Everyone has a story to tell. We’ve all had dramatic life events that have taken us through the darkest of places. It’s how we react to these situations that determine the person we become. When I was 14, I was taken from my home and placed into a group home. In the midst of it all, I couldn’t stop questioning why God would do this to me? Why would he take me away from my family? I didn’t know it at the time, but he was saving me.

I spent two months in questioning and was then released into the custody of my best friend’s family. They took me in with open arms and without a second thought. They showed me love and what it meant to be a family. Growing up, I thought it was normal to be punished physically any time I didn’t do something right or because someone was having a bad day. My stepdad treated my sister and I no different than his two sons. We all got the same punishment. I didn’t know it then, but boy do I know it now. That is not normal. My mom didn’t speak up for my sister and I, which to me was just as bad as him hitting us. I had the choice to go back home after my mom and stepdad jumped through all the hoops for DSS. I was ready to live with my mom but not with my stepdad. My sister and I tried reasoning with my mom, but she just couldn’t leave him.

I then had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. I chose to not go back home and pretty much lost my mom forever. She was crushed, I’m sure, but I was broken. I couldn’t understand her decision then and still don’t now, but God never left my side through it all. I got to see both worlds, and he gave me the choice to live in whichever home I chose. I could have fallen into a pattern just like my mom, but I chose a different route; one that taught me to think for myself and become my own person. I am strong and independent. There is nothing I can’t fight my way through.

While it might not have been a clear sign of God’s love, that’s exactly what it was. He has proven over and over again his love and grace. I hope I can reach others by sharing a piece of my story so that you too may be able to experience his amazing grace.

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