Runaway Bunny


Summer to me is smelling like Waterbabies.  It's the most welcomed respite from the hustle of life in other seasons. It's the fear of Benadryl when I forget the aforementioned Waterbabies and pray that my sunburnt face won't one day require a skin graft from my butt cheek.

For several years, I lived in Lexington. I had such great plans. I was going to work for my favorite campus ministry. I was going to live another year with my friends. Conveniently, I misplaced the reality that I wasn't paying off my student loans and I wasn't making enough money to support myself.

What I desired and what was just weren't aligning. I could only picture myself standing in a little room filling up with water. I was trying to empty the room with a shovel. It wasn't working.

With much exhortation my parents offered for me to move home and pay off my loans. It was the opportunity to take a deep breath. To start something new without burden. To me, it was failure. I was overwhelmed with peace, though. In a strange way. I always think of the peace of God as being tranquil and resolved. But I don't know that to always be true. It was peace - and yes, it surpassed all understanding. But it was mixed with dread. Because I knew it was going to be so hard. I think that's how it is sometimes. It's knowing it will be good. It's trusting God that with the limited amount of information of the situation before me, He will use it and show me how lovely His plan actually is.

I'd always only pictured my life as moving forward. Going home felt like eight steps back. It wasn't my plan. My plan seemed good. And while I trusted God, I was still angry. I was sure of the plan a few months ahead of me (to move home), but I decided to do what I wanted with the rest of my time in Lexington.

It was the summer I turned twenty-one. It was my prodigal summer.

I questioned every motive I had as a Christian. So much of my faith had been about the things I didn't do. I didn't smoke. I didn't drink. I didn't make out with random dudes. It was a little bundle of legalism tied with a bow and called 'Fran.' Stepping beyond the protection of my plan and life, I felt stripped and confused.

So I did everything I had once declared myself to not do.

I drank until I was sick and forgetful.
I kissed boys that didn't love me.
I made myself sick every time I ate.
I was ashamed, I was sad, and I knew better.

I don't say 'I knew better' in the sense that I was being rebellious (even though that's exactly what I was doing). I mean I knew better. I knew what was truly good. I'd experienced it. I knew true joy. I knew that my God loved me and cherished me and I was squandering it all for cheap thrills. 

In every moment that I chose to please myself, it swelled in my chest and resounded in my bones that I knew I could go to the ends of the earth and run as far away from God as I tried, but there was no escaping Him. I could laugh and pretend like my life prior was a sham, but it wasn't true. 

I was His. 

When I was tiny and falling in love with words for the first time, my mom used to read Runaway Bunny to me before I went to sleep. It was my favorite. I know most hear of Margaret Wise Brown and think of the mother rabbit in a nightgown saying good night, but Runaway Bunny was the one I memorized.

For those not familiar, the little bunny tells his mother he is going to run away. The mother calmly replies,

"If you run away...I will run after you. For you are my little bunny."

The mother bunny is always there, with open arms. Waiting for her prodigal baby bunny.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
Even the darkness will not be dark to you;
The night will shine like the day,
For darkness is as light to you.
-Psalm 139:7-12

God loves you and in protecting you may choose what you wouldn't. But I promise it will be good.

I moved home. There is no longer any debt to my name. I went through counseling. I lived with my family. I learned what it was like to be a part of a family. It was at times a huge struggle, just as I anticipated. But it was always laced with copious amounts of grace. 

Happy Summer, indeed.



  1. This a truly beautiful post! You're a fantastic writer and a brave soul. Kudos to you for being you!

    Happy Winter from here in Aus, but same difference really. Xx

    1. Thank you for the kind words!
      And...Australia! You teeeeaaase me!

  2. I love this post so so much. A) you're a beautiful writer and b) that's why it really is all about. I'm kind of in the middle of a rebellious stage, not in my crazy behavior, but just in questioning my beliefs, but God does keep running after me. I can feel Him every day. Thank you for this.

    1. Thanks for your honesty. It's true - I recognize more and more how good it is to ask questions. I think for me it was recognizing where I was being prideful and needed to be open to how God wanted to change me. If that makes sense :) I hope great encouragement for you in that.

  3. this post made me so happy this morning. how the Father rejoices over the ONE that comes home. i think i got runaway bunny at a shower for the babe - i have to double check as soon as i get home. she needs that. i thank God for such grace that has been lavished on us!

    1. If Emmie doesn't have a copy, she definitely needs one. Thinking of you and praying for the excitement in these next couple of weeks! You guys are going to be such a blessing to have a parents!

  4. I love this post. You share your heart & soul and I am so thankful you moved back home - home into the arms of our Lord! Love you Fran!

  5. That was lovely. You are lovely.

  6. Oh Fran! Thank you for sharing your story today. I'm so grateful for His love that never stops pursuing!

  7. Wow - so beautifully well written for something that is so bittersweet now. I love that you shared this story and I definitely think shares a true message!

  8. Thank you for this post! It's an awesome reminder and encouragement.

  9. So beautiful. I can relate 100% to the legalism, moving home, the prodigal summer, learning about God's love and grace, everything. I lived almost the same exact thing.

    1. That's so encouraging to hear, Shell Bell :)
      Side note: your haikus cracked me up.

  10. It constantly amazes me at how good God is. He has so much grace with us and pursues us long after we've strayed from him. This was a beautiful account of God's love and I'm so glad you shared it with us!

  11. Thank you for the post Fran. God is so amazing and forgiving.

  12. I love you my sweet bunny.


  13. This is so well written and such a great message. So glad you realized God won't let you run away and were able to find comfort in that.

  14. This is beautiful and perfect.

  15. Found your blog.
    Love your blog.
    Will be back. Regularly.
    Thank you for sharing!