Spiritual Practice

A Letter to My Children

Nancy Ferguson

devozine Letter from Mom TS 126263595Dear Sara and Andrew,

Telling you that your father and I were separating was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. We had built our family on the promise that the two of us would always be together. Now we are breaking that promise, which leaves each of us full of questions and fears. I tremble to think how this decision has affected your lives already and what it will mean for you in the future.

My heart is full of tears because I know that the assurance of my love will not be enough for you right now. Promising to love you may not have much meaning since I also told you that your father and I would always love each other. And yet, even if you can’t believe it right now, I promise to love you always; and I pray that in the days, weeks, and years to come, I will be able to demonstrate my faithfulness to that pledge until you can believe it again.

In the past months, I have been reading a lot about children and divorce. Often children of divorcing parents question whether they have caused their parents’ breakup. Please do not wonder about that for a moment! Our decision to divorce is based on our inability to care about each other and our marriage. You are not to blame, and we are truly sorry that the failure of our marriage means that you will have to suffer from the consequences.

Another fantasy that children of divorcing parents have is the belief that they can bring their parents back together. I remember how much we laughed over the plotting and the antics of the twins who successfully brought their parents back together in The Parent Trap. However, I would hate for you to try to make that happen, hoping there is a chance for reconciliation, and then to feel like a failure when things didn’t work out according to plan. Your father and I did not make this decision lightly or quickly. We have been struggling with this choice for several years and have reached this conclusion only after much conversation, counseling, and prayer.

My longing to ease your pain pours out of me. I wish I could make everything all right, to kiss it and make it better as I used to do when you were little. But I can’t do that. Our choice has shattered your world, and nothing I can do can put it back together the way it was. Rather, the road to healing for all of us will be a long one — a journey filled with keeping small promises, spending time together, remembering the good times, asking and answering questions, yelling and screaming, and believing that our lives can be rebuilt.

You are wonderful children, and I am grateful that I am your mother. I will pray for you; and, with God’s help, I will be there for you during the difficult days to come. I look forward in the days and months and years ahead to being the best mom to you that I can be. I love you.

With tears and hope,


Pray for teens who are living with divorce.

devozine Letter TS 122567846

If your parents are divorcing or are already divorced, read this letter again. This time insert your name in the greeting and your parents’ names in the closing. Then read Isaiah 43:1–5a and write your thoughts and feelings in a journal. When it feels comfortable, try writing a letter to one or both of your parents, telling them honestly about your feelings, your fears, your hopes.

Nancy Ferguson lives in Richmond, Virginia.

--from Devo'Zine (March/April 2004). Copyright © 2004 by Upper Room Ministries. All rights reserved.
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