By: Andie McQuitty, MS, MCAP, EMDR, Transformations Christian therapist

There is a story in the Bible about a father and his two sons. In the story, the younger son has a conversation with his father and tells the father that he would like to receive his inheritance early so that he can leave the family home. Back in the day, that’s like saying “Dad, can we just pretend that you’re dead and I can have all of your money to do my own thing?” The father allows the son to have his inheritance and watches him as he walks away. Throughout the story, the son makes a series of choices that eventually lead him to a rock bottom. He finds himself in a place where he is homesick, hungry, and lost. The son decides that he is going to go home and ask his father if he can just be one of his servants, because he wanted to be back in his father’s house so badly.

The son starts to make his trip back home. The story tells us that the father sees the son coming from far away. He picks up his robe and starts to sprint down the street toward the son that he missed so much. In these times, this would have been very odd behavior for a man with such status. Imagine that the President of the United States takes his shoes and shirt off and starts sprinting down the street…talk about a viral YouTube video. The father gets to his son and wraps his arms around him. He welcomes his son home. The son is SHOCKED. He can’t believe his father’s response! I imagine that he was thinking “Wait, aren’t you so mad at me? Look at all that I have done!” The father takes it a step further. He gets his staff together and decides that he is going to throw a huge “coming home” party for his son. The party is thrown in his son’s honor.

“…I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” These are the words of Jesus as he gives hope to those who are lost. These are the words that he says to a group of hurting people. When our clients come into treatment, specifically our Christian Program, we have noticed a trend, a common theme. A spiritual connection, a connection with God, has been lost somewhere along the way. A core belief has often developed that when mistakes were made and the “rules were not followed,” God walked away and shook His head in disappointment. It is easy to believe the voice of shame when it starts to tell us who we are and what we have done. It is difficult to hold on to faith when life seems to be crumbling around us.

The person that wrote that story up there at the top was Jesus. He told the story to a group of people to help them get a picture of what God is like. He is not mad, He just wants to re-connect, and He just wants to welcome us home. Once we release the feelings of guilt and shame and surrender to the truth that we are loved by God, only then can we start to discover our purpose and find the relationship that we have been waiting for. We dive into the process of replacing shame with forgiveness and acceptance.

In our Christian Program at Transformations, it is our mission to help our clients re-connect with God in a meaningful way. Our hope is that clients would complete our program with a full understanding that God is not angry with them. He has not walked away. He is right there and He wants to give an abundant life.

To learn more about our Christian/Faith-based program, click HERE

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