The Prodigal Son
You’ve heard the story, haven’t you? The son who broke his father’s heart and squandered his inheritance and finally realized that he needed to go back home and ask to be his father’s servant? Yes, that story.
I always was amazed by that story and how the father didn’t say “no,” to the son. He freely gave him his inheritance with no questions, and never followed him or controlled him. When the son came back, the father readily welcomed him back. There were no questions asked.
I always felt sorry for the one that stayed, because it seemed unfair that he should be so faithful to his father.. Have you ever felt that way?
My son was born in 1975 while my husband was stationed in Germany. We already had a beautiful 2 year old daughter, so our son just completed us. Having come from foster homes, we were excited to do things right. I had all the answer, because the ones I got growing up were wrong.
At age 15, my son wanted more freedom than I was willing to give. I struggled, not realizing that he and his sister were gifts from God, only on loan for a time. I controlled; he rebelled. I stood my ground. I was right, and after all what’s right is right. Don’t you agree?
Thirteen years of waiting on my incredible son of promise to return taught me how self-righteous I was. I now understood how I easily related to the son who had been faithful to his father. After all, I had been that to my sisters, brothers and my biological parents, but somehow, I didn’t get the reaction I wanted. Fool of fools as I was; it took some years to realize how much I needed to be humbled.
Drugs, alcohol, and sex addiction had called my son away. Many difficulties with police got him eleven years of prison time. I was sure it couldn’t be, as I had taken all the steps to do better in my life, and I was going to show my family that it could be done better. Self-righteous, egotistical, know it all is what I was. I had the best intentions. I slowly learned any good intention without being God’s intention was a waste. How could I be so blinded?
My heart was tore out, and stomped on over and over again during those thirteen years of rebellion. I wouldn’t be like the father of the prodigal son. I was sure I could solve it. I drove the streets at night searching for him. I aggressively pounded on drug dealer’s doors, with no fear, demanding to collect what was MINE. I went to court hearings. I spoke with police officers.
When I had enough of prison visits and realized I had nothing to offer my son, I let go. I loved him, but realized I was not going to get what I longed for and needed so deeply. It wasn’t about me. I hated to admit I even was so selfish. I never really trusted God with my life and family. He had my heart, but not my life. When I let go, a miracle happened.
My son wrote that he was helping other young people by speaking out against the lifestyle he had led, at various high schools while serving his sentence. He never informed us until he was sure his heart was in the right place. He got out of prison this summer, and he is the wonderful man I always dreamed he would be, but so much more. God had a plan, and I had refused to allow Him to work as I scrambled to make everything the way I believed it should be. My son is amazing. In four short months he has come out of spending eleven years in and out of prison. He desires all I wanted for him, and so much more. He is attending college and can’t get enough of helping others while he continues to stay in counseling and meetings to stay on the straight and narrow.
Police, well, they aren’t the enemy any longer. Many that see him are proud of him and all he has accomplished. God gave me the desires of my heart, when I stopped getting in His way.
God has called him for His Glory, and not mine.
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