Coming back to His Loving Arms ~ My prodigal wanderings!

Are you wandering in the wilderness ~ lost in the dry, arid desert? Is your heart completely turned away from God? Are your eyes downcast because you are afraid to lift them up to Him? Are you letting Satan’s lies rule your life? 

It does not matter how long you have been away or where you have been. God saw you there. He knows what you have done. He has never left nor forsaken you. He still loves you unconditionally. No matter what Satan tells you, God is waiting for your return. In His grace and mercy He will forgive you, He will restore you. 

Saved at the tender age of twelve I spent my teen years as a part of our church youth group.  A lot of my time was spent in activities related to the choir or the youth group. I was passionate in expressing my love of God.

I fell in love with a boy from the church and we married in 1959 when I was 18 and he was 22. Our minister commented on the setting for my engagement ring which was a triangle with three small diamond chips on the points. He told us that as long as God was the third part of our marriage all would be well. Prophetic ~ He told us how many marriages ended in divorce and prayed for us.

In 1962, we moved from Texas, leaving all of our family behind, and settled in Oakland, California. My boss in Texas had been given a brand new insurance agency branch there and had asked me to come along to manage the office staff. It also meant a better opportunity for my husband to find a good job too. Once we arrived, my homesick husband immediately wanted to go back to Texas. I, on the other hand, loved my new job so we decided to stay for a while and see what happened. Sadly, we did not attempt to find a new church there because of my husband’s stubborn uncertainty about staying. I felt the beginning of the feelings of being adrift.

Satan was getting a foothold in our situation and began slowly to open a wide crack where He could begin to make it worse. Things between us became shakier and shakier. My state of mind allowed me to fall out of love and lose respect for my young husband and in the midst of that I fell in love with someone else. This put me on the edge of the abyss and I stepped off the cliff.

At 22, I married a man whom I soon discovered did not believe in God and for the next forty years I literally stumbled and wandered about. I eventually gave in to Satan’s lies that it didn’t make a difference, that living in the pitch-black, wicked darkness of the world was acceptable, that God no longer loved me and would not forgive me or take me back and on and on. During those years, I did not communicate with God at all. Although I treated others with love and kindness, it wasn’t from a God-focused perspective. Forty years later my husband died (unreachable and unsaved) on Christmas day in 2003. After his death, thinking I had little to offer to anyone else, I had no desire to marry again. To my complete surprise God had over plans indeed! 

In His mercy and grace, God brought a new man into my life. This man knows and loves the Lord, and he gave me the courage to ask for God’s forgiveness which I definitely did not feel I deserved. Glenn and I married in 2005 and I thank God every single day for bringing him into my life. 

Satan, in spite of his best efforts, cannot take a person who is saved and make them lose the ability to know the difference between right and wrong. He cannot take away your salvation. My life during those years was definitely a struggle of good against evil.

You too can come back to His loving arms! He is waiting for the sound of your voice. In spite of my prodigal wanderings during those long forty years, God has allowed me to serve Him now through Heart”wings” – a women’s fellowship in ways that deeply touch my heart. Perhaps because of my lost years of fellowship with Him, He knows my grown up heart and knows my story might help lead others back to Him. Don’t waste another moment living your life without Him. Stop listening to the devil’s lies. Leave the schemes of the world behind and come back to Him.  Take the first step toward God ~ He is waiting for you with His arms wide open!

[My other messages about my prodigal years can be found at the links provided below. If you follow any of the links just click on the x at the side of the tab to return to this message.]   “Lord, you are like a shield that keeps me safe. You help me win the battle. Your strong right hand keeps me going. You bend down to make me great.”  ~ Psalm 18:35 NIV    “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and “be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, “I will never leave thee,nor forsake thee.” ~ Hebrews 13:5    “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” ~ Psalm 103:11-12     Psalm 32 is about confession and forgiveness.  “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eyes.”  (Psalm 32:8)

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Joyce Graves

Founder of Heart"wings" at Heart"wings" ministries
Joyce Graves founded Heart”wings”- a women’s fellowship as a Facebook ministry to share God's great love, to encourage and support sisters in Christ. Born in Houston, TX on a bright summer morning in 1941, she grew up in a Christian home as a “sunny-side up, glass half-full” little girl. She accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of 12. Joyce and her husband are enjoying life in Arizona and love the desert of Lake Havasu City in the winter and Lakeside in the majestic White Mountains in the summer. At both places, she spends a lot of time on her Facebook ministry with maintenance matters and communicating with her Heart”wings” sisters. God led her to start the Facebook ministry on March 2, 2015. Her obedient service to our Lord is simple but fulfilling. To any lady who is interested in joining Heart"wings" - a women's fellowship (a secret/secured Facebook group), there are several places on these blog pages that you can click on and ask her to "friend you."

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