I love you to pieces. . .

Recently my daughter affectionately said to Ryan, my grandson, “I love you to pieces!”  Ryan looked at her somewhat perplexed and responded, “Don’t you love me whole?”  Children are so literal and it was cute.  His comment reminded me that all of us can err on the side of breaking the ‘whole’ into parts.  There are those experiences we are proud of and share others.  They say something positive about who we are. Then there are the secrets that are kept tightly locked behind a closed door because we fear criticism, ridicule, disapproval or even rejection should they be known.  It’s not that we are to be open with everyone (honesty and openness are two different things), but real healing occurs when we know that if we had to tell someone about an experience we are not so proud of, we could.  That is because we have dealt with it—turned away from the sin that so easily entangles us, asked for forgiveness where needed, forgiven ourselves, and confessed it and received God’s forgiveness.  We come to terms with the difference between ‘I did something wrong’ versus ‘I am wrong’.  We realize if someone tries to pin a label on us, it’s about them and not us.   I was watching an interview with one of the women who was a long-term hostage and victim of Cleveland’s Ariel Castro.  My heart went out to her.  I imagined what I would feel if I were in her place. I know I would have a lot of wrestling to do to work through all the atrocities she suffered, let alone share it with others.  Yet, her painful experiences are a real part of her life’s story.  I found myself hoping and praying she will invest in herself and this terrible chapter will, ultimately, be a contributing factor toward making her into the woman God has called her to be.  Insults, injustice, trauma and even victimization happen to all of us along the way in some form or another, but God’s promise is to ultimately give us victory and use what Satan meant for evil for our good and the furtherance of His kingdom. I’m grateful, like David, we can go to him even if in complete brokenness, and He will always receive and comfort us.   I’m also thankful that God loves us ‘whole’, warts and all, and not just our good parts.  That’s a good thing to remember when we put our head on the pillow at night and what stands out about the day isn’t something that makes us feel all that great about ourselves.

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