved to me that they aren’t really my friends.”
If so, encourage your daughter to expand her circle and choose friends who are making good choices and share her values.
The support and encouragement of her friends, coupled with yours, will go a long way in helping your daughter avoid experiencing her own heartbreaking stories of regret.
And enjoy the relief that comes with choosing to wait.
Besides, now your daughter knows she wouldn’t be alone in her choice. 😉
Have you talked to your daughter about the choices her friends are making regarding love, sex, and relationships? If so, do they share her values?
P.S. If you’re unsure about the choices your daughter’s inner circle is making regarding love, sex, and relationships, why not get together with their moms and host a 7 Secrets Guys Will Never Tell You book club?! It’s a great way to get your daughter and her friends on the same page about their value and making choices that honor and reflect it.