I want to share with you my story in case it encourages you in any way.
My parents were divorced when I was very little. I still remember the fighting and the court dates that went on constantly between my parents for a good year straight as they fought over custody of me and my younger sister. In that same time, my older brother was killed in a car accident. It seemed as if my world was falling apart at the age of eight.
My mom worked nights at this time to try to provide for me and my little sister as a single parent. We had a babysitter that we stayed the night with every night that my mom had to work. We had been to church on and off a few times before, but when we started staying with her we started going regularly. That is truly when the seed was planted.
When I was old enough to drive, which in Arkansas is fifteen, I became obsessed with church. That is where I wanted to spend every waking minute. I found a place that taught me about hope and purpose and passion and life and I was in love with it! I was in love with the promise that God has given me, but also to all of us!
That is why I left Arkansas. I moved out of my father's house at the age of fifteen after spending a summer working at a church camp. That has been the one decision that has shaped all of the others in my life.
Moving to that camp led me to a Christian high school that instilled so many new thoughts and values in my life that I just never really experienced in the public high school I attended in Arkansas. It led me to the Christian college I attended where I found my calling for children's ministry and missions. It opened up the doors of opportunity for countless mission trips that I was a part of in college that have truly impacted my life. It provided the opportunities for me to intern at two incredible churches and be involved in several different activities and groups on campus. As if that was not enough, it opened up the door for me to meet the most incredible man in the world, Corey Steven Pless. It is such a blessing to be able to look back and see that the trust I put in God at fifteen years old has only brought me blessings since.
I wish I could truly put into words how thankful I am for the life that God has given me, but all I can truly say is thank you. Thank you for life. Thank you for hope. Thank you for grace.
These are some verses that always encourage me so maybe they will you as well.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters."