Leslie


I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants. So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son." But the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet."

- Luke 15:18-22

The story of the prodigal son has always been a favorite of mine for so many different reasons. First of all, reread the passage and exchange he for she. Imagine the prodigal son as the prodigal daughter. My story is one that can truly relate to a child who turned her back on her Father (God) and squandered away everything for a wild life. However, just like the story above, mine ended up right back in the arms of the loving Father who celebrated my return and showered me with a robe, a ring, and sandals for my feet.

In 2006 I was a 26-year-old hairstylist who was in a very toxic relationship that had been on-again, off-again for almost two years. I was living a life of self indulgence and depending on substances, alcohol, and men to give me my worth. I had asked to receive the Lord into my heart at a very young age but at this point I had made a conscious effort to ignore the tug I would feel every time I chose the world over my God.

I had finally decided to end the relationship only to find out the following week that I was pregnant!! I thought my world had come to an end. What would I do? Would I go back to my boyfriend and force a relationship with him so that things would appear better for everyone else? (Tried that, it was a total fail... thankfully). Would I follow the advice of the world and abort this unplanned baby? I had come to a crossroads and sinned against Heaven and against my Father. Does this sound familiar? Well just as the prodigal son realized what needed to be done, so did I. I took a long, hard look in the mirror and realized I needed to repent and lay all of this at the feet of Jesus and ask Him to come home.

In the years following, there would be the birth of my beautiful baby boy, hard custody battles, and messy family drama. This time there was a difference. I had peace, I was covered in God’s wings, and He carried me through it all. Not that He wasn’t there before because He certainly was; He never lets us go, I had let go of Him!

Remember the robe, the ring, and the sandals? Well as I reflect on those gifts I clearly see how God gifted me with the same things.

He wrapped me in a robe of the most amazing believers. He led me to a women’s Bible study who welcomed my son and I with open arms and walked with me guiding me towards spiritual growth.

He gave me a ring two years later after the birth of my son! God gifted me with an amazing husband and spiritual leader for both my son and me. My husband is someone I would never had felt worthy of in the past but in fact God had him handpicked for me.

I received my sandals the moment I turned to God for what to do next after that positive pregnancy test. He gave me clean sandals to walk towards Him and begin following His way!

I am here to tell you that no matter your circumstances, you are never too far to turn around and come home. The Lord will always welcome you home and He won’t just open the door, He will embrace you and celebrate your return!! Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin!

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