On September 29, 1985, a young former Catholic woman came face-to-face with a disturbing stranger staring at her in the mirror.
That morning, I examined the aftermath of another late night. I stared at the dark circles under my eyes wondering why makeup stopped masking my indulgent life. Ten years of addictive and reckless living left me empty of self-respect, joy, and hope—I was a prodigal.
FROM THE EYES OF A PRODIGAL
Are you wondering how I remembered the date? It was my birthday. I felt as if I had an early midlife crisis. For months, I had felt restless. In fact, weeks prior, I picked up a few religious pamphlets that were gathering dust on the table. I was wondering how I managed to set my life on destructive autopilot. I felt empty and full of regrets at a young age.
That night, I stayed home and began to read those pamphlets. Although my preteen Catholic upbringing was forgotten, I couldn’t forget the idea of a living creator. Perhaps, there was a God. I wasn’t sure, but maybe the information printed on cheap paper with bad clipart could start a philosophical journey.
GOD LOVES HIS PRODIGALS
I kept reading, but I was seriously considering tossing the materials into the trash when I came across three words, “God loves you.”
To a Christian, these are common words, but to a wandering soul it was an unexpected act of kindness—from the Creator. It didn’t make sense. I thought you had to be good to earn God’s love. Why would God care about me? As I pondered those words, I felt my soul lanced as God cleansed my sinful heart.
My head dropped as I cried. At the time, I didn’t know it was the presence of the Holy Spirit, so I was afraid to look up. I thought I would see God standing in my living room. I whispered, “I’m so sorry. I don’t know anything about you, or how to serve you, but if you’re willing, I’m willing.”
Thirty years later, I’m still serving Him.
FROM PRODIGAL TO PARTICIPANT
God touched me unconventionally rather than traditionally. We can’t put God in a box. God is the author of love. He has artistic liberty to show His love in unexpected conventional and unconventional ways, yet He never contradicts His Word.
This month I will celebrate thirty extraordinary years with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ. My heart changed from prodigal to the participant—a role given to every believer.
As Christians, we can take part in Gods Kingdom purposes. Now, that’s over-the-moon exciting, but to engage in a conversation with God, well that’s simply the best natural, supernatural privilege. Prayers are chats, talks or even mental tweets, but God listens to every single one.
PRAY FOR GOD’S PRODIGALS
Fear can cause us to worry about our loved ones. We even try to help them change. We can’t be the Holy Spirit for our loved ones, but we can pray.
I didn’t have Christian friends or positive role models when I was twenty-seven, but I had a sister who prayed for my salvation. She never witnessed to me; she let God do the heavy lifting. It was a lesson I often remember, Marisa, quit trying to do the heavy lifting; trust God and pray.
If you’ve been guilty of the heavy lifting; take a load off. Give it to God in prayer. God loves you, and He loves your prodigals. He will answer.
“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
TELL ME YOU’RE WITH ME
Can we join together in prayer? We need unrelenting prayers for prodigals. If you plan to join me in prayer and spiritually fight for our prodigals, let me know in the comment box below.
Have a blessed weekend.