I was walking down the path with my head down, kicking the dirt with my feet as I went. My mind was spinning.
“How could I mess up like this? Again? What will He say?” I thought to myself.
I had really messed up and felt as though the pressure around me was so intense I couldn’t even hold my head up. The weight of the world was on my shoulders and I could barely stand it any longer. I kicked at the dirt again as I slowly made my way towards the cottage. I can remember when I first laid eyes on it with the beautiful flowering bushes around the windows and the serene stream flowing through the backyard. I spent so much time with Him at the cottage in the beginning sitting on the back porch enjoying the conversation. He was my best friend, my mentor, and my Father but I had abandoned Him. Now what will He say after all I’ve done?
My mind started racing again with all the mistakes I had made. Triggers of memories popping up in my head like unpleasant fireworks. Any hope I had thinking of the time we spent together slowly dwindled. There is no way He will take me back at this point. The last flame of hope sparked and I looked up at the cottage in the distance. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief… am I seeing this right?
I could see a figure in the distance, running at full speed toward me, arms open wide. I stopped in my tracks with tears streaming down my cheeks. Am I being fooled? I can see Him approaching fast and the gleam of His bright smile caught my eye. I drop to my knees in awe as He is nearing where I have stopped.
He yells out my name, “BELOVED! YOU HAVE RETURNED!”
I have no other choice but to respond and I jump up and start running to His arms. We collide in an embrace and I can hear His heavy breathing and deep laugh. He grabs my face and I just stare into the eyes of compassion that I feel like I could swim in.
“You have returned” He repeats with such joy! I start to present the speech I had so carefully crafted and rehearsed on the way home. He put His finger on my lips to stop me and said what I have longed to hear for so long, “I have a place for you inside.”
He wraps His arm around my shoulders and leads me the rest of the way down the path to the cottage. I could smell the soil He had just dug into to plant the new flowers in the garden. I could also see two new handcrafted chairs on the porch.
“I have been getting ready for your return” He told me as He could see me looking around in awe. I sat down in the chair outside as He went inside the cottage. He returned with two glasses of ice cold, fresh lemonade. I didn’t realize how parched I was from the journey so I happily accepted the gift. I felt refreshed, full of hope, and completely loved. We sat on the porch for hours that night talking about my journey home. He listened to me as I told Him of my suffering and I listened as He told me about His. It all felt so right as the sun started to set in the distance and I was sitting with Him again. Complete. Fulfilled. Known.