There’s a picture on my instagram account that I look at every year on this exact day. I know, I know, I’m a sucker for the dramatic but stay with me for a second. It’s a picture of a 3-year-old Zoey, my daughter, standing by my in-laws pool. The caption, which I wrote after a weekend of leading worship to over 3,000 students, reads:
“No crowd, no stage, no moment will ever make me feel the way she makes me feel…”
A day later my ministry and little kingdom I was building would literally come crashing in as the sins I was collecting would finally be too weighty for me to carry any longer.
Now before I give off a vibe of “I used to be somebody” or “those were the good old days,” I want to let you know I only look back to this “height” of my life in ministry to see and celebrate the process of healing that has occurred over these past four years. When it looked like I had the world by the tail, I was actually so lost and so utterly confused as to how my life had gotten so off track. It’s funny though because God is definitely not a man that He should lie… the train wreck of my personal life was the very thing that He was about to take and make beauty from ashes.
No, I’m still not perfect nor has my journey been such. I actually sit here now shaking my head with a smile on my face just thinking of what a complete failure I have been in moments over these past four years, while at the same time seeing the amazing progress that God has made in my life.
I’m so thankful that in the past, lets say six months, God has placed hard situations before me that have actually steered me towards my calling and passions once again. I’m thankful that in moments when I could have chosen fear and frustration (don’t get me wrong, those feelings are apart of process), I chose faith in the end reminding myself that God has taken me so far thus far and He isn’t about to give up on me now. I have people in my life now who believe in me and in my calling. People who have spoken “qualified” over me and haven’t seen me in light of my short comings but with eyes of faith that see further into my future where God is calling the Riach’s towards something amazing.
I often think of the rich young ruler we read about in Luke 18.
The story lends that this young man had all one could ever want as well as a moral compass that wasn’t too far off north. Unfortunately when Jesus questions the importance of his material possessions over the desire to follow Him, our rich young man shies away from the conversation and is never heard from again.
All this to say, maybe you feel like everything is on point in your life at the moment, and if so, I’m so happy for you! You deserve happiness and fullness and all of His blessings! However, maybe you’re on the other side of the coin right now. Maybe you find yourself lost or hurting or abandoned…
Know this, no matter how rich or poor, how popular or unknown, how sure or unsure of your life’s path at the moment, NOTHING can stand up against a surrendered life in Christ. It’s in that place where you find everything that fills those emotional, physical and spiritual gaps that you experience without Him.
When I talk about Returning Home, I’m mostly referring to a life of coming back to my Father. Like the Rich Young Ruler, like the Prodigal, like Zacchaeus… they all had great things going for them but they had one significant gap in their hearts. They chose a life where other things mattered more than the Father.
Know that you’re not too far-gone.
Know that you’re exactly where you should be right now to run Home.
You don’t have to fight or strain or make to-do list of the things you need to get in order before coming Home. He’s waiting and willing to accept you, even now. Flaws and all.
What seems to be the shambles of a broken life or a bad decision might take, in my case, four years to feel like you’ve finally found the peace and acceptance that comes in the safety of your Father’s Home, but I promise, nothing compares.
I’m glad I’m Home.
Come join me, there’s lots of room.