Angie married right out of high school and thought she had found the perfect man. She was ready to build a beautiful life in a little house with a white picket fence. Angie and her perfect husband, Mike, would raise a perfect family or so she thought.
Angie gave birth to her firstborn. It was a little girl with big blue eyes and soft brown curls just like her proud and handsome dad. Mike had tears in his eyes as he gazed lovingly at his tiny daughter. They were so happy and their joy was contagious. Everybody thought Angie and Mike had a perfect marriage.
The doctor asked if they had picked out a name for their healthy little daughter and Angie
looked at Mike and said, “We’ve decided to call her Hope.” Mike held Hope and tenderly kissed her tiny brow. “Oh Angie, I am the happiest man on earth. I am so thankful for all I have. I have a good job a beautiful wife and now a perfect little girl.”
For twenty years Angie and Mike were happy, but then Mike lost his job and things changed quickly. He turned to alcohol and began mistreating Angie. Poor Angie didn’t know what to do.
Hope was a young adult and could manage on her own. Angie packed her bags and left her perfect little house with the white picket fence. She told herself Mike and Hope didn’t need her any longer as she closed the door behind her.
Angie was still young and beautiful and she could manage on her own. Angie was angry and blamed God. She felt bereft and alone. The abuse and beatings from Mike was more then she could bear. He was mean and as far as she was concerned, he could rot in hell.
Angie wasn’t prepared for all of the problems that lay ahead. She soon turned to drink, drugs and prostitution. Her life was spiraling out of control but the pull of her world was stronger then her resolve.
After a night of drug, booze and sex Angie lay in an alley on the cold damp ground. At 48, Angie’s life was spent and she found herself facing the cold reality of being completely alone. She was shattered and broken. Her life was slowly slipping away.
When Angie finally awakened, she found herself on a wonderful soft warm bed with a clean hospital gown on her frail body. She was no longer dirty and her hair was clean and smelled of flowers. She felt refreshed and for the first time in years thanked God.
Angie slowly turned her head and saw her beautiful daughter sitting with her head bowed in silent prayer. Angie loudly cleared her throat and Hope raised her eyes to her beloved mother and wept for joy.
“Oh, mom we’ve been looking for you for so long. We didn’t think we’d ever find you. We just about gave up all hope but God heard our cry. We found you in the alley unconscious and brought you to this rehab facility.” Hope said.
Angie looked at her precious daughter and asked? “Whose the WE you are referring to. Hope told Angie all about how Mike changed after she left. He realized how much he depended on you and got help for his drinking. Hope asked. “Mom, can dad come in and talk to you?” Angie nodded her head and for the first time in ten years, Mike walked back into her life.
Mike held Angie so gently and said, “Angie I’ve missed you so much and I’m sorry for all the suffering I put you through. Please forgive me.”
The anger left Angie as she looked at Mike and Hope. Angie said, “I’ve missed you so much my love. I’m sorry for all the heartache I’ve caused you two. Thank you God for taking care of me although I turned my back on You.” As Angie drifted off to sleep, she could hear the Holy Spirit whispering softly, “I never left you my child. I was always with you.”
The doctor told them Angie could still die. Together they knelt in the little chapel and prayed for their beloved Angie. Hope looked at her dad and said, “Mom reminds me of the prodigal son. She was lost but is found. Thank you Jesus for helping us find mom.” Hope stared at the cross and thought of all the games we play with our lives and cried tears of joy.
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