I am not one of those people.
Have you ever met someone who grew up in an amazing family and loved Jesus as a child, but "became wiser" and realize He was fake when they reached the age of all knowing 16... They have these stories of turmoil and fighting with God until they later realize not only are they stupid but God never left them to begin with. He never stopped caring or loving them. So, they too have these amazing stories about how God worked in them and through them to bring them back to Him...
I am not one of those people either.
I am the other type. I'm the girl who grew up knowing Jesus, knowing what He was all about.. and seeing it lived out daily in my family's life. Not once have I given up believing in Jesus. How could I? I saw it practically in my parents and the way they lived. The principles made sense.. How could I not believe when I've felt and experienced Him in my life? How could I see the Northern lights at 8 years old and not be in awe of my Jesus.
I had no choice but to believe growing up with a Dad who can sometimes aggravatingly make a case with evidence that makes sense and can't be denied. He could answer just about any question you could possibly think of from the Bible. Not once did I ever hear "Cause I told you to believe..." Nope, my parents were smarter than that, and KNEW that wouldn't fly with my older brother and I.. So, what did they do?... explained EVERYTHING to us!.. woohoo! haha :) Ok.. at 12 it wasn't so much "woohoo!" and much closer to "oh man someone got Dad going.. AGAIN!" But, I wasn't dumb enough to say that haha :)
I mean I've had natural "Where the heck did God go cause I can't see or feel Him anymore.." kinda feelings. I've gone through depressions where I didn't even bother to look at Him. I went through times where He lived in a cute little box that I ignored when I was busy. I went through times where I was so mad at Him that I didn't speak to Him. And, I went through times where I didn't understand how He could let me or someone else hurt so badly so I just felt abandoned by God... But, never once have I doubted He was there. And, I mean seriously doubted.. I've had the "How is it possible?.." or "what if I'm wrong?" But, inevitably the answer comes shortly there after.
I am not this son. I am not the one who has turned away, stolen, squandered what was given to me.. I am not the one who gets a party thrown for because I've realized my stupidity and returned humbled. Nope, I'm the other son...
At least to a certain degree.. I can't remember ever being angry at the other people or being upset because a celebration is thrown for their returning.. I've always just seen it as my testimony is boring and it's hard to reach people because of it.. But, the reality is that isn't the case AT ALL.. especially as I begin to realize what is included in my testimony and how many things I've done and the various things that have happen to me regardless.
I've begun to understand the idea that just because I am a Christian doesn't mean life is easier or better.. in a lot of cases it's harder and has more temporary pain. I can list a whole slew of things that have caused me to become damaged. But, at the same time I can point to Christ as the reason I've come out of it the way I have, and He is the reason I can now use it to help others or relate to them in different areas.
You see.. it's not that my story is boring at all.. it's just different. I've experienced some incredibly painful things that I would never choose to go through again. I've allowed things to affect me in ways that I should never have allowed.. and I've let people hurt me.. which ultimately has made me stronger, with a few more character scars. But, now I am seeing the beauty that is included with the fact that I have had such a long relationship with Jesus. I can rely on Him easier and quicker than I would have otherwise because of the things we have been through together.
So, while I'm not the prodigal son... I am the one who has been there and gotten benefits and rewards all along the way. I think I'd choose consistency over anything else, cause that means God's been there with me the same in return... and I've LET Him be there for me.