The truth is I was hiding.
I did it on purpose. I was on a church missionary trip and was supposed to be the good girl. Winning souls to Christ in Venezuela was the mission. It was my mission to begin with but I was weird. I mean it, I was literally WEIRD then. I probably still am. I was with the group on a shopping trip to end out the trip. I had plenty of money because we had already been there two weeks. I never spent my money right away. My mother always gave us a certain amount of money to spend on trips and once that was gone it was GONE. I knew that. My mother wasn't with me this time but the habit was already instilled. I don't know why I didn't want to leave. It wasn't that I didn't want to go home. I think I foolishly wanted some more adventure time. Of course at fifteen I wasn't thinking about how it would affect my mom and family and even the church who had brought me here. What a jerk. So I hid. I saw a chance to go down the record store steps and hide out. I went back into the deepest, darkest corner I could find. My group left the store without me thinking that I had moved on to a store nearby. I stayed down there for what seemed like forever. When I heard nothing I thought it would be safe to come out. I heard nothing and found nothing. The store had already closed. It wasn't as simple as turning a deadbolt and letting myself out. There was a metal gate that was closed and locked up for the night. There was no getting out. As I tried to calm myself and decide my best course I looked once more outside and found there to be maybe a dozen armed police with LARGE guns staring at me with their guns pointed right at me. This was Venezuela not the U.S. the police there looked like army soldiers and intimidating to say the least. Boy, I had done it now. I went behind the record counter and crouched. I was really scared. I found a phone and called my mother. She seemed scared by what I was telling her. I feel so bad now when I think about it. What an idiot. Why I felt that driving need for adventure, I don't know. However, I was sure getting it now, just not the kind I wanted. To top it all off I got my period. I had nothing so I was bleeding on my pants. I was too scared to look for a bathroom. I sat there and hid for what seemed like forever, bleeding and scared. They left. The police eventually left. I decided that if there were no police in the morning when they came to open the store I would run out once the gate was open. There were no police. Miraculously. The gate was open, pulled up about 2 feet. I sprinted. I ran and ducked out the gate and kept running. I could hear the store worker yelling in Spanish at me. It scared me more. I ran faster. Now I really did just want to go back to the hotel and go home. I couldn't find the hotel. I was lost.
Sometimes when we hide from God we can become lost. My point is that the part I did on purpose led up to the loss of control and the fear. When I wanted to return I was so far away that I couldn't find my way back. God is always there waiting. Just like the hotel or just like my mom was waiting for me. I was the prodigal, the one who left. The problem is that even though God is there the journey back can have its own set of problems that can hold us back from our relationship with God.