Yesterday, Ty told me his mom was back in jail. Again.
Ty is 12. I’ve known him since he was 6. She’s been in and out of jail that whole time. His dad split the moment he found out he was going to be a dad. So Ty’s disabled grandmother raises him, his little brother and their infant sister. She’s a sweet lady who does her best.
I remember how excited Ty was two summers ago when his mom was getting out. This time she was going to change. Get a job. Go to church. Raise her boys. Help take care of her mom. Life was going to be better for everyone. And it was, for a few months, anyway.
But then came the partying and the drugs and the fights with grandma and the disappearing for weeks at a time and the pregnancy and the birth and more disappearing and fighting and then another arrest. This time for parole violation. And now she’s gone for another year.
“I’m sorry Ty. How are you doing?” I asked.
His eyes teared up, but he stopped them from flowing. His face hardened. “I’m okay, I guess. I’m used to it. I’m just glad my sister never got too attached to her, so she’s not too upset or anything.”
Ty’s used to the disappointment. I’m used to hearing stories like that one. I wish I wasn’t, but I am. We live in a fallen, broken world. I know so many kids like Ty who have to live with pain so undeserved, so unfair. But there is hope. Ty knows Jesus. Ty know God loves him more than an earthly dad every could. Ty knows there’s a better way to live. I told him yesterday that his kids wouldn’t have to live like him. That he’d stick it out, that he’d marry a good woman, and have a great family. That he’d be a good dad, a good husband.
He smiled a bit, chuckled, and said, “Yeah…”
I pray he believes that. I hope against hope that Ty has kids who get used to him coming home, every night, to play and laugh and learn and love and live the life Ty doesn’t have. This world is broken. Ty’s heart is broken. And I can’t put it back together. I wish I could because I hate seeing him struggling to find joy right now. But we serve a God who CAN put that broken heart back together. Piece by piece. And Ty and I are going to walk together and let God do just that. And that gives me hope. In the midst of all the junk, I have hope.
And so does Ty.