This is the third post in the Return of the Prodigal series.  If you haven’t read the first two posts, you can catch up on the Return of the Prodigal Part One: When You’re Standing at the End of the Long Road Home at http://lisamurrayonline.com/2015/07/return-of-the-prodigal-part-one-when-youre-waiting-at-the-end-of-the-long-road-home/.  Last week’s post, What Happens When God Calls You By Name, part two can be read here at http://lisamurrayonline.com/2015/07/what-happens-when-god-calls-you-by-name-return-of-the-prodigal-part-2/  This week we look at the road ahead and how we build a life and relationship.  I hope you enjoy!

 

I have these dreams that have been tucked away in my heart for some time. When the darkness steals in at night and I drift off to sleep, I often imagine what lies ahead. How he will grow. How he will build his life. I can close my eyes and envision a young, handsome man, growing strong and sure.

 

I dream that he stays, and that we build a life together.

 

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I imagine a wedding out by the pond. There is a huge white tent covered with little white lights and there are the whitest white flowers you have ever seen. The coolness of the spring settles as the sun descends behind the willow trees. There is a beautiful girl all dressed in white and this man waiting for her, in love.

 

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I imagine a life of lazy Sunday afternoons where the family converges after church to eat, relax and take a moment out of the week to remember they are family.

 

There are babies and smiles that bring so much joy. These are the things I imagine in my mind.

 

But these are my dreams. My dreams may or may not be his dreams. And my dreams may or may not be God’s plan for his life.

 

One of the lessons this life has taught me is that we as parents and step-parents are caretakers of these beautiful creatures for a season. For a season. Just as sure as the sun will rise over the pond out back and beckon to a new day, our children will grow up and they will carve out their own lives.

 

They will struggle. They will fall. They will laugh. They will succeed. And we will be there to celebrate with them, mourn with them, and encourage them every step of the way.

 

Yet this life is his life. This journey is his journey. He alone must discover his own destiny. He must find his own voice. He must forge his own faith.

 

How freeing to rememeber that I am not his god, nor am I his holy spirit.

 

I have found peace in recognizing that it was not me who began the good work, it was He who began the good work, and He will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philipians 1:6, NASB).

 

The truth is, I don’t know what lies ahead.  As much as I’d like to at times, I cannot predict the future.  I cannot control others.  I cannot coerce outcomes.

 

This season leaves me with a  strange, welcoming calm.  I am finding my favorite place in his life.  I can gladly be his consultant, encourager and his cheerleader.  I can gladly offer a word of advice when it is requested.  I can even share a word of concern when I see a danger sign ahead.

 

And each day as I sit in the stillness of the morning while the cool breeze wafts gently and effortlessly through my soul, I will lift him to the Father in gratitude and say thanks for what has been — and for what lies ahead!