My life as a prodigal.

prodigal

A few days ago, I woke up before my alarm. And as I laid there, all my stresses and anxieties from the past few months awoke as well. Each one feeling like a block of concrete on my chest– one on top of the other keeping me pinned down and gasping for air.

My weary heart turned to God, in that moment, and asked, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME??”

I was angry. I am angry.

And He whispered, “So, you’ll come to me”. He reminded me of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) and how it was a desperate, weary, broken, poor man who wandered back to his father.

I was starting to see the correlation. You see, the thing that was so devastating about the son’s request was the fact that he wanted his inheritance before his dad even died. He wanted the benefits without the relationship. Just give me my due and I’ll be on my way.

The audacity of that guy, right?!?! As if his father OWED it to him. Selfish, greedy kid.

The more I thought about it though, the more familiar it seemed.

“Jesus where are my blessings? Like the husband I’ve been praying for. Or the check in the mail to cover these medical bills. Or healing for that relationship I keep asking you for.”

I stand there with my open hand demanding my blessing thinking somehow I deserve it. “YOU OWE ME, GOD. After all I’ve done for you. After all I’ve given up. After all I’ve been through.”

The audacity, right? Selfish, greedy kid.

Like a loving Father, He has blessed me in innumerable ways. In things I’ve seen and in some I haven’t recognized. I enjoy the blessings, but think somehow it was because I earned it. Or because I’ve worked so hard. Or been such a “good person”. (All of those things laughable….and untrue.) He let’s me believe it and do my own thing.

Even if that thing is wallowing in a pig pen.

And that’s where I’ve been. For months.  Covered in mud and shit. Stealing the moldy scraps of slop from the pigs. Just enough to SURVIVE. But there’s a moment when you get fed up with simply surviving. There’s a revelation that life wasn’t meant to be just gotten through. It’s this voice in your heart that says, “You were meant for more than this.”

But you’ve got to go home to dad. So, you start the long walk of shame. Along the way, you craft the most eloquent apology you can muster. It’s sprinkled with groveling and dripping with sorrow. Surely, this will guarantee some grace.

And when He sees you, He comes running to you. And before you can even get out your perfectly practiced speech you are met with kisses, open arms and a freakin’ party. It’s the kind of love that’ll stop you in your tracks. The kind of love that’ll restore a broken, hurting heart. 

I think I’m getting it.

It’s not about being independent and doing things MY way. It’s not about working harder or doing MORE. It’s not even about the right words. It’s about Him. About being with HIM. Oddly enough, this parable was shared with the Pharisees and religious teachers of the day. Some theologians will tell you, the main point was to point out to them, that God rejoices when lost things are found. And that is 100% true. But I also wonder, if Jesus was also wanting them to see that even though they could have all the head/book knowledge, all the memorization of Scripture, every law obeyed to the finest detail that it boiled down to being with the Father.

Simply put, a prodigal is anyone who has wasted their life, time and talents for anything less worthy than what they were made and intended for. And we were made to know the Father and make Him known. In the midst of the pain of this season, in all of the unanswered questions and the seemingly unanswered prayers– God’s desire is simply that I come to Him.

I’m coming home, Dad.

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14 thoughts on “My life as a prodigal.

      • I know it can be very frustrating when your heart is longing to be obedient, but you don’t seem to be getting any direction. The only advice I can give, is to continue pursuing God. Set your heart and your gaze on Him. He’ll be faithful to direct you and speak to you. Praying that you’d have much grace for this time!

      • I’m really trying, but life just keeps getting in my way. I look to God every day. I do get angry with him sometimes, asking him why? I’ll keep my gaze upon Him and pray you are right because a person can only take so much, this I know. I’ve just about taken my last blow. This last blow is so bad that I cannot share it here.

      • Listen, I understand. I don’t need to know the specifics to relate. I’ve told God the same thing, “Really?!?! One MORE thing.” And it felt like with each day, something new would be heaped upon my shoulders. Another heartache, another stress… You’re absolutely right to say you can’t take it. You weren’t designed to take it. Give it to Him. Say it every moment, every minute if you have to, “Jesus I give this situation to you. I trust you despite it all. I can’t see the end in all of this, but I know you are faithful to keep me and hold me. Help. Please help.” He will. And He does. Even in this, my prayer for you (and for me) will be that our eyes will be opened up even more to His love, to His kindness, to His gentleness. He hasn’t abandoned you. I’m sorry that things have been hard. I wish it wasn’t so painful. You’re going to come out even more beautiful though. That I know.

      • Thank you, Holly. I wrote this prayer down and I’m going to lay here all day and repeat this over and over and over, again. staring at the wall and crying is getting me nowhere, so I will try this. Thank you so much. I wish the best for you, as well. I’ll be praying for you, too. I hope you are having somewhat of a “good” day.

      • Feel free to be raw with Jesus. He isn’t offended. Or shocked. If you need to be more real than those words, I’d encourage you to do so. Some days all I could do was whisper “please” or “Jesus”. Standing with you.

      • I’ve already gone the “raw” route and figured I’d better knock that shit off. That was getting me nowhere, quick. I figured there was a nicer way to go about it and I just didn’t know how while in such misery, but now I do. Thank you for helping me with this matter. I hope your day was a good one.:)

  1. I’m so grateful He loves us no matter what! It’s funny that my post today is similar in that we both include questioning God as to why he is allowing things to happen the way He does.

    • I read Anne Lamott’s “Help. Thanks. Wow.” last night…and if you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend it. Especially the “Help” chapter. Great stuff! Thanks for commenting!

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