I have been grieving loss this week on many levels as I grieve with a friend whose teenage son suddenly died, and I went to see the movie The Shack. It was hard to separate out the pain of my friend from that of the main character as they had both experienced the sudden loss of a child. I was struck by many statements made throughout the movie regarding love, but one statement struck the counselor part of me, “Love always leaves a significant mark.” I agree that love does leave a mark, but it made me also I think of how a lack of loving, nurturing relationships also leaves marks; actually, it leaves key holes. The holes we have cannot necessarily be visible until one analytically looks at the areas of our lives where we keep making the same mistakes over and over. For example, maybe I cannot say no because a lack of love left a hole; a lack of love to the valuing of me was what I received, and I choose to value others over self because I lack the ability to love self. That hole of protective love and nurture may have extended to inappropriate and abusive relationships with family members and friends. On the opposite side of the coin, a child who was enabled to be self-focused by parents who refused to set loving boundaries for that child in ways such as nonexistent boundaries or abusive boundaries will grow to be an adult who continually makes selfish choices and leaves a trail of relationship tears. It is as if the hole was a keyhole that was supposed to receive a love key and remains locked up until the key of love is released into that hole. Leaving a significant mark of love is no small thing. It requires purposeful choices in our daily living to love people in ways we may have never experienced growing up, and how does one make those changes when they don’t even know where the hole is located in their life. God says in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” When we seek wisdom, God says he will give it to us, but many times we do not ask God where the holes in our lives are located and where to find the help that will help fill in that hole. I challenge you today to ask God where the lack of love and nurture in your life have created holes in your life and to begin to ask him what his wisdom is for you to begin to fill in that hole. If you are tired of cycling, he has answers to fill the holes lack of love has created. They may not be answers you like, but he has answers. He wants to leave a mark of love on your life.

Romans 15:13New International Version (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.