An Open Letter To Maddie Runkles

Dear Maddie,

You are an incredibly brave young woman. I’m amazed at your strength and poise during this time of very public exposure. I don’t know if you’ll ever get to read this, but your story stirred something inside of me and I had to respond.

You made the hard choice, the path less traveled. I know that did not come easily. I know that you are giving up so much more than your graduation walk with this decision. I’m here to tell you, you will not regret this decision. Ever. You are gaining SO much more than you are giving up. Choosing the life of your unborn son will never be on the list of ‘regrets’ that you’ll have.

This road will not be easy. Even with the support of loving family and friends, you will feel alone at times. You might wonder if you can do this at all or if you are even capable of being a parent. You may have worries and fears that you never voice to anyone and for that I am sorry. I know that you will be stronger for all that you are going through and I know that Jesus will never leave your side.

Perhaps, because your school is a “Christian” school, you may feel like Christians don’t accept you. You should never feel like that. No one should ever feel like that. However, I understand and have experienced similar things. Anyone who looks down on you because of choices you made is not acting in the spirit of Christ. I would question what kind of relationship they have with Jesus if I’m being really honest.

Sadly, this will probably not be the only time you experience scorn from the church and I’m sorry for that as well. I wish I could tell you that it won’t happen. I wish I could say that we (Christians) understand love and grace and show it well, but not all of us do. It’s a sad reality that stems from people not understanding their own value and worth, not understanding the true grace extended to them through the gospel, and therefore not being able to extend grace and love. You must know that these people do not represent the heart of God.

If I could, I would wrap you in a big bear hug. I would tell you how proud I am of you for making this choice and standing firmly under so much pressure and standing up for girls everywhere. I would tell you how much God loves you and your baby no matter how he came to be. That baby is God’s design, his plan. He has a destiny and a purpose. Thank you for recognizing that and giving him a chance to fulfill those things.

I say all of this because I was like you once. I was a pregnant teen who now gets to look into the handsome face of the young man whose life I chose. You won’t regret this. No matter what you have to face from here on out, your son will be worth all of it and more. You are strong and courageous and you are worth far more than you know. I hope this finds you somehow and I hope my words share the love that I have for you in my heart.

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Comments 1

  1. Betty Ann Lavim

    Beautifully said. I was in the midst of posting a similar response on a blog. I admire both you and Maddie for choosing love. I am saddened by the unforgiving nature of this Christian school. Not very Christ like at all if you ask me. Wasn’t Christ’s mother an unwed mother also? Wasn’t his friend Mary Magdelene a “sinner”? Well I guess they forgot the story where Jesus tells the angry crowd “He who is without sin can cast the first stone”. I think Christ would be happy with you and Maddie even if some of his so called followers are not. Best wishes to both of you on this rocky road called life.

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