Still a Long Way Off
The parable of the prodigal son was my story. I had a well-paying job I loved but had nothing else to fill my life. I wasted my money on physical things I thought would make me happy. I only felt worse.
I hated being alone so I sought the company of other people who also hated being alone. After each night out, each party, I was alone again.
Earl and I met and spent time together at the hospital. Without a word of condemnation or salvation from him, God’s love began to seep in to my heart. We began dating after a year. My partying friends noticed I drank less, cursed less and acted different.
My entire social structure collapsed in on me one night. Tears blurred my vision as I drove to Earl’s apartment. Through sobs, I told him, “I don’t know what to do. My friends won’t talk to me. They laughed when I talked about you.”
He held me close and I calmed down. He kissed my salty cheek and told me he loved me. We talked a while then he asked, “Will you marry me?” Of course, I said yes.
Another year passed and I became a pastors’ wife. Suddenly I knew why my friends laughed when I spoke of Earl. I didn’t belong among church people. I didn’t deserve to be a wife—especially a pastors’ wife. My sins were too terrible, too many, too ugly, too harmful, too selfish, too damaging!
My shame ran deep. Like poison in my veins, it was killing me slowly and painfully. I knew I deserved the flames that were licking at my feet.
It took four more years for me to consider that God might love me in spite of me. I opened up to a small group of young Christian women and learned I wasn’t the first to feel defeated. When I cried out to God, I was amazed at how quickly I felt His presence. His peace filled my spirit and I felt His love for the first time.
I joined the church members the next Sunday as a fellow worshipper of God and faithful member of Christ’s church. I began courageously witnessing to God’s love, peace, grace and forgiveness in my life when and wherever God opened a door.
My Father has provided all I have needed and more than I deserve. He is faithful in all His promises and I am blessed to be His daughter.
“But while she was still a long way off, her father saw her and was filled with compassion for her; he ran to his daughter, threw his arms around her and kissed her” (Luke 15:21 NIV personalized by writer).
Friends, Remember to share with your friends. People are being blessed around the world for God. I am so thankful to be a broken vessel in the hands of a loving God. May He bless you.