If you are returning home after a season of wandering, like the prodigal son, your only hope of restoration will be found in the love of the Father. The environment you left has not changed, the spirit of the jealous older brother is still present, and those who saw you leave and shook their heads in disbelief at your decision will continue to judge you through the lens of your broken history.
When the robe, ring, and sandals are given to you and you become the guest of honor at the feast honoring your return, don’t take your eyes off of the Father. His loving and welcoming presence will be your only place of security in this time of transition.
Those who opposed your restoration may someday find themselves in need of the same love, acceptance, and forgiveness you are now experiencing. On the day of their return, you will run with the Father to welcome them home. You will be free to extend that kind of welcome because you experienced the embrace of the Father’s love in the place of your greatest brokenness. Because of that embrace, you are forever changed.