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A little part of me cringed a little the other day as Olivia “gave away” the other half of her heart necklace to her little 1st grade friend. I remembered back to my girlhood days of doing the same… more than once. She’s seven now, so I really don’t take it all too seriously. But she does a bit more.

Half of me envys how readily she gives her heart away when she finds a friend; the other of me half wants to run and stop her – to save her heart from ever being let down or returned broken. But I didn’t, I let her go. And when she got home from school, I smiled as I listened to her tell me about giving the other half of her “heart” to her friend and how happy it made her.

“You do know that Jesus is the only best friend who’ll never disappoint or leave you?” My words – desperate for her to understand truth I know she will discover for herself all too soon.

And as the pages of her heart are being written upon in ways I can’t control, and she begins to give pieces of her heart to more than just her dad and I; I can’t help but close my eyes, take a deep breath and pray quietly within myself, “God please, put your shield of protection around her heart from hurt and preserve the pureness of her love for others.”

Her seven year old kind of love is so pure, so innocent. Without pretension or holding back. So eager to be freely given away.

There may be other loves that come close, but I don’t think there is any love that more closely resembles the love of the Creator than that of a child.

It is a “whole” kind of love.

Jesus, may you preserve the innocence of her love and her heart as only you can.