I hit the road with everything I owned packed inside my black Mitsubishi Eclipse. Even my angry cat, Smokey, was along for the ride glaring at me from the front seat.
The drive home dragged on for what seemed like a lifetime, as I dreaded returning home to face my Mom. The thought of leaving everything I knew -- my first apartment, my job, my school, my friends, and my comfortable life of sin -- paralyzed me. Fear filled my mind as I couldn't fathom how God could ever forgive my poor mistakes. I couldn't even imagine how I could cope without my destructive self-made support system in place. It was all I could do to muster up a tiny seed of hope that maybe my life, as I knew it, was not over.
I entered the house and proceeded to the back bedroom. After all, I had given up rights to the "good room" when I moved out. My younger sister gladly took my old room because it was larger and more comfortable. Clearly the better choice. Upon entering the abandoned back bedroom I was pleasantly surprised. A bright new comforter covered the bed and cheery new curtains hung at the window. A few decorations made the dismal room a close second to my old bedroom.
I was humbled as my mom sat next to me. She was all hugs and smiles, ecstatic that her baby girl was home. I was speechless, unsure why all this was happening. This wasn't what I expected. God used the simple act of my mom sprucing up the ugly bedroom to show me a glimpse of His love and heart toward me.
The next few years would be filled with new friends, a college degree, a wedding, and opportunities to mentor young teenagers. Looking back, I would have never guessed God would be so lavish in pouring out His love on me. I don't think I would have been able to believe it at the time, especially knowing it was nothing that I deserved or earned.
Isn't that how God is? He longs to lavish His love on you too. His response to your sins isn't at all what you would expect. He already took care of your sins through one act of love. All He wants you to do now is come home. Come receive all He has prepared for you as His special child.
Muster up a tiny seed of hope today that your life is not over. Look for God in it and soon you'll see it may really be just beginning.
(Photo courtesy www.morgefile.com & pedrojperez)