Experiencing That ‘You Heard Me’ Moment
As a professional counselor in the Chicago area, Ginnette Yonkman witnesses a lot of brokenness on a daily basis. Words like “trauma,” “self-harm,” and “divorce” often appear in her case file.
Still, Ginnette will never accept these cases as normal.
“Divorce has become so common, so frivolous, that we as a society and even in the church minimize the pain of it,” Ginnette said. “But it’s painful. It’s trauma. It’s raw. And you don’t have to pretend it isn’t a big deal.”
This is why when ReFrame Ministries’ Kids Corner team staff asked Ginnette to offer her expertise in developing a resource for children dealing with divorce, she was happy to help.
Although Ginnette typically works with teenagers, she spent about three years counseling Amelia, a 9-year-old girl whose parents had recently divorced. For her privacy, Amelia’s name has been changed.
Amid games of Monopoly and other activities, Amelia began sharing her story with Ginnette. Amelia shared about verbal arguments she witnessed between her parents and the struggles of adjusting to a new home as well as a baby half-sibling in that home.
“She was really feeling lost and unheard,” Ginnette said. “As her counselor, I couldn’t change her parents but my role was to help her cope with things the way they are.”
To help Amelia cope, she had something that not every counselor can talk about in the workplace—her faith in Christ. Because she works at a Christian counseling center, Ginnette was able to share that faith and God’s Word with Amelia.
“It’s amazing how the right Scripture comes to your heart at the right time,” Ginnette says. “God’s presence at the right time at the right moment comes through.”
God’s Got You Covered
In Amelia’s case, God’s presence came through God’s Got You Covered, an ebook from Kids Corner that offers stories, advice, and activities for kids and parents involved in a divorce. Ginnette served as the content editor for this resource.
“Divorce is a painful experience,” the ebook says in its introduction “When God created people, he wanted them to live together in loving relationships.”
One of the most profound moments during Ginnette and Amelia’s sessions together took place while working with God’s Got You Covered. Together with Amelia’s mother, they read out loud through the ebook’s responsibility contract. The contract includes items like “Children have the right to be loved by both parents,” and “Disagreements about parenting should be kept between the adults.”
As they read through each item together, Ginnette could hear the recognition of Amelia’s mother as well as through Amelia.
“Amelia’s mother was willing to acknowledge that what we were reading was not the way things were. She broke down for the first time in 2 or 3 years since I’d been working with her family.”
After that moment, Amelia’s relationships did not immediately change, but her mother offered a sincere apology for the way things were.
Both of Amelia’s parents went through the contract point by point, and Amelia is no longer attending counseling sessions with Ginnette.
Gifts to ReFrame Ministries helped Amelia’s family find the right resource at the right time. Thank you.