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Prodigal Daughter: A Christian Wife's Story of Falling into Darkness and to Coming Back to Grace is a story about the way Jesus has pursued me with his redemption throughout my life.
Brought up in a loving, Christian home, I was sheltered from many of the things of this world when I was a small child. Having been sent to private Christian school, I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart in a chapel service when I was seven years old. My family was tightly knit, and my best friend was my little cousin, Mack.
Mack and I lived next door to each other and became more like siblings as his mother waded through the waters of divorce. We could most often be found at our grandparents’ house. There was no lack of love in our small world, and we were happy children.
The day Mack died, my heart changed. I felt abandoned by a God I had put my full childlike faith in. I begged Jesus to let me die so that I could be reunited with Mack. When my prayer was not answered, I pulled away from God. I resented my Christian education. I rebelled and distanced myself from my parents.
My moods began to reflect more than deep grief, and it became apparent that I had a mental illness of some kind. Mack’s death had been the trigger for my symptoms. I experienced euphoric highs and suicidal lows, and I endured misdiagnoses and failed treatment for years. In an act of impulse and rebellion, I married when I was only 18 years old. My husband soon found that my mood disorder and my continued grief over Mack dictated my everyday life. It is safe to say he got more than he bargained for.
As the years went by, God orchestrated the right events and proper people to come into my life to initiate healing. He worked in my marriage, and I was able to watch my husband and oldest son be baptized together. As a family, we began more structured church attendance, and I fell back into the open arms of the God of my youth.
When disappointments of every variety struck again, I rebelled again. I felt my life was purposeless, and I attached myself to a man I was not married to in order to gain some validation. I can only say that Jesus loved me so much he would not let me continue to live an adulterous lifestyle. He put a stop to it, like a father stopping his teenage daughter from sneaking out at night. He punished me severely for my sin, and I descended into a state of shattered mental capacity. My mood disorder was at its worst, my relationships were ruined, and I was forced to leave the workforce.
God does not enjoy punishing us, though. He did it only to bring me back again. I was his lost sheep, and he chased me.