I entered the new year quite differently than I have in more than 16 years. I wasn’t at church. I wasn’t praying. I wasn’t looking toward the new year with the mixed concoction of hope and dread in my heart.
I was listening to live music at the biggest party on the beach. I was living in the moment and celebrating that the longing of my heart has turned into my reality.
We officially moved to Panama City Beach on Sunday, December 28th. No longer am I a tourist or a part-time resident. I’m a local. I live here.
What I’ve not-so-secretly wanted all of my life has become my reality. And it’s totally a gift from God. You see, I had forgotten that God is interested in me. I had lost perspective and began seeing myself only as his servant or minister instead of remembering that I’m his daughter. For a long time, I believed that God was only interested in what I would do for him.
But moving here has reminded me that God knows me. He knows the not-so-secret desires of my heart. And he knows the ones that I’ve never told anyone. He knows me and he’s interested in me. In fact, he’s quite fascinated with me. So much so that He has given me the beach as my own backyard.
I’ve always related to the oldest son in the prodigal story. And like the father in the story, God is giving me the opportunity to join the party and revel in our relationship. We never find out if the son finally goes into the party or not. But I’m going in. It may be a bit hesitantly but I’m going in.