My story is still being unveiled, moment by moment, but it’s been a journey from a state of complete brokenness to becoming whole.
When I was seven years old, while living in a foster home, I had my first encounter with God. My siblings and I had become wards of the state as a result of neglect and abuse at the hands of my family. The day we were taken from our homes and put into the cars of social workers will be forever etched in my mind. In that moment of separation, I felt completely rejected.
We spent three years in our foster home but suffered more abuse by our foster mother and some of the boys in the home. One night, after being abused yet again, I remember praying. I didn’t fully understand what I was doing, or who God was, but I asked Him to free me and my sister of suffering. In that moment, I felt a peace wash over me and I knew things would get better. Looking back now, I realize that was the Holy Spirit comforting me even when I questioned why I had to suffer so much.
A year later, my sister and I were adopted by an older couple who weren't able to have kids. Though they were kind, I was fearful of adults. I didn’t want to be there and I didn’t trust them. Thankfully, God blessed my parents with the patience and love necessary to walk through the adjustment with me. As I got older, I realized that love has no title and my parents’ love for me was unconditional, even if our ties to one another weren’t biological.
Despite their overwhelming love, I still carried feelings of rejection from middle school into high school and from high school into college, where I entered an abusive relationship. As a result of my decisions, a close family member decided to walk away from me, fanning the old spark of rejection into flame once again. Their desertion had a profound impact on my life. I saw others differently. I stopped loving myself. I ran away from God. Rejection was the badge I wore and shame was my anthem.
Yet God was still faithful in His pursuit of my heart. After a year of wandering, I finally returned to the love of God. I pulled myself out of my loneliness and back into community. Although the seasons of isolation were, and continue to be, very painful at times, God does it to remind me that my life has to be built with Him as my foundation. Only with Him can I find authentic love for myself and others.
This journey has not been for the faint of heart. It has been filled with many highs and lows, but oh how beautiful it is to have been found by the Savior. His love continues to pick me up when I’ve fallen, pull me in close when I feel alone, and free me when I’ve been overtaken by the noise of the world.
I have learned that God was and is always present in every part of my story. In the highest of highs and the lowest of lows His love was trained on me. He pursued me when I didn’t want to be pursued and found me when I didn’t want to be found. In my moments of brokenness, He has stuck to me closer than a friend and has mended me back together even when I was certain I was broken beyond repair.
I have learned how to wait on the Lord and have experienced the renewal that only He can bring. What an incredible journey it has been.
"Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary." Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)
How has God changed your life? How has he changed how you see yourself?
We want to hear your story (even if it's still in process) of victory in Christ!