Finding My True Path: “My Prodigal Experience”

MyProdigalExperience

My Prodigal Experience…

My Grandmother has basically raised me since birth but officially it’s been since I was around 6 months old.  My mother had me when she was 17 at a time when motherhood wasn’t something she was ready to handle.  This is where my Grandmother stepped in and became what I needed.  She raised me according to the Word of God the same way she had done with my mother.  Still the closer I got to the age my mother was when she had me the tighter my Grandmother tried to make the reigns on my life.  This increasing restriction began to make me feel suffocated.  I needed air.  I needed room.  I needed to go any where but where her rules were.

I tried hanging out with my friends and relatives simply to break free from what I felt to be her strong grip on my entire life.  Yet with every step I took to get away she seemed to take 5 steps closer to me.  She hovered, shadowed and surrounded me at every turn.  My Grandmother believed if she could keep me in her sight, in her presence and within her grasps she could keep me from making the mistakes she feared me repeating from my mother’s life.

When a person wants to do something they will usually find a way.  I was no exception. I wanted more.  I wanted to know what other teenagers were doing and experiencing.  I did what most teenagers do when faced with boundaries.  I found a way around them.  I began sneaking around.  Going to ‘work’ when I was actually no where near work.  I maintained my grades and all necessary appearances but within my heart I was already betraying my core values.  Straying from the guidelines, the rules and the restrictions and headed into the world I saw as offering me freedom to explore what I felt had to be better than where I was.

I want to be like them…

I was tired of being the ‘church girl’.  The one everyone felt awkward around when they wanted to do things.  That girl no one invited to the parties or the clubs because they felt they had to restrain themselves – stop cursing, drinking, etc.  I wanted to ‘fit in’ to do what everyone else was doing and just be what I saw as a normal teenager.  So I did.  Or at least I tried to.  How many know that when God has placed a call on your life trying to be something or someone else is like running against the wind?

In my attempts to ‘fit in’ the very people I wanted to blend with would call me out for being different.

“Why are you here?”  

“Shouldn’t you be at church?”  

“Girl, this is not the place for you…”  

“You don’t need to be here.”

“Go home.”

Why were they saying these things?  I wanted to have fun, be reckless and explore life the same as them so why were they singling me out?  I started to feel like I couldn’t win for trying.  No matter how hard I wanted to shake my ‘church girl’ stigma (yes that’s what I felt it was to me at the time) I couldn’t get rid of it.  It was like a mark on me.  Everyone could see it no matter how hard I tried to hide it and myself within the crowd.

It was around now that I started noticing my life changing.  The favor I once carried in my life began to fade.  My grades began slipping.  That false image I was trying so hard to maintain while trying to be someone I wasn’t began to slowly crack and shatter.  I couldn’t be a part of both worlds.  After a while I wasn’t even sure I wanted to anymore.  I began to dislike myself for who I was trying to become.  It wasn’t my true self.  It was only a model of who I thought was what I wanted.  Who I was had always been within me.  My Grandmother didn’t force it upon me, she merely tried to nurture what she already saw the beginnings of.  What had I fought her and God so hard?  Was it already too late to go back…?

I will set out and go back to my father and say to him:

Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 

                                                                      ~Luke 15:18 

I’m going to be a teenage mother….?

The time it took me to realize that I was seeking after something I already had I was already in the midst of the results of my actions.  I found myself 17, pregnant and a Senior in High School.  I was going to be a teenage mother.  Was this the fate my Grandmother was trying to keep me from the entire time?  I was the same as my mother was when she was pregnant with me.  How could I tell my Grandmother?  How could I go to her and place her in the same position she was 17 years earlier?  What would she say?  Would she abandon me?  What would I do if she did?

I didn’t know what to do.   So when she became suspicious of my obvious symptoms, I denied.  I went into such a state of denial that I almost convinced myself.  I kept saying maybe I’m just late.  The nausea could simply be the flu, right?  Yeah that’s what it is.  So that was what I told my Grandmother when she asked why I looked so pale.  When the nausea overtook me throughout the day, I told her I was trying to shake a stomach virus.  She didn’t question me.  Then came the day she found me standing in front of the fridge eating Grey Poupon straight out of the jar…at 7 o’clock in the morning.  Firstly, I’m not sure why my Hot Sauce loving grandmother even had that jar of Grey Poupon but looking back it sure did taste awesome to me that morning.  When my Grandmother saw me she still didn’t say anything.

Later that day she came into my room and hand me a small CVS bag.  She told me to take the test and come to her room when I was done.  That was it.  That simple.  She knew.  I knew.  It was out there.  No yelling, accusations, judgment anything.  I took the test and of course it was positive.  When I went to her room I was already in tears.  I was preparing for the worse.  Rejection.  Judgment.  Dismissal.  Something.  Instead she held me.  She prayed.  She en-couraged me! Then she prayed and held me some more.

Afterwards she told me that WE would be able to handle this.  I was going to finish out High School, start and finish College and she would be there for me and my baby the entire time.  I couldn’t believe it.  I left this woman in every way I could other than moving out.  I turned my back on her teachings, her support, her wisdom and principles the very foundations she had given me.  Yet when I came back, pregnant, she accepted me, she offered me her strength, her courage and her prayers and most of all she embraced me.

This was my Prodigal Experience…after my stubborn and childish fueled departure from everything she had given me she welcomed me back with nothing but love.  Giving me a chance to start over…

My Journey Continues With…

“Hide & Seek”

Have you read the rest of my story?  Read them here:

Finding My True Path…{a series}

“Train Up A Child”

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Lifestyle Blogger & Media Influencer at TheMrsTee
Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee. Tiffany is a BlogHer VOTY Award Honoree as well as a Contributing Author with Modern Social f/k/a iBlog Magazine and BlogHer. Growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion. As a Brand Ambassador, Tiffany has the opportunity to promote and support the brands she loves the most with her own unique perspective. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show.
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