I’m walking walk with my head down.  Tears brim my eyes ready to fall.  While I’m still a long way off, my Father runs toward me filled with compassion.  He throws his arms around me and kisses me.  The love radiates from his heart.

Dejected, I say, ” Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your daughter.”

But he turns to his servants and says, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on her.  Put a ring on her finger and sandals on her feet.  Bring the cheesy bread with garlic sauce and the mint chocolate cookie ice cream.  Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  For this daughter of mine was dead and is alive again; she was lost and is found.”

Only I quietly say, “No….” I give back the robe.  I take off the ring. I turn from my feast. I cry and sit in my shame.  I hide. I refuse the blessing.  I ignore the forgiveness. I punish myself.

For far too long…I sit there condemning myself when my Father has reminded me: “I love you with an everlasting love. My delight is in you. I will never leave you or forsake you. Your sin is as far as the east is from the west. My blood covers you. I died for you. I love you fiercely. I have a plan.  You are forgiven.

So I cling to that. Hold fast to that. Hold fast to His truth.

I rise from the heap of tears on the floor and I celebrate.

Celebrate because I am in awe that He would forgive so much and that He’s already paid the price for it all.  Realizing that He’s after my heart and I’m His.  He is for me. That I am worth that much to Him.  That He values me.  Nothing else matters but to delight in Him and love Him and follow Him.

No matter the cost. No matter the consequences. No matter what I have to let go.

I count it all as rubbish in comparison to Him.