I originally posted this on August 13, but am reposting to participate in Lauren’s at Created For His Glory tour of testimonies. To read more testimonies, go visit Lauren here.
I grew up in church, so I can’t remember the first time I heard the story of the Prodigal Son. It was just another Bible story like Noah and the ark, Joseph and the coat of many colors, or Moses and the parting of the Red Sea. I never gave it much thought.
As a teenager, I slowly turned away from the Christian foundation I had been given as a child. I had always been just on the fringe of being really popular because I didn’t drink and go to all the parties, and by my junior year I was sick of it. I jumped in with both feet and pretty quickly found myself dating one of the most popular boys in school, going to all the good parties (you know the ones that involved parents being out of town and kegs of beer), and rebelling from all I knew to be right.
My downward spiral continued throughout high school and well into college. I knew what was right, but I was so stubborn. As I became more and more unhappy with the choices I was making, I started looking for answers. Finally, one night during my senior year in college, I picked up No Wonder They Call Him the Savior by Max Lucado.
His account of the prodigal son rocked me to my core. I had never before understood how much God loved me, how much He wanted me and how His grace completely covered every mistake I had made.
The next week I started attending a Bible study called Breakaway led by a student named Gregg Matte (who is now the head pastor of First Baptist Church in Houston). I walked into the room feeling a little intimidated. A guy named Chris Tomlin (maybe y’all have heard of him) started leading worship and sang a song called Grace Flows Down. Y’all I cried like a baby, not just a few tears but a full on ugly cry.