I just read this again and want to share it with you. It is from a devotion al book I have read and reread hundreds of times. This is an excerpt from Tia Stanley, as follows:
“This is a true story about a girl who grew so tired of living with her strict parents thahouse, ran away from home. But soon she found out that life was not so easy on her own. She couldn’t find a job and it didn’t take long for her friends to get weary of her living off their kindness, so they kicked her out. In desperation the 19-year-old was driven to prostitution.
“Years passed. Her father died, her mother grew older, and the daughter’s life just became more hopeless. Still she would not write or go home to her mother. One day the mother heard that her daughter had been seen in a certain part of town, so she went looking for her. The mother went to every cheap hotel and store, asking to put a picture on their walls. It was a picture of herself, now a gray-haired woman. Beside her picture was a message which simply said: ‘I still love you! Please come home!’
“Months went by and nothing happened. Then one day the daughter, who was now very worn and sick, wandered into one of those hotels. You can imagine e how shocked she was to see her mother’s picture on the wall of that dirty, cheap, hotel lobby. As she read her mother’s message, she began to cry.
” That night she started walking the many miles back to her home. It was early in the morning when she finally arrived at the front door of her parents’ house. She began to knock but found the door was already open. Afraid that someone had broken into her parents’ house, she ran inside and found her mother sleeping. She woke her and told her she had finally come home. Mother and daughter began to cry as they held each other. The daughter said, ‘I thought someone had broken open the door!’ But the mother shook her head and answered, ‘My dear, from the day you left I’ve kept the door unlocked.’
“It doesn’t matter to Jesus what things we’ve done or how badly we’ve lived. The moment we decide to turn to Him and ask His forgiveness, He will accept us and give us another chance. He is the only One who makes it possible for us to start a new life, living His way, because that’s the only way we can ever have real love, peace, and satisfaction that lasts. With Jesus, the door is always unlocked.”
I love that. Forgiveness is what God does beautifully and He is the only One big enough to choose to not only forgive but forget it also. This is amazing. And He is patient while we voyage through managing to forgive ourselves as well and not keep bringing it up or reliving it. God’s love is unconditional. He is waiting for you to humbly pray to Him and you are instantly forgiven and home. Ahhh. Rest and peace and joy for our souls!!!