Rough Road, Great Prize

He never promised this road would be easy, but He did promise He'd be with me every step of the way. This is my testimony.

I'm adopted.

So I usually start my testimony off that way. I'm not sure why.. I say it so nonchalantly all the time to people I meet and they're like what?! I didn't know that. It's gotten to the point where I usually just mention it within the first hour of meeting someone... Slight exaggeration.
I was not raised in a Christian home. My dad was abusive. My mom was neglectful. Yet, despite their faults, I still loved my parents.

When we went from foster homes, I always thought it was somehow my fault everything was happening. I knew my parents had a part in it, but I thought if I were a better daughter then everything would have turned out better. I tried to do things because I thought they'd love me more. I would do all kinds of chores just so they'd say they loved me.

I was finally adopted when I turned 12. It's been a rough ride. I came loaded with issues. My new parents were patient though and eventually I came to love and trust them. They are truly amazing to me. They are, coincidentally, Christians. I came to accept Christ because of their example of true Christians. They taught me that there is life after death. My mom showed me an illustration explaining that we can't get to God without Jesus. They have exhibited so much kindness and true, unconditional love to me when no one else has. It has not been easy for them.

My new family immediately accepted me. I felt like I belonged. Sure, it was hard. I still hold a place in my heart for my birth family; they'll always be a part of me. But I have to move on. I can't let them hold me back forever. Jesus wouldn't want that.

My senior year of high school is probably the most memorable...I attended a junior college. My birth mom was also attending. I knew she would be because my family saw her one day and visited for a while. However, I didn't think I would ever really see her. We visited every week, sometimes twice a week. I loved talking to her; I was blessed with the opportunity to tell her I forgave her.

Over time, though, my heart started to become pretty rebellious towards my adopted parents. I let them know I had been visiting her... I couldn't keep it a secret from them. They told me I could go live with her and her new husband when I turned 18. The months leading up to my birthday were horrible. I was torn between deciding where my heart truly was. I love both families too much to choose one over another. In that time my biological dad sent me a message over facebook. That was pretty hard to deal with because I had not spoken to him in about six years. I told him I forgave him but I didn't feel comfortable pursuing a relationship with him. You can forgive someone without trusting them.

Anyway, back to my rebelliousness. I wasn't over the top rebellious. I was disrespectful, treated my parents like I didn't care about their opinion, and always found some way to slightly bend their rules. It was a tough time for me and my family. I feel bad for the trouble I caused.

My birthday rolled around...My parents were still telling me I could go live with my biological parents. However, I realized it was not God's will that I live with them... It just didn't feel right. I'm so thankful I chose the road I chose. Who knows where I'd be now. I love my birth family but I realized I had to move on.

My parents sent me off to an all girl camp for a month. I was horrified and so nervous. However, it ended up being the greatest experience of my life. I meant awesome girls and learned the value of true confidence in Jesus. I was constantly surrounded by Christians. It was awesome. I decided then, that month, that I was coming to bible school. I had decided in seventh grade I would come but my senior year, I changed my mind at least three times what I was going to do.

I attended a Bible school for a year and learned so much! (I have one more year to go.) I'm realizing how much I took for granted. I'm so far from home. I miss my family a lot. This year has been the toughest yet greatest time of my life. I have been stretched and broken and forced to step out of my comfort zone. (Just coming this far from home was a step out of my comfort zone!) That is the only way to learn, though.

I've experienced a few difficulties in life. Sometimes it was too hard for me to bear. One day I was crying because I had come to a breaking point. God spoke to me and said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) I don't remember ever really hearing God so clearly before so I doubted it was Him. However, over the next few days, that verse was everywhere. I would open my bible randomly and would come across the verse. We were watching T.V. and they flipped through a bible and "just so happened" to land on that verse.

God has been so amazing to me. He has blessed me with awesome family and friends. Nothing in my life has happened coincidentally. As a little girl, I searched for Him. I found Him. He has never left me. He is the most trustworthy friend I have. He never promised this road would be easy, but He did promise He'd be with me every step of the way.

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