Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"You'll Always Be My Girl"

Yep, I am a “Mad Men” fan. There are just too many poignant scenes with incredible dialogue.

One such scene is taken from season three, episode one; it involves the character, Don Draper telling his daughter, Sally, “You’ll always be my girl.”

It’s moments like this one which have me rolodexing through my memory bank. The unconditional love situation has not been easy for me. Like so many of us who come from abusive, fractured or dysfunctional families, especially us females, that primal scream for loving permanence often goes unheard and is not reassuringly manifested the way we desire it to be.

Nevertheless, the “father hunger” doesn’t go away. It can compel many of us to, therefore, seek out the “You’ll always be my girl” promise in toxic relationships, addictions, eating disorders, perfectionism and overachievement. When one does not know love is unwavering and not predicated on performance, one then strives to earn it.

I make no secret of a painful experience with my dad. I chronicle it in my book.

“...For three years in a row, I did not missed one day of school, knowing that I would win a perfect attendance certificate, tangible proof on paper that I was worthwhile... So for the next few years, I went to school with colds, sore throats and influenza...

...When I reached junior high, I became so sick once I had to stay home... Three days at home, according to my dad, was enough...He decided he would take me into school...

...I got up the nerve to ask him, ‘Do you still love me?’ His answer? ‘If you do this again, I won’t.’”

(Excerpt taken from “Thin Enough: My Spiritual Journey Through the Living Death of an Eating Disorder”).

It was a slap to the face. For, in that moment, I desperately wanted to hear Isaiah 43:4 come out of my dad’s mouth:

“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”

What I got instead was a threat, rife with conditions, all of which demanded I earn love, his love. In that moment with my dad, I certainly did not feel like I’d always be his girl. I felt unloved and unwanted.

And that eventually translated into a deeper self-loathing and a belief that God, Himself, felt the same way. I went down dark roads of suicidal thoughts, life-threatening disordered eating choices and an ever present delusional conviction, called “God hates me.”

Love and acceptance- they’re really one and the same, aren’t they. It has to do with inherent value, regardless. It’s that certainty of knowing there’s nothing which will obliterate that truth. We’re loved and valuable, as is, period.

We can, indeed, find evidence of this truth throughout scripture…

“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”

Isaiah 43:4

“I have chosen you and have not cast you away.”

Isaiah 41:9

“We love him, because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:19

 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39

 “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, ‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.’”

Jeremiah 31:3

The trick, however, is to know and accept it into our lives. And, when we’re reeling from abusive, addictive and dysfunctional dynamics, which often exist since childhood, that acceptance can feel like an insurmountable task.

But it is not impossible, not with God, anyway…

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

Luke 1:37

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”

Jeremiah 32:27

Still, it does take our cooperation, not to create the truth of God’s unconditional love, but certainly to embrace it.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...”

Proverbs 23:7

We choose to accept or reject; we do that.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”

Deuteronomy 30:19

So, armed with the knowledge of God’s unconditional love, as reiterated in scripture, let’s move forward with our lives, knowing our value, basking in the love we deserve.

John 8: 32 states how the truth does set us free. Let’s choose to embrace, not reject, that freedom.

There is Someone, right now, Who is saying to each one of us, “You’ll always be my girl.”

Copyright © 2015 by Sheryle Cruse
















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