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Prodigal Daughter

Christian Writing MinistryMy story is like the Prodigal Son’s story in Luke 15. I was raised Lutheran by a Christian family, and I loved Jesus. When I was 15 years old, I quit going to church. I wanted to follow my free will and have fun with my life. I got a job and requested that I work Sunday mornings because I wanted to go to the car races in the evening. This gave me an acceptable excuse to miss church. At that point in my life church had become nothing more than a mindless ritual my parents made me do. I quickly developed an attitude of rebellion against religion because I saw a lot of hypocritical people. Love and truth were not as much of a priority as looks and image. I basically just said the words and went through the motions as far as church was concerned.

I was sexually abused as a teenager. As an adult, I’ve been emotionally, verbally and physically abused. I spent 23 years being married and divorced four times, into drugs, sex, drinking, lying, cheating and above all, unconsciously searching for something that was missing in my life. I was indeed “looking for love in all the wrong places”.

I barely remember my 20’s. I was broken, hurting, feeling defective; I felt worthless, imperfect and like damaged goods. I was doing all I could to numb my feelings from the time I put my feet on the floor in the morning until the time I passed out at night. It’s an unfulfilling lifestyle. I found my friends weren’t true friends, just people to party with and pass the time. I felt “frozen”, wanting to change and not knowing how, trying to transform my life myself. It was hard work and just frustrated me and I went deeper into the pit. My marriage was falling apart, my husband was having an affair, and he was abusive. Everything I had tried to do so far had failed. I realized that I couldn’t do it anymore. I was searching for answers.

I hadn’t attended a worship service in 20 years. I only went to church for weddings and funerals. This time, it was for a baptism. My nephew, Cam was being baptized and I knew I couldn’t get out of going. Crossing the street with my husband on the way to church, I remember saying “I can’t wait until this is over, cause then I won’t have to come back until someone gets married or buried“.

The church was crowded and there was reserved pews in the front for the baptism. I wanted to sit in the back of the church where I could escape quickly and not pay attention to the service. But there I was, stuck in the 3rd row! The worship started and it blew me away. I had never heard of Praise Singing and I loved it! I couldn’t believe what I had walked into!

I was amazed, the Pastor didn’t wear a robe and was young, he spoke my language, and everything was so real. The sermon that day was called the “Insurance Claim”. It was about trying to do it alone. I had felt so alone, struggling with life, everything he said I could use. I couldn’t hear enough; I was hungry for help that was real. It was like he was speaking directly to me, like he knew my life and what I needed to hear. I’m sure the Holy Spirit was working on me that day. It was the first time that the scriptures made sense to me, it wasn’t just someone preaching at me, he was teaching me what it means to me today sitting in my pew, with my problems.

All I thought about that week was my experience on Sunday. I knew I had to go back to see if it was too good to be true. The next Sunday the sermon was “The Revealing of Feeling is the Beginning of Healing”, another relevant message for me. I thought at that point that someone was filling the Pastor in and telling him my life. I now know that someone was it was the Holy Spirit. The 3rd sermon I heard was “Recovering from Resentment”, I tell you, I could not get enough of this church thing. I sat in my pew and took notes on the sermon; I would study those notes all week long. I could not believe how consistent the messages were to my life needs.

Like the Prodigal Son, I had come to the end of myself. I had tried everything I could with no success. I had made a real big mess of my life. Now, I was going home. And I found the same thing that he found; a Father that loved me so much, He was waiting for me, expecting me! And while I was still along way off, He ran down the road to meet me right where I was. He greeted me with open arms, happy and excited, loving me and welcoming me home! I found that even though I had been rejecting Him and choosing a sinful life, He was not rejecting me! He was choosing me, loving me and waiting for me! I always felt like I had to earn everything in life and now, Jesus was offering me grace, mercy and forgiveness for free! Just like the Prodigal Son, I received a ring of authority, a robe of righteousness, and my Father threw a party for my return. I know the angels were celebrating that day. I felt so unworthy, but Jesus didn’t care. He knew I wasn’t worthy before I left, I wasn’t worthy now and no matter how long I waited or what I did, I never would be worthy. That’s the blessing of mercy, grace and forgiveness. I found my sins were gone! As far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) and I was a new person in Christ, (II Corinthians 5:17)

God transformed my life and He can transform yours. He likes to use the weak and lowly for His work, (I Corinthians 1:27-28). I live for God now and I have peace, joy and love like a river, better than any drug I’ve ever taken!


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Prodigal Daughter

My story is like the Prodigal Son’s story in Luke 15. I was raised Lutheran by a...
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