Spiritual Practice


Maria Hafer & Kristin O’Connor

Three years ago, I decided to take my own life. I had pushed God to the back of my mind, and I felt a void in my heart. I didn’t see any good in my life. I tried to fill the void with self-injury, alcohol, and suicide attempts. Afterward, I wondered, How will I ever be forgiven? God doesn’t want someone like me for a child.

Read the story of the prodigal in Luke 15:11-24.

Then I read the story of the prodigal son, who wandered off, far away from his father, and did everything he was told not to do. The prodigal is, I believe, a good representation of me. But here’s the best part: After the boy veered far from the path, his father still took him back, not only with acceptance but with amazing love. Our heavenly father will always take us back, no matter how terrible our choices have been, even if we have turned our back on God.

—Maria Hafer, 16


THINK ABOUT THIS: Many of us have a theory that with God, we will never feel pain and certainly will never feel so alone that we want to end our life. That idea is completely false. Having a relationship with God does not mean that we will not hurt; but when we are in pain, God will walk with us all the way, guiding us along each tricky path.

—Kristin O’Connor, 18

—from devozine (July/August 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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