some time in your child's life, he or she will experience
a broken heart. It undoubtedly will be devastating. As we
can all recall, the emotional pain can actually manifest itself
physically with a feeling of being sick in the pit of the
stomach. A wave of emotions comes to the surface: pain, humiliation,
betrayal, anger, confusion, helplessness -- the list can go
on. Ultimately, the experience can be a lesson learned, or
result in permanent scars that forever impact future relationships.
Talmud tells us that one is required to make a blessing over
bad things as well as over the good, the assumption being
that whatever happens to us in life is in some way ordained
by God, who can only do good. We human beings who have finite
vision often can't see the long-term good in a short-term
problem. But, from a theological perspective, whatever God
does is, from the aspect of eternity, good. There is a popular
country song sung by Garth Brooks called "Unanswered
Prayer," which suggests that God sometimes does not answer
our supplications because He knows, from His vantage point,
it is at times better for us if our desires are not always
support, compassion, and guidance can help your child through
heartache and on to a greater wisdom.
me to relate a personal story...
ninth grade I dated a wonderful girl named Linda Sue from
the Bronx. Living in Mt. Vernon, I regularly traveled the
subway to visit her. Frankly, I thought I would marry her,
for even at 14 years old, I dated seriously.
of course, that this was in the 1950s, and dating then was
not what it is now. There was an innocence to our relationship,
which predated the morally chaotic and promiscuous teenage
world of today.
a number of months, I thought I would surprise Linda Sue by
visiting her unannounced on a Sunday afternoon. After an hour
train ride, I bounded up the street to her apartment building,
knocked on her door, anticipating a welcome smile. To my surprise
and profound disappointment, she was with another guy. She
told me that she enjoyed our friendship, but that now she
was involved with someone else.
remember that I was so overcome with emotion that I couldn't
say much. I simply turned around and walked slowly to the
subway. It was the longest subway ride of my life. Tears welled
up in my eyes, for I saw the future crumbling before me. It
took me weeks to recover my emotional equilibrium.
at this episode of teenage angst and heartbreak forty years
later, I understand how God is kind to us, even though we
often do not know it. I managed to overcome this sad time
in my life, and over the years defined myself as a person
quite differently from the fourteen-year-old who cried after
his breakup with Linda Sue. I married, had a family, and pursued
a career of teaching and learning that I never even thought
about as a teenager.
I had an opportunity to counsel a young man, whose girlfriend
had recently rejected him. The young man was devastated, and
I told him my story of Linda Sue. Be patient, be strong, and
be resilient, I told him. These qualities will enable you
to triumph over temporary adversities, and enable you to see
life from the aspect of eternity, not from the moment.
your kids that whenever we suffer pain of any kind, we should
look at the big picture of life and find the message in the