We should have seen it coming….

You always want to believe the best about your children. I was on my way home from work when my wife called. She had picked up our 17 year old daughter from work, an argument ensued and she jumped out of the car and informed my wife that she was tired of our questions and our interfering with her life. She was not coming home, moving out. And that is what she did. There were many questions that went through our minds over the next days weeks and months. Most beginning with “why” and along with the questions, emotions. Denial, anger, frustration, disappointment, fear about what could happen to her sorrow, loss. And you remember all the good times.

The day she was born so tiny and helpless. Her first steps, her smile and laughter. The first day of school standing there with her little back-pack trying to look brave. Her first play at school, the first tooth she lost. Holding her when she was scared of the storm, the joy you felt as the tears ran down her face and she said “Daddy I asked Jesus into my heart”. The first time she saw the ocean, her first dance, teaching her to drive, all the memories captured in your heart forever…..

And you also remember the time you didn’t take to spend with her, the busyness that you allowed to steal precious moments. It is easy in times like these to blame yourself for what  happened, to think “If only I had done or not done  this or that, if I had been more strict, less strict. And in many ways you are right. If only…

But the one thing God will not control is our will. Not mine, not yours, not my daughters. It is a gift He gave us that at it’s best brings tremendous blessing, and at its worst a horrible curse. And at the end of it all my daughter,  you and I, have a choice to decide what our will, will be

C.S. Lewis wrote: “God created things (people) with free will. That means creatures which can go right or wrong. If a person is free to be good they are also free to be bad. Freewill though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes any love or goodness or joy worth having. Of course God knew what would happen if we used our freedom the wrong way: apparently He thought it worth the risk”.

It has been two years since our daughter left home. Early on in our journey I read a story about a another child who left his home; Once there was this man who had two sons. 12 One day the younger son came to his father and said, “Father, eventually I’m going to inherit my share of your estate. Rather than waiting until you die, I want you to give me my share now.” And so the father liquidated assets and divided them. 13 A few days passed and this younger son gathered all his wealth and set off on a journey to a distant land. Luke 15:12-13

Many of you have read this story, how the son wasted all his father had given him in wild irresponsible living. Broke and hungry he found himself feeding pigs, with not even enough to buy food. Broken and alone he decided that being a hired hand for his father would be better than where he was. ” So he got up and returned to his father. The father looked off in the distance and saw the young man returning. He felt compassion for his son and ran out to him, enfolded him in an embrace, and kissed him”. Luke 15:20

Waiting is always the hardest part. For a parent watching a child go through a prodigal journey this is especially true. As hours turn to days, and days to months, and months to years, you can become angry, frustrated and hopeless and find yourself saying “It has not changed, it will never change” . In these times our feelings become a terrible enemy. But we must keep praying and watching as the father in Luke 15 did—waiting for his beloved child to return. Be still and know that He is God and is able to bring her safely home. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him. Prodigals. All of us were at one time. Some of us still are

Father it is amazing to me when I realize that Your love for my daughter is even greater than the love I have for her and that the depth of your feeling for her goes even deeper than my own. I am comforted to know that you care for them and that they are always before you. As I watch my daughter and her prodigal journey, I know that though she is now far from you that she is not out of your sight. Lord, help me to persevere in prayer for her—trusting in your ability to bring her safely home. Amen



“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!

3 Responses to Prodigal

  1. As a mom who just dropped my first born off to college 13 HOURS AWAY, I read your blog with such understanding and pain for you. I know this situation must be so hard on your family. I worry that my child will head the wrong way, without me standing IN their way. But God. God says He will finish what He has started. You know that. I know that. But – As parents, we really think we have control when in reality – we don’t. God is a better parent than we ever will be…as your child (and mine) is His idea we must trust that even in waywardness – that He will use it for His good at just the right time. One day your girl will return to who she really is – and you and our Heavenly Father will be right there. Remember that when ever one of us sinners repent – there will be a party in Heaven. Though you are in the wait mode (proud of you)! You can trust that He will use her experience to come along someone else in the future and help them through a simliar situation. She is part of HIS family – and though she may have let go of His hand – He has never let go of hers. Our God is a Good God – a Big God and one who does not allow any of His to be snatched away. Praying for you and her….and as a final word of encouragement – I was not unlike your girl in my younger age. Eventually, I tuned back in to God’s loving whisper – and she will too. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me.” John 14:1

    • Thank you so much for the kind thoughts prayers and words. It has been difficult no parent should have to go through that or watch their child suffer as we have. But God has watched over her protected her through many many things. I have no doubt that in his time we will bring her home to Him first, and restore with us and her all the things the enemy has tried to destroy. Thank you for coming along side and taking time to encourage us. Pray that all is well with you and with your family and this chapter of your child’s life will be one that will bring joy and celebrationcelebration. God is faithful to complete all that he has begun Philippians 1:6

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.