Come home, I hear Him whisper. Just come. As you are.
I consider it. Weigh the choice in my mind — because it is a choice. I think of all the things I will be leaving behind. Suddenly I'm unsure. Is He really enough for me?
I am more than enough for you, darling girl. Only I can satisfy your soul. Let me show you.
The offer is tempting. But I've dragged myself through so much. I am not a daughter to be proud of. Not one to be cherished. I wear a veil of shame and carry with me all my tangled mistakes, because I'm too afraid to let them go.
Give them to Me, sweet one. I can handle your burdens.
I cling to them more fiercely. Because if I am not my past; if I am not my decisions and regret and guilt;
Who am I?
The question shudders through my matchstick bones.
You are My daughter, precious girl. Come home.
I am lost. The thoughts slide around my mind with a throbbing tenacity. And oh — I am so, so tired of it all.
I don't know if I believe Him. If I believe that He really can fulfil me. But I've tried all the other things, and they drained me of life. So I've nothing to lose now, have I?
And so I come to Him.
With salt-stained cheeks and hopeless eyes. With dirt beneath my fingernails and cuts scarring my skin. With guilt and timidity and doubt.
I am afraid at first, stiff in his embrace. But He holds me so tightly that all my pain starts to be forgotten, and I wrap my arms around his neck and stop shivering in the twilight air.
His eyes gaze into mine, so deeply and with such knowledge that I can't help but blink and look away. But He lifts my chin gently, and grins. One of those big, silly grins.
And He starts to laugh; a chuckle at first, but it grows into deep, belly-clenching laughter. His eyes are still fixed on mine, blue-grey and soggy with disbelief, and together we spin. Slowly at first, but then faster and faster, until the last of the sun dips down and we trip and collapse into a jumble of giggles.
And I lie there, my head on His chest, listening to His heartbeat.
I watch as the stars begin to appear in His sky. I begin to talk, softly and shyly at first, but He listens so well — and there is so much I want to tell Him — that the words start to spill out in rhymes and bursts and smiles and tears, with bits of Spanish and made-up words and things that only make sense to Him.
We lie there in the field, and He keeps listening as the moon rises and the crickets make a ruckus. I point out the stars, my favourite patterns, not quite comprehending how He placed them there. And I assume He’s looking up at them with me, drinking in their beauty.
But He’s not.
He’s looking at something far more precious and intricate and divine.
He’s looking at me, with that mop of bushy brown hair that covers a head filled with the most wonderful dreams.
And He’s smiling.
His little girl is back where she belongs.
And this time, she's going to stay.
Thank you, Papa.
To read the first part of my journey, click on: 1. Stripped Bare
Photo credits -
Photography: Mario Ruiz
Wedding dress: Japon Vintage Trouwjurken
Location: Pacaya Volcano National Park, Guatemala