Spiritual Practice

The Prodigal Daughter

Natalie Guarascio

I hit the road with everything I owned packed inside my car. Even my angry cat Smokey was along for the ride, glaring at me from the front seat. The drive home dragged on for what seemed like a lifetime, as I dreaded returning home to face my mom. The thought of leaving my first apartment, my job, my school, my friends, and my comfortable though sinful life paralyzed me. Fears filled my mind; I couldn’t fathom how God could forgive my mistakes. I couldn’t imagine how I would cope without the destructive support system I had in place. All I could do was to muster up a tiny seed of hope that maybe my life as I knew it was not over.

Interior of boy's room. 3d render. Photo behind the window was made by me.

As I entered the house, I proceeded to the back bedroom. I had, after all, given up rights to the good room when I moved out. My younger sister gladly took over my old room because it was larger, more comfortable, and clearly the better choice. Yet, when I entered the abandoned back bedroom, I was pleasantly surprised. A bright new comforter covered the bed, and cheery new curtains hung at the window. A few decorations tied the room together, making the old dismal room a close second to my old beloved bedroom. I stood there humbled as my mom entered the room and sat down beside me. She was all hugs and smiles, ecstatic that her baby girl was home. I remained speechless, unsure why all this was happening. I didn’t realize that God was using my mom’s act of sprucing up the ugly bedroom to show me a glimpse of God’s love for me.

Little did I know that the next few years would be filled with new friends, a college degree, a wedding, and even opportunities to mentor young teenagers. I could not have guessed that God would be so lavish in loving me, especially knowing that God’s love was not what I had earned or deserved.

God longs to lavish love on us. God’s response to sin isn’t at all what we expect. God took care of our sins through one act of love in Jesus Christ. All the Lord wants now is for us to come home, to come and receive all that has been prepared for us. Will you muster up a tiny seed of hope today that your life is not over? It may be just beginning.


devozine Praying Teen Guy TS 117402350DIG DEEPER

Read the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32.

SAY A PRAYER: Dear God, I come to you today with all that I have; and it’s not much. I have made many bad decisions that I’m not proud of. I have been through so much, but please take my tiny seeds of hope and change my life. Thank you for waiting for me with arms open wide. Fill me with hope today as I decide to come home, where I belong. Please meet me right where I am. Amen.

Natalie Guarascio ives in Morgan Hill, California, with her husband, their daughter Lexy, and new baby boy Daniel. Natalie works in accounting and loves to help people grow in their walk with God.

—from devozine (September/October 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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