Her pain-lined face stared at me as the tears rolled down her cheeks. “I didn’t do what you did. We did things right. I married a Christian guy and now look what has happened. Why is this happening to me?” She had just found out that the love of her life had been living a lie for their entire marriage. Even though she had done things the right way.
She was right about me though. Because I had done all the wrong things in choosing a spouse and getting married. My choices caused a lot of pain for a lot of people, not the least of which were me and my children. Pain isn’t much of a respecter of persons.
Her words cut deeply, even though she was right.
She later apologized, realizing the gut punch her words had landed. We remain friends to this day. Because sometimes in our own pain we say things we shouldn’t. And forgiveness is the way to walk in friendship.
Although the memories were painful, my friend’s words that day reminded me just who our Father is. He is the one who stands, watching and waiting, for the running prodigal to return.
He is also the one who reminds us that events in our lives don’t have to define who we are. They also don’t have to determine our future. I remembered this part of my story when we sang this song at church:
Wherever you are, whatever you did
It’s a page in your book, but it isn’t the end
Your Father will meet you with arms open wide
This is where your heart belongs
Come running like a prodigal
The testimony for today is that my past didn’t define me. My choices had consequences and there was pain involved. But our Father and His people saw me through it. And I’m reminded every day that no matter what I’ve done, where I am, the pain I’ve experienced…or caused…our Father is waiting.
All I have to do is come running like a prodigal.
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