Runaway Daughter | By Heaven Harris

In this season of uncertainty and this time where life has come to a standstill, God has given me the opportunity to reflect on His goodness in my life. Looking back, I can recall my greatest and most intimate moments with Jesus. They are plentiful and glorious, restorative and beautiful.

While reminiscing, there is something He continues to remind me of. For several years now, when stepping into the presence of God for prayer, no matter where I am, He always ushers me to take my shoes off. It is a silly notion when you really think about it, but I would obey all the same.

Over time, His message unraveled and became graciously clear; He was beckoning me to stay, to dwell in His our house.

“You are home,” He whispers.

“Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.” Psalms 23:6 (CSB)

I think we could all agree that there really is no place like home and even more so, no place that compares to the safe haven of the Father’s house where He longs for us to be.

Lamentably, it has been a while since I have taken my shoes off and rested with my Savior. On the contrary, through a series of bitterness and brokenness, I seemingly packed my luggage of hurt, anger, and unprocessed emotions, put on my running shoes and checked out of my Father’s house like some cheap hotel (and I AM not just referring to leaving a church building). Honestly, I was still going to church. I mentally and spiritually checked out and tried to run as far away from the will of God.

Don’t own a pair of those kind of running shoes? Lucky you! I consider you blessed, and I almost envy you. However, the truth remains that no matter your reasons or mine, or how fast or far we think our running shoes will take us, we cannot escape the relentless pursuit of God for our hearts.

“So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38 (TPT)

I want to share a poem that was written for me in one of the darkest times of my life, by a girl whom I had never met. She had only seen my face on a phone screen once and felt the Holy Spirit speak to her to write this for me coming from Psalms 139.

“I’ve been wandering around,
Trying to find someone
That will love me, want me,
Accept me for who I am

I don’t think I’ll ever fit the mold
It seems like what I have to offer
Will never be enough
Oh God, I need to know the truth

“Beloved, I’ve been pursuing you
Trying to show you,
How I love you, want you,
And accept you for who you are

You’re never out of my sight
My beloved, I know you so well
I formed you inside and out
Body and soul, you’re wonderfully made

I call you lovely, my delight
Never forsaken, my chosen one,
Let me guide you, on the road to eternal life.

Whatever your reasons for running - or maybe you haven’t taken off yet but you feel like you are barely hanging on - let these scriptures, coupled with this sweet poem authored by the God of the universe serve as a much of a reminder to you as it has for me.

I pray that it speaks to your heart wherever you are in this moment and that you are reminded the God of the ages will NEVER leave or abandon you (Hebrews 13:5). Retrace the story of the prodigal son and the father’s reaction to the return of his son. In a mirrored reaction, Jesus is overflowing with compassion for you and is ready to greet you with wide open arms.

He is whispering to you, “Welcome home.” So take your shoes off. Stay a while (forever actually) in your Father’s house and let His love take you on the sweetest ride of your life.

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