Worthless garbage to be discarded.

That has been the naughty hiss of the voice in my head in the months since my husband left.

Worthless.

Garbage.

Discarded.

The voice has a pesky mosquito-like quality. I swat it away, batting it from my face and ears. It subsides for a few moments. I relax. It attacks again.

Another Story

I know better.

And I think most of us, at some level, do. But I make my living by telling the story that is true. In speech and in print, I announce the good news that no matter what the faces in our lives have reflected to us about our worth, each one of us is inherently worth loving.

In fact, when my husband left, I had already submitted this very message to my publisher in book form. For months I'd carefully crafted a book that would be good news for readers who suffered from shame. The good news, of course, is that no matter what the formative faces in your life have reflected about your worth, you are undeniably worth loving.

But when my life crumbled it was too late to tell the publisher, "Stop the press! This book was for other people! I'm pretty sure it's true, but maybe I should give it a more thorough test run . . . ."

A single swirling question buzzed in my ear: "Is it still true now?"

Girl Armor

God had already healed so much of my broken heart.

Adopted as an infant into a home with alcoholism, violence, and divorce, my experience had taught me that trusted people went away. I learned that I wasn't worth showing up or sticking around for. Everyone weathers loss differently, and I armored up. I built a shell around my heart to protect myself from getting hurt again.

It even worked for a while.

But girl-size armor is not built for grown-ups. As I moved into adulthood, a series ...

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