Anybody care to guess how many times I’ve heard a reference to the parable of the prodigal son in the last month? I don’t know either, but suffice it to say it’s a large number. God is persistent like that.
I grew up in church. I think a lot of people in the South do. Twice on Sunday and again on Wednesday night. I went to a large church with a great youth program, so we also had lots of things to do on the weekends, too. It was a sheltered place. Not a perfect place – temptation is everywhere. But I got the time and influences that built the me you see today. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it settled my soul on a Rock that can never be swayed.
When you are a good girl and in church on the regular, going to college is eye-opening. You are in charge of you for the first time in your life and you get to decide what you want to do. Sleeping late on Sunday was a lot more important than going to church. And college friends do different things for fun than church friends. I’m not going to lie, it was a blast. It is still is a blast to get together with our college friends. That time bonds you to people. You make friends for life. Family. And I’ve continued that way on this journey for many years. Easily passing through with no concerns about my soul. After all, I knew where I stood with God, regardless of where I spent my Sundays. And then we had Tuck.
Seeing yourself as an adult is never clearer than when you have this little person around that can’t do anything on his own. I know I have that Rock and never doubt it. I know that in the worst of times along the way, scripture or hymns would come to mind. I would automatically find myself praying. That doesn’t go away just because you wander. It is literally ingrained in my soul.
Now I don’t consider myself on par with the prodigal son. But I do believe God has been making a point in my life. “I see you. I still love you. Shouldn’t Tuck have that? It’s such an easy thing to come back.” And for once in my life, I’m taking a suggestion from someone and doing it. Normally if you tell me something you think I should do or, God forbid, try to guilt me into it, I can guarantee it will never happen. That’s just me. I decide for me. Not you. But it’s been such a soft whisper. Just a reminder. Nothing pushy. And He is right. Tuck deserves the chance to have the solid foundation my parents gave me. Because I’m here to tell you, trials will come and they are many. And in those times if I hadn’t had my Rock, I’m not sure how I would have survived.
Like the prodigal son, I have talked to my Father and asked him to help me. And it has been better the last few weeks. Just knowing that I have made a good decision for my family eases my soul. I struggle. Man, do I struggle. If you know me, you know that. But it’s ok. I just have to do my best. That foundation can’t be taken from me. Not by you or even me. And there’s a lot of comfort in that.
No clue why I had to share this today, but make no mistake, I had to. I hope it speaks to someone out there. The struggle is real. But you don’t have to do it alone.