I was sitting on my screened in patio watching all the beautiful birds come, and go to the bird feeder, while studying my Sunday school lesson. It was a glorious day, the sun was shining, and there was a fragrant cool breeze blowing across the chaise lounge which lulled me into a semi conscious state. I don’t know where this particular memory came from, but it was after I had moved away, and decided I didn’t need them or God interfering in my life.
It was such a vile, disgusting memory of my life, where everything my heart desired I went after with a vengeance. Nothing was forbidden to me. If I wanted booze I found it. If I wanted sex I knew where I could find it. I drank like there was no tomorrow, and I used some of the vilest language anyone had ever heard.
My clothes or lack thereof was extremely important to me. I bought the loudest, brightest, tightest, and glitziest outfits money could buy. I would get my hair done at the chicest salons. In my eyes I was successful. I had a good job, and I was making good money. Whatever I wanted I bought. I was free from my parents old fashioned ideas, and I was enjoying myself immensely.
Time seemed to fly by, and after 5 years I got a call from Amy, my older sister. I had been drinking, and feeling no pain when I heard Amy yelling my name, Julie, into the phone. It took me awhile to understand why she was so upset. Amy told me dad had suffered a major heart attack 2 days ago.
They didn’t know weather he would live or die.
The next morning I called the office, and told them what had happened. I threw some clothes in a suitcase, and booked the first flight available. After 5 years I didn’t know if my family would welcome me, or treat me like a leper. I had cut all ties with my family when I left.
I went straight to the hospital when my flight landed. I was afraid I would not get to see dad again, and if he had died I’d never be able to forgive myself for my selfish, hateful way I’d acted towards people who truly loved me. I never thought about how much I’d miss dad if anything happened to him until now. I felt as if my whole world stopped when Amy had called, and given me the news.
Dad was sitting up in bed when I walked in. He looked so old, but when he saw me his smile lit up the room. I ran into his outstretched arms and dissolved into tears. He kept saying over and over that he loved me, missed me and was so happy to see me. When mom saw me she hugged me stroking my hair, and covering my face in kisses. My brothers and sisters treated me like the long lost sister, and welcomed me with open arms. It was as if the prodigal had returned.
Dad was released from the hospital 2 days later. The whole family gathered at mom and dads house. I met all my nieces and nephews. They accepted me as I was, and loved me like no one had loved me in all the years I had spent on my own. They never asked any questions about my life, or tried to change me. I soon found myself truly enjoying being with my family. They had changed or so I thought, but I finally realized I was the one who’d changed.
I flew back to my apartment with a new outlook on life. I quit my job, packed up my things and moved back home. It was as if I’d never left.
One evening mom and dad told me how hard they’d prayed that I’d return. They said it was their greatest expectation to have me sharing my life with them once again.
All has been forgiven and Christ is once again my Lord and Savior. The lost lamb had returned to the flock, and now I look forward eagerly awaiting the day when we shall all spend eternity in heaven with God. That is the greatest of all expectations of God’s children.
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