Today, Anna is returning to share of some of the revelations the Lord has been gifting her in the quiet of her rest, which she prays will encourage those praying for Prodigals.
The Beloved Prodigal Team is taking two weeks off after this post to rest and be refreshed in the Lord. May God bless you and your families this Easter with fresh revelations of His incredible love for you and your Prodigals.
Colossians 1: 18 – 20 (MSG)
18-20 He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
I thought I understood what grace is. As a returned Prodigal I have experienced the power of confession and repentance on a deep level. However, recently, God revealed that grace is so much more powerful than I ever realized.
Strangely, this discovery all started as a wave of grief overwhelmed me. As I cried out to God to reveal Himself to me in that pain. What He revealed was an empty place in my heart. A place I needed to acknowledge and forgive. A place I had always denied existed. A place I had graced away.
I was the oldest girl who saw her mother barely surviving. A mother with six children, supporting a husband in full-time Christian ministry, working part-time herself, running the whole household, struggling to bond to and love her newly adopted son who was repeatedly testing the boundaries. A mother still recovering from almost six years of incredibly fruitful but also incredibly exhausting missionary work on the other side of the world.
So, I learnt to shut off my heart. To be the “I am fine” Anna. Trying so hard, where I could, to shield my Mum from more. More burden. More heartache. More weight.
But God. As I felt Him press into me, I spoke the words my Mum so yearned for me to speak as she lay dying. As she told me oh how she wished she had done things differently. Slowed. Received. Received so much more. As she told me: “Anna, be different. Learn from my mistakes.”
And so tears streaming I finally prayed: “Mum, I forgive you. I forgive you that you were not the Mum I so needed you to be. Mum, I’m sorry I didn’t free you from the shame as you confessed. I’m so sorry.”
And as I spoke those words a force of Love overpowered me. I could grieve freely. I could weep. I could let my husband hold me as I shook with grief. And I could give words to the pain that went so very deep.
I am not just grieving the loss of an incredible Mum, whose love I know without a shadow of a doubt ran so deep for me, each one of her children and in her final years oh so very much for my own children.
I am also grieving all those moments stolen from the two of us in my preteen and teen years. Moments when I needed a Mama the most. When the enemy kept my Mum and I both enslaved to striving and pleasing and doing. When the enemy made me believe I was one burden too many for my very own Mum.
I am also grieving all those years my Mum’s heart broke as she prayed so hard for my confidence to return, not knowing how I longed to give words to all that was shut tight in my heart. The trauma that held me captive, the fear, the shame, the oh so deep longing for a love I didn’t think could ever be mine. All those years a blindness kept me from her and my Savior’s arms.
I am grieving for us both. But as I finally, finally begin to do so, the birth pangs for heaven are only enlarging my joy. He loves us this much! So much so that He longs to restore and redeem every piece of our wounded hearts. So much so, He wept, nailed to His Cross, crying: “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”
Grace is much too expensive a gift for me to sweep my loss and hurt under a rug. Grace is much too expensive a gift for me to leave my loved ones and myself shackled to shame. Grace is much too expensive a gift for me to pridefully deny I do not need a Savior to renew and heal my wounded heart.
Will you join me today, as I open my palms to this incredible gift?
Father God, forgive me for all the moments I have excused the impact of others’ sin on my life. Forgive me for believing that giving grace is excusing sin. Help me to see myself and others in the Light of Your love. A complete and whole love.
Help me not to stifle the yearnings of my heart, but to lift them up to You. To allow You to bring wholeness and healing to the empty places in my heart. To the places I have needed love and have never received it.
Father, forgive me for living in my own strength all these years. For withholding pieces of my own heart from you and those I love. For believing the enemy’s lie that I am too big of a burden for those You have placed in my life to love and care for me.
Thank You for all the ways You have been moving to restore and redeem my past and the past of my loved ones. I praise You for fearfully and wonderfully weaving me in my mother’s womb. Help me to honor the legacy of faith and the body, mind and heart You have given me by loving You and others wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
As a special gift this Easter, Anna has recorded a poem of hers, Abba’s Own, she prays will fill your heart with Hope for your Prodigals:
And may these worship songs bless you too:
Joel 2:23-27 Amplified Bible (AMP)
So rejoice, O children of Zion,
And delight in the Lord, your God;
For He has given you the early [autumn] rain in vindication
And He has poured down the rain for you,
The early [autumn] rain and the late [spring] rain, as before.
And the threshing floors shall be full of grain,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
“And I will compensate you for the years
That the swarming locust has eaten,
The creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust—
My great army which I sent among you.
“You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied
And praise the name of the Lord your God
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
“And you shall know [without any doubt] that I am in the midst of Israel [to protect and bless you],
And that I am the Lord your God,
And there is no other;
My people will never be put to shame.