For the Joy

I realize I’ve blogged a lootttt on the topic of suffering.  I write from where I’m at.  I write what is on my heart and what God speaks to me.  I write because I feel called to (and heck, I like it) and to hopefully encourage people.  I’ve written a lot on hardship and I feel like it’s a good thing because people can relate.  I certainly don’t think we should (or need to) minimize our pain.

Suffering is an undeniable part of life.  If you are walking this Earth with feet of clay you are going to have to contend with pain and difficult trials.

But I believe that suffering has an expiration date.  We are not here to suffer.  We are here to enjoy intimacy with our God and live in victory and freedom.

“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” Romans 5:17

Suffering is always a means to an end.  The end being that God is glorified.

As I was getting ready for church yesterday I was thinking about the story of Lazarus.  Lazarus was a very close friend of Jesus.  Lazarus had two sisters that were very close with Jesus as well; Martha and Mary (who have their own story, but for another time).

Lazarus had gotten very sick.  A messenger ran to get Jesus.  Jesus waited 2 whole days before leaving to come see Lazarus, the text says he waited until he knew that Lazarus had died.

Martha and Mary are understandably upset.  When Jesus does show up, Martha runs out to meet him.  “Lord, if you had been here, he wouldn’t have died!”

Jesus looks deep into her eyes and makes this powerful statement, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

They were just hoping that Jesus would heal him.  Jesus had different plans.  He went to the grave, where he had been buried 4 days prior.  He comforts Mary and Martha and even weeps with them.  He knows our pain, because it’s his pain.

“Roll the stone away.”

“But Lord, there will be an awful smell…”

“Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

So they roll the stone away and Lazarus is raised from the grave.

I got to church and what was the pastor preaching on?  The story of Lazarus and how it relates to us.  It was a God-thing.  We brought our son up to have him prayed for after the service.  This morning he looked a good 50% better with most of the redness and swelling gone and months-old wounds showing signs of dramatic improvement.  We know he got a special touch from God and we are believing that he will receive complete healing.

We serve an awesome God.  rays-of-light-shining-throug-dark-c

There is a powerful message in this story.  We may suffer, yes.  But we know that at some point Jesus is going to come into our situation and command some stones to be rolled away.  When Jesus shows up, he brings life with him.  He is our healer.  He is 100% good.  He is 100% for us.

Ultimately, for us who believe, we will be completely healed.  We don’t know the time table, but we know the one who does.  Jesus triumphed completely over death and the grave.  One day, death will be swallowed up.

In life we will always have an element of suffering.  We live in a fallen World.  I have my own share of suffering, as do you.  But I also have so much joy.

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10

Suffering doesn’t get the final say.

 

Unredeemed Brokenness

I happened to hear Pastor Matt Bays on my favorite radio show yesterday (Live the Promise with Susie Larson) and was really taken with what he had to say.  He spoke with shocking honesty about the wretched pain of his past and his turbulent path of faith- fraught with doubts and addiction.

His pain spoke so much to my pain.  I (being the impulsive sort that I am) bought his book, Finding God in the Ruins, with amazon one click.

Tonight I sat down and read through a third of it in one sitting.

It really speaks to where I am, the dilemma I face.

I’ve loved and followed God (not always well, but I’m still here) for ten years and yet I still feel broken in so many ways.  My son still deals with daily pain as we struggle to keep the eczema and resulting staph infections at bay.  I still deal with so much internally that never sees the light of day.

I, like Pastor Matt, got to a point where I just couldn’t pray and believe anymore.  How could I tell people about a Great God that loves them and has a great plan for them- when I found those promises so lacking in my own life?

The truth is that so many of us struggle with a disproportionate amount of pain.  A quick, pretty verse isn’t going to bandage wounded hearts sufficiently. The faith formulas don’t always add up as they should.

I went to a MOPS meeting recently and… felt awful the whole time.  The women there were really nice, they were genuine believers.  But I got the sense that these were the type of women that came from great families.  Women that have never labored under the shame of utter brokenness.  Women that knew how to match boot socks to their purses.  I felt so horribly out of place.

See, there are those of us who don’t come from the best families.  Those of us who deal with the anguish of shame.  Those of us who need much more than an inspirational service or two to get us out of our funk.

I think my theology has been woefully inadequate to address my reality.

God is good but a significant part of our journey here, our walk of faith, is going to be hard and at times, agonizing.  Much more so than we’d prefer.

Early on in my faith journey I was a good faith-filled believer and believed 100% that God was going to quickly and miraculously deliver me from my emotional pain.  That definitely hasn’t happened.  For years I thought it was because I was falling short somewhere.  The teaching I listened to had me worried that there was some hidden sin or offense lurking in me that was keeping the tidal wave of healing and deliverance back.  Maybe that wasn’t it at all.

Maybe there are just things that got broken so badly and profoundly early on, that healed so wrong, that they only way to get it right again is to re-break it.  To wrench away what is wrong before it can be set right and begin to truly heal.  Not a bandaid but a surgery.

So I am embracing the pain in my life and looking for God’s purpose in it.  I still believe.

 

Faithfulness

I’ve been reading through King David’s life and there is a stark contrast.  He started out so strong and passionate for God but he left a mixed legacy.  His disobedience cost him dearly.  Firstly- he took on many wives and concubines.  (my reaction is ‘ew’)  This created tension and strife amongst his many children.  Logically, it just isn’t fair to expect many women to share one man.  How involved could David have been with all these children?  He was too busy making babies to properly raise the ones he had.  Plus, things get really dicey when a throne is up for grabs.  His eldest son, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar.  Absalom killed Amnon in retaliation.  David refuses to reconcile to Absalom, who subsequently attempts a violent coup against his own Father.  Yet another son, Adonijah, also tries to gain the crown illicitly.  It was a mess.

Why wasn’t one wife enough?  Abigail seemed like a really cool chick.  He should have just stuck with her, IMO.  “He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray…” Deuteronomy 17:17

The kicker though, of course, was the situation with Bathsheba.  Bathsheba was a married woman.  Her husband, Uriah was apparently a man of great integrity.  He was serving David faithfully.  So how great the betrayal when David committed adultery with her.  Not only that- he killed Uriah to cover up the resulting pregnancy and evidence of his crime.

As punishment for this great sin; their child dies.  God did forgive David.  2 Samuel 12:13  But I think David was a broken man.  He became a shell of his former self.  The condemnation from his sin ate him alive.  He went from being the youth that valiantly charged at the giant to a man that put up with verbal abuse.  When Absalom tried to take the kingdom, David immediately took his people and ran.  He should have stood his ground.

While fleeing the confrontation he allowed Shimei (a relative of Saul) to throw rocks at him and curse him out.  His men wanted to kill him but David allowed the abuse.  If he curses, and if the LORD has told him, ‘Curse David,’ then who shall say, ‘Why have you done so?'” Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my son who came out from me seeks my life; how much more now this Benjamite?” 2 Samuel 16:10-11

I believe David was filled with shame that paralyzed him from confronting any immorality because he felt like a hypocrite.  He never confronted Amnon for the rape of Tamar.  He didn’t rebuke his children when they were going astray. 1 Kings 1:6

When he was on his death bed he passed on a laundry (or more like ‘hit’) list on to his son, Solomon, of people who had wronged him- whom he had failed to confront in life.

I think the greater tragedy is that he apparently never recovered from the moral failure.  I don’t believe this is ever God’s will.  “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5  “For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.” Job 5:18

Know God as redeemer.  I don’t know if David ever really got there, or if he was haunted by his sins the rest of his life.

Because of the cross we don’t have to stay stuck.  We don’t have to put up with the Devil throwing stones and cursing us out.

The Bible says that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.  Goodness knows we should try to live faithfully.  But, we all stumble in many ways.  And God is faithful, thank goodness, even when we are faithless.

Moral of the story…  Don’t let Satan bully you into living paralyzed by shame.  God wants to redeem it (whatever ‘it’) is; for His glory.  David’s story ended on a sad note but because of the Gospel- the power of God unto salvation- ours don’t have to. Calf-leaping1

“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” Malachi 4:2

He Rescued Me

I just read ‘Stormie’ by author Stormie Omartian.  Our church was getting rid of a lot of books and so I picked it up for free.  The copy was yellowed and dusty, from the year I was born- 1986.  Her story is truly miraculous.  I was thinking about my own rescue story and my heart started pounding with a Holy Spirit rush to share more of my own story.

I know God choses us according to His own mysterious ways.  There was little in me that would cause Him to care, to reach out, to rescue.

I was 20.  I had a whole backpack of ‘issues’.  I had been involved in the occult.  I was a thief.  I was heavily involved in sexual sin.  I was selfish and there was a lot of anger and ugliness in my heart.  The Devil had a stranglehold on me and I had allowed it with every sin, every step away from the God I had known as a little girl.

My parents had gone to a Spirit filled church when I was little.  I had received Him into my heart and I remember feeling his presence.  But over the years my parents stopped going.  A lot of things happened.  I believe it was a very targeted, intense satanic campaign against our family.  My Mom turned to alcohol and partying.  My dad emotionally ‘checked out’.  There was a lot of anger, yelling, and outbursts of violence in our home.  They eventually divorced.  When things started getting really bad we just ran further from God.

So, at about 19 or so I was a teen mom.  My Grandma Judy helped me so much.  I would call her when I as overwhelmed as a young Mom.  She would drop everything to come and help.  She started talking to me about God and Jesus.  I was a bit interested but quite honestly I didn’t want to leave my sinful lifestyle.  I had a lot of rebellion.  She must have kept praying though because I was starting to feel things.  I could feel this war going on for my soul.  The devil was working hard to keep me but Spirit of God was breaking through.

When my little sister practically dragged me into a church, everything changed.  I tentatively raised my hands during worship.  I felt the presence of God there, knocking at the door of my heart.  I started to sob and repent for my stupid, rebellious ways.  I felt the love of God wash over me.  All I could do was cry as his love melted my heart.  How could I resist this?  Why wouldn’t I want this?    I surrendered my life again to the God of my life.  I was filled with the Holy Spirit and transformed that day.

This is my story and it is 100% true.

I was totally hooked on experiencing God but I found it hard to leave my old life behind.  I was still living with my mom who was still drinking and partying.  I had to learn a new way of life, new coping skills.  It was really hard to get out of sexual sin.  The one sin that affects you more than anything else.  1 Cor. 6:18  I share because I know so many can relate.  I found out years later that molestation had occurred very early in my childhood. Satan dug a pit for me and I fell in.  A deep sense of shame and self-hatred had propelled me to make really bad choices.

I share because I know a heart-breaking number of people can relate.

I had surrendered my heart but cleaning up my train-wreck of a life was going to take time.  God knew I needed a safe place.  Home was still tumultuous and not a good environment for my young son.  I needed love and a sense of security.

God changed my heart from being attracted to ‘cute jerks’ to a new desire to have stability and love and marriage.  I remember telling my sister that and she looked at me like I was crazy.  But God was moving.  Soon after I met Tim.  Tim was kind, stable, a believer and just a great guy (and cute!).  Most of our courtship took place at church.  It was part of my personal rescue plan.

“God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing…” Psalm 68:8

We got married really quick and God gave me a safe place to grow and heal.  Tim has loved me through thick and thin.  He took on my son and became a Father to him.  I got the loving family I always wanted. fullWedding Day 4-21-07

My sister (the one that dragged me to church) Sasha,

my Mom (Lori), me, Tim, Michael,

My other sister Erica and her son

My testimony is that God loves us at our worst.  He loved me when I had rebelled, sinned against him, and spit in his face.  My life is a story of his incredible grace and mercy.

God wants to turn around the things in your life that were intended to destroy and for his glory turn it around for your goodHis love is a rescuing love.  He is redeemer, healer, and provider.

“‘Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!” Ezekiel 16:6

God still does miracles.  He binds up the broken-hearted.  He delivers us and breaks every chain.

I started praying for my mom (though it seemed hopeless).  She is now sober and restored.  She is such a huge blessing in my life and to my family, and I love her so much.  She has her own miracle-rescue story.  God is amazing.

No matter what you have done, what’s been done to you, or what you are facing- God is bigger.  He loves you in a way we can’t comprehend.  He is good. 

“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” Exodus 15:13

I remember at times feeling so hopelessly messed up, like no amount of therapy could help.  Receiving the Holy Spirit into my heart and God’s love did what nothing else could do- in an instant.

God not only saved my soul but he gave me a new life.

The awesome thing is- God is no respecter of persons.  He has no favorites.  Acts 10:34 Colossians 3:25  God has a personal rescue plan for all of us.  He came to seek and save the lost. Luke 19:10

“Everything the Father gives me will come to me, and I’ll never turn away the one who comes to me.” John 6:37

That is my testimony.  I still love Jesus.  He is still healing and delivering me (daily!) mostly from myself. 😉  Do you have a testimony?  Do you want one?  Jesus died on the cross so that you could.  My hope and prayer is that you find this great salvation as well.

Through the Storm

20150503_165152_resized

I’ve shared a bit about my 6 year old son, Gabriel and his health struggles.  We’ve been battling eczema for about three years.  He also struggles with anxiety and fear.

I think it really began before he was born.  The pregnancy was awful.  My husband and I went through a brutal custody fight for my son, Michael.  I was consumed with anxiety and fear and couldn’t sleep at night.  I started having major health problems that continue, in a way, to this day.

He came into the world in quite the dramatic way.  Three weeks early I was up most of the night with intense contractions (sorry guys, avert your eyes!) my water broke after my husband had driven to work (an hour away!)…I called him to race home and take me to the hospital (which was a 1/2 hour away).  He made the trip somehow in half the normal amount of time.

I was gripping the counter when he got home and practically swearing like a sailor!  We raced off to the hospital through morning traffic.  I was in active labor and we were dealing with pokey drivers!  Through the contractions I noticed one of the most beautiful sunrises I had ever seen.  I remember thinking, ‘what a beautiful morning to be born.’

I staggered into the hospital alone as Tim parked the car.  It was close.  They rushed my into the delivery room.  It was too late for any pain relief.  I was freaking out, totally unprepared for the pain and urgency.  Then the umbilical cord prolapsed and it turned into a dangerous life or death situation.  Gabe’s heart rate was dropping as his oxygen supply was getting cut off.  The Doctor raced in from the parking lot (there had been none there incidentally when we arrived) and the room filled up with nurses ready to take me in for an emergency C-section.  The Doctor told me I had to push this baby out NOW.  I bore down through the agony and pushed with everything I had.

I think it was only a minute or two before he was out.  It was awful.  He was blue-ish and not moving.  I started crying out to God and they whisked him away to give him oxygen.

He was pretty tiny at 5 lb.s 10 ounces but healthy and beautiful.  1931405_115168950073_2317_n

We went to ‘meet’ our son in the nursery and while all the other babies were crying Gabe quietly looked up at us.  He was so alert and calm after such a dramatic birth.

He has been such a blessing and joy to us.  He got my hazel-brown eyes and sensitive soul.

I see in him a heart for ministry.  He is so sensitive, loving and caring.  He is so receptive to the things of God.

I feel in my heart that he has had to deal with so much because there is a very real struggle for his destiny.  He had low muscle tone and needed a lot of help learning to walk.  He has always struggled with fairly severe anxiety.  And a little crusty patch that started on the back of his knee has slowly consumed most of the surface of his skin with dry skin, crust, and oozing sores that itch constantly.  It is a constant battle.  He often doesn’t sleep well because of it.  He is often in pain.  The eczema has brought us to our wits end.     My baby and I last summer- 10574293_10202019693968587_408779126700107518_n

So, yesterday when my mom texted me that there was going to be a healing service especially for children at her church that night, I was all over it.  Just before we left ominous storm clouds had blown in.  Gabe and I got into the car just as heavy rain started to fall.  Pretty soon the rain got heavier and it started to hail.  I thought briefly about turning back, as it was an hour drive.  I pushed on though because I felt like this was some sort of bizarre spiritual attack to keep me from taking Gabe to the service.

I drove slowly through the rain and hail, while many people had decided to pull over to the side of the road to wait it out.  I felt a growing sense of purpose and destiny in this trip.  For most of the way I could see a beautiful rainbow ahead, seemingly leading me through the storm.

As I type I have tears in my eyes.  There is nothing like seeing your beloved child suffer.  It has been a hard road.  I’ve held onto the verse and promise that God will cause all this to work together for Gabe’s good.  It has been a pretty big leap of faith a times.  20150503_173812_resized

The service was very anointed and Spirit-filled.  Pastor C.J. at Discover Family Church in Burnsville was prophetically calling people out of the audience to recieve healing.

He spoke about a passage in scripture that I had just been reading.  How Hannah had dedicated her child to the Lord, her child that had been an answer to prayer.  I thought about the many times I had dedicated Gabe to the Lord in prayer.

My mom and I brought Gabe up to be prayed over.  Pastor C.J. prayed over his mind (without me saying a word about his anxiety) and spoke to my fears- that Gabe IS going to grow up to be a strong healthy young man in spite of the diagnosis and words spoken over him.  He looked me in the eyes and said, “you need to protect him.  He has a very special call on his life and the enemy is trying to stop it.”  He prayed for me as well and told me a long-awaited breakthrough is coming.

I think of the importance of a single life.  Jesus died for it.  The enemy works furiously to destroy it.  Every life matters.  Every human being is knit together with inherent purpose, destiny, and value.

Perhaps Gabe’s healing with be a process that we will have to keep walking out.  Please pray for us.  I want so much to triumph and completely derail the enemy’s plan for my family.  I want my children to grow up to be mighty warriors for God.

20150503_204946_resized  -My little Warrior

I know the struggle is real.  I feel like the enemy tried hard take me out and very nearly succeeded.  I am determined to stand against and expose his schemes.  He will not get my kids.  I will stand in the gap.

“‘Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!” Yes, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!'” Ezekiel 16:6

If I had a ‘life verse’ that would be it.

We serve an Awesome God.  We have to go through many trials to inherit the Kingdom of God, it’s true.  But there is always a rainbow after the storm, when God is involved.

He looks at the dying and hopeless and says, “Live!”

I will look at my difficult situations and chose to trust and believe and know that God is working out something huge.  Every trial is shaping and strengthening us and bringing us closer to a God-breathed destiny.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Fasting to Freedom

Yep, another blog on fasting.  I don’t love a grumbling tummy anymore than anyone else but I know that there are so many benefits to fasting.  It is a discipline necessary for discipleship.

I must be especially needy and quick to look to idols (yep, it’s true), I seem to need to fast on a regular basis.  It doesn’t take long before I am leaning too heavily on ‘crutches’ in my life.  We tend to look to the blessings in our life to tend to the deep needs of our heart that only God can fill.  We default to wandering from His presence in favor of instant gratification.  We may end up with extra pounds, maxed out credit cards, and addictions of every kind…and hearts that are still achingly empty.  No shame people- that is all of us.  We humans have needy hearts.  We, in our human nature, just default to idolatry.

Idolatry- looking to other things, people, whatever to be ‘god’ to us.  If you have an addiction in your life is has become a ‘god’ to you.  It can be a scale, illicit books, a sugar fix, or a destructive thought pattern.

Fasting is being willing to offer that thing that has us in bondage back to God with open hands.  If there is something in your life that God has his finger on- something that you have a death-grip on- well that is what you should fast or give up completely.

“Their god is their stomach” Phil. 3:19  By giving up food for a period of time you can aggressively weaken the hold of your fleshly appetites in all areas of your life.  From gossip to anger to even a porn addiction.  You need to starve an addiction to death. “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Romans 13:14  Do what you need to do.  Cut up the cards.  Cancel your cable.  Sell your laptop.  Get drastic, people.  That is what it takes.

When you are willing to fast you are taking a stand against the fleshly desires that ‘war against your souls.’  Yes, fasting involves some suffering.  You will be cranky, a bit weak, and hungry.  But there is a freedom that only come by being willing to take that step.  “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.” 1 Peter 4:1  Fasting is willingly subjecting yourself to this suffering to have greater freedom in following Christ.

God honors a fast.  If you need a breakthrough, if you are in bondage, or you just want to be obedient; then you need to fast fast.  🙂

Over the rumbling of your tummy and crankiness of your flesh you will hear God much more clearly.  You will feel energized and renewed in your spirit.  You may get fresh insights.  That person might get saved.  You may even get a miracle healing.  Check out how many times ‘fasting and prayer’ preceded a breakthrough, healing, commissioning, or mighty move of God. http://biblehub.net/search.php?q=by+fasting+a+prayer  We serve the same miracle-working God of Wonders, Amen?

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5

God wants you FREE.  He will only ever ask us to lay something down so we can experience greater joy, blessing, and effectiveness.   If you know in your spirit that God is asking you to lay something at his feet, then do it today.  Don’t wait.  There are things God wants to do in your life (and your loved ones) that can only come by prayer and fasting. Mark 9:29 God will send grace to help you as you move forwards in obedience.  Join me in getting real about stripping off every hindrance that keeps us from Christ.  untitled

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

God’s Message for You

So, I was buzzing around full of the Holy Spirit and (way too much) French press coffee and contemplating my next blog post.  I had a couple ideas I was pretty excited about but I felt like God was speaking to me about a special message He wants me to share.  A message for the hurting prodigal son or daughter.

I’ll be completely honest, I have spent way too much time rebelling and running…circling around in the wilderness of disobedience.  I still sometimes find myself wandering there.

untitled

There is something in us that longs to throw off constraint and throw ourselves into a prodigal downward spiral.  We believe that the ways of God are restrictive.  That he is holding out on us.  We don’t trust.  The enemy/tempter lures us away with promises of excitement, fulfillment, fun, whatever.  We spend our energy chasing that worldly promise on the horizon and in the process plunge headfirst into a pit.  Then we get to the bottom and ‘come to ourselves’.  We can’t bring ourselves to look up, to cry out for help.  We realize that we have been chasing a mirage and have walked away from the truth, possibly doing much damage in the process.  Surely we have run too far and sinned too much.  God must have handed us over to the enemy and washed his hands of us by now…

Jesus told a parable about a particularly bad prodigal.  He had demanded his inheritance from his Father, run off to the Vegas of his day, and wasted it all on parties and hookers.  Eventually the money was gone and he found himself hungry, desperate, and working in a pig pen.  Even the pigs were eating better than he was.  He followed the path of rebellion all the way to the bottom of the pit…when he ‘came to himself’.  He would go home.  He was no longer worthy to be a son, but he could work as a servant.  So he started back home…

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20

He said, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

The Father wouldn’t hear any of it.  ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

This is God the Father’s heart towards you.  Don’t run from him, run to him.  He is waiting for you.  He wants to hold you close and wipe away the tears.  You can always go home.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
 He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:2-3

God will forgive any sin.  He will heal all the hurt.  He loves you.  He stand at the door of your heart and knocks.  Will you let him in?