The Prodigal Child

I got a tattoo today.

Three phases of the moon run down my arm now. 

Because there was a moment at 1:30 in the morning when I was standing in my driveway looking at the sky, not wanting to go inside, and the moon made everything white. It sat in the middle of the sky lighting my world up in the deep blue dark; it was big, and I was small; it was bright no matter what, and I was really good at running from the light when my world swallowed me in blackness. And that was beautiful. Because the moon doesn't know how to not reflect the sun, even in all of its imperfect, dimmed light. 

So I got three phases of the moon tattooed on my arm. I don't want to be the girl who doesn't know how to reflect my King in the darkest hours of my life, even if all of my attempts to shine are flawed and dimmed. 

“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds" - Hosea 6:1.

I stopped thinking God was trying to teach me patience the second I drove in to that quiet beach town, the one he'd been in last spring when he told me how he felt about me for the first time. The fact that I had to pass his dorm to get to church every Sunday only to meet people that went to school with him was funny. The fact that "The One That Got Away" by Jake Owen came on the radio when I turned down the street he lives on was ironic. But this? I wasn't even in our city and I couldn't escape the memories that walked with me on the sidewalk. 

When are our trials God and the struggle a lesson, and when are our pains Satan and the hill we are climbing a paralyzing road block? Because sometimes I feel paralyzed by the lessons. 

I stopped thinking God was trying to teach me about patience and bless me with peace and told myself I was going to bypass a season of waiting and learning by keeping myself busy. Which wore me out; which made me mean; which left gaps in relationship ties; which made me feel like something was wrong with me. 

So I picked up my church pews and stained glass and kept running from person to person, calling them "Sanctuary," terrified to be left alone with my own thoughts. 

But God was not satisfied. 

I am a control freak. There. I said it.

And sisters, I think the sooner we admit that we are control freaks, the sooner our eyes will be opened to all of the ways we have failed at trying to control our own lives. 

I'll be the first to admit that I took a step back when I stopped understanding God, like somehow the distance would help me see the bigger picture that I thought He was keeping from me. The wonder of not knowing lost its beauty when I just wanted something definite. Because didn't God know what I wanted? But how silly of my heart to try and breathe through life apart from Him when the fact that I CAN'T fathom who He is or how He works and all that He is doing should've sent me running to the God who's bigger than my understanding.

And I hope that today, you don't shrink in the shadow of what you are facing anymore than you try to face it alone, without our Father. 

God will never be satisfied with our being unsatisfied in Him. And what happens after we tell Him "no" is going to hurt us half as bad as our emptiness has hurt Him. 

- Jenna // @jenbed