I hadn’t stepped foot in a church in well over three years, no thanks to the distractions, temptations, and stresses of college life that seemed to capture my heart and attention. But I had just graduated a couple months prior, and I could not take the guilt and shame looming over me one more day. I was tired of running from God, and I was tired of trying to control everything in my life.
I didn’t fully understand it yet, but I was ready to wave my white flag and surrender to God what I had been trying to hold onto for so many years.
During praise and worship, I felt the walls that I had built up around my heart start to crumble and by the third song, this secretly shy and insecure girl found herself slowly lifting her hands to heaven and for the first time in a long time, didn’t care what anyone thought. Suddenly, I heard the voice of the Father (through what I now know was the Holy Spirit) whisper to my heart, “Welcome home.”
Tears rolled down my cheeks and all of a sudden, my arms were stretched straight up as high as they could go as I sang along with the congregation about the greatness of our God. This “God-moment” changed the course of the rest of my life as I ran straight into the arms of the Father, and I never looked back.
I think every believer has experienced a sort of prodigal journey too, of choosing our own way over God’s way, looking to the world for fulfillment and perhaps turning our backs from God, even if it was only for a short time. That being said, I think we can all glean from the wisdom found in the story of what some Bible translations call “The Parable of the Lost Son” found in Luke 15: 11-32.
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