Four years ago my daughter left a life with Christ to join the enemy. She was abducted by aliens and replaced with an evil Ashley. Those of you who are parents will understand the heartbreak of a child that’s gone astray. It seems hopeless and there’s nothing you can do. You have to let them make their own mistakes, to find their own way in this world no matter how destructive their behavior, no matter how hurtful their attitude. Most parents go through this in the teenage years. Luckily, my girls waited until their twenties and after they left home. I wasn’t able to be there to help them, but that was a good thing. No child can grow up if they know their parents are there to bail them out time and again. They had to work it out themselves. But for a parent who has to just stand back and watch their beloved child self destruct, it is a long and agonizing nightmare.
In July, one day before her 25th birthday, Ashley slid rapidly toward the bottom of the pit she had dug for herself. As she hit bottom I knew one of two things could happen; she’d actually get worse if that were possible or she’d realize how bad off she was and grab on to Jesus for the hard climb back. This deep hole would become the catalyst God needed to bring his lost sheep home.
As the weeks pasted Ashley grew stronger. She began just reevaluating her life, and then she read “The Shack”, which further opened her eyes to the life God wanted with her. Next she read “Captivating” and we used it as a tool for bible study. It seems as though my beautiful girl with the most beautiful heart is back. What I thought was hopeless Jesus never gave up on.
No matter how hopeless a circumstance, no matter how dead a situation, no matter how lost a loved one; Jesus restores all.
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:4-7 (NIV 2011)